Is AT&T’s “Community Garden” A Marketer’s Dream Or Too Good To Be True?
At this week’s Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara AT&T Media CEO Brian Lesser debuted their new “Community Garden” data platform. Right now you might be asking what’s a Community Garden and how is it different from Google’s and Facebook’s Walled Gardens? Both models are effectively DMPs advertisers can use to reach audiences with on-platform media buys. But as the name implies, Walled Gardens have strict limits which don’t allow brands to take the data off-platform or perform third party measurement and validation. This is the industry’s main gripe with Google/Facebook – you have to buy into their data platform but only get to see the results they want to show, so they get away with grading their own tests.
In contrast AT&T’s Community Garden will allow 3rd party attribution vendors to measure ad effectiveness, and also (amazingly) allow brands to keep the audience data from the impressions they buy on AT&T’s platform to use on other vendors. In layman’s terms, once you buy media on AT&T and get their data, you can use it to reach that same audience on other publishers. Sound too good to be true? It might be. This is the exact reason why most publishers aren’t willing to give up their proprietary data on one-time media buys. However, AT&T seems bent on providing complete transparency to the benefit of the entire marketing community.
If AT&T’s walk is as good as Lesser’s talk this could be a game changer for data management in marketing. It could also put some serious pressure on Google and Facebook to tear down the walls of their own gardens.