Cameron Cowan: (00:00)
Welcome to today's data chat live. We're excited to be coming back to you from, I'm here in the ObservePoint headquarters in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and I am joined by my colleague, Mike Fong. Mike, say hello to everybody.
Mike Fong: (00:14)
Hello everybody. I am Mike Fong.
Cameron Cowan: (00:17)
So Mike and I are coming to you together today to talk about our newest release of some data that we just pulled. We ran our 2022 Digital Governance report based on a survey of, what was it, over 230 professionals in the space. A lot of our customers, a lot of the other professionals that we talked to in the analytics and marketing space and what we want to do is quickly run through some of the insights. We're not gonna go through the entire report page by page, but we want to highlight what are some of the things that stuck out to us as we looked at this, and I'm really excited to have Mike here specifically because Mike, you've not only been at ObservePoint for a number of years, but you were also a user previous to that. Is that correct?
Mike Fong: (01:00)
Yeah, absolutely. Well user, so I was a client of ObservePoint and so my role before joining ObservePoint as a Customer Success Manager was to actually ensure the digital governance quality at my previous organization. One thing led to another and I jumped ships, but absolutely seeing the benefit from both a user point of view and also as, I guess, an insider, you really appreciate how important it is to get things right.
Cameron Cowan: (01:31)
Yeah and I can definitely appreciate that perspective before coming to ObservePoint myself a number of years over at Omniture and then Adobe. So understanding from a vendor side, how important it is to make sure you have that governance in place, and you're getting good clean, trustworthy data that you can use. Now, let's start with the name of the report, Mike, digital governance. What does digital governance mean to you?
Mike Fong: (01:54)
Well, I think governance in general, what does governance, like forget about digital, right? What does governance mean? Governance means putting in place the processes and resources to actually just ensure that everything's running smoothly, right? You think about government, and that's where, and you'd hope things would run smoothly. And that's really where I see this coming from. Right? So digital governance really means ensuring that your analytics, your data privacy, your CMPs, everything about your digital experience is running smoothly from a point of view of what the customers actually experience to what your business needs, right? Whether it be all the pages loading well and quickly and smoothly to your backend reporting, being accurate and all your AB tests, for example, running well and not frustrating the users. That’s what it means to me anyway.
Cameron Cowan: (02:51)
Yeah, no, I think that's one of the main differences as we just look at the title of the report that we're pushing out. We used to talk about this in terms of digital data governance, and while data is a really important component to all of that, understanding, as you said, the digital experience as well is something that our audience and our customers and the people we talk to on a daily basis are really focused on. So yes, data, but data is really there to deliver those better experiences. Why don't we go ahead and dive into some of the main insights? I know, Mike, you queued up a couple of things that had stuck out to you. First, as we look at digital governance and what people are doing, what are some of the observations that you had had?
Mike Fong: (03:29)
Well, I think what this is, is generally the benefits, right? What are, so actually, before we dive in, I guess we should explain, that we ran a survey of over 250ish professionals in our space, I think it was. And so these are the results that returned. So at the top of every slide is the question. And if it's not clear, we'll just ensure we explain the question, to our audience today. And so the benefits that our survey respondents saw clearly it's the biggest leader here is improved decision making. And that has really been at the core of what ObservePoint has been bringing to the market for the last few years, obviously improved data quality and improved data understanding that is helping organizations, not just the analytics teams, but the wide organization actually understand the difficulties of data, understand the benefits, and then reap the rewards in the longer term.
Cameron Cowan: (04:29)
Yeah, I think one of the things that stuck out to me most as we, especially as we looked at some of the free form responses, in the survey results, as well as the focus on, you can see there near the bottom, driving revenue and ROI. Part of the reason you want to have good decision making, you want to be able to have clean quality data that you can focus and, and trust is so you can make decisions for your business that actually drive lift and growth over time. So I think a lot of it goes back to that central hub, but how you get there, there's a number of reasons why people, are tackling digital governance in the first place, but that's, I mean, that's all kind of the upside. Let's talk a little bit about,
Mike Fong: (05:06)
Cameron Cowan: (05:07)
Yeah. There's gonna be pain points and challenges. So what are we seeing from that perspective?
Mike Fong: (05:11)
So customers are, we asked our customers, what is the greatest challenge your organization faced with regards to actually to data management and governance and the top two categories were pretty predictable. Again, it's always a resource matter really. So too much time spent cleansing and vetting data that is if you've got very potentially very expensive data scientists, are they spending their time building models and actually using the machine learning and AI to generate insights and predict models or are they spending lots of time cleansing and vetting data. And then much related to that, the second sort of highest response was just not enough people to do it, right? Data scientists are rare. Analysts are rare. Digital marketers are rare. So these are, I would say again, the top two difficulties in governing your digital experience well. And you can see it kinda slopes down. But generally, it's again resources twice again.
Cameron Fong : (06:15)
I was gonna say that at the think you can kind of take number two, three, and four altogether, just a lack of resources, whether that be human resources, whether that be financial capital to buy technology, whether it be the technology itself. I think one of the underlying themes I'm seeing all along is that people not only are lacking the resources, but part of the reason for the need of resources is for more automation. There's just too much manual work that's going into, as we can see here, cleaning up the data and putting it into a spot where I can even begin to analyze it to begin with. And then once I do have it in a good spot, actually taking the time to go through the analysis, and at times that can be a very laborious time-intensive process. And so I think a lot of the folks that were chatting with are saying, how can we get more automation into process? We have good processes, we have pretty good data. It could be better, but then we need to really just kind of press on the automation so we can get more out of it more quickly, so we can make better decisions more quickly.
Mike Fong: (07:11)
Absolutely. And automation really is key, right? And you know, that's part of ObservePoint’s story, but we wanted to understand actually how customers and also people who are potentially considering becoming customers of ours, how they were actually benefiting from automation. So this is, as a nerd, as an analyst, I have to say, this is one of the most exciting slides for me when you can, I'll let you talk first, Cameron, but, I'll nerd out later.
Cameron Cowan: (07:38)
And this was one of those things where instead of looking at it time over time, year over year, it was looking at different segments. What are the people that don't have a lot of great automation tools, how frequently are they going through the process of verifying the technology that's on their website and making changes according to all of those audits and verifications? And what we're seeing there is a pretty big division that you've got one group that is actually making a lot of progress and doing it at a very high cadence while another group simply, and almost certainly because of a lack of technology, a lack of automation, is lagging behind. They want to do it, but they don't feel empowered to be able to do that at such a high frequency. Are you seeing the same thing here?
Mike Fong: (08:19)
Exactly, well on a noting out point and I'm sure I know maybe Sarah, in the audience is gonna shoot me down for saying this wrong, but with the yellow group, that is the group that have access to an automated scanning tool, such as ObservePoint. There's much of a left skew on this, on this chart because they're able to scan much more frequently. So looking at that bottom left, the left hand most bar or grouping I should say. 12% of those with an automated testing platform were actually able to test their website more than daily. Whereas only 4% were able to do that when they didn't have access to an automation tool. And that's three, that's triple right. That's 12 on four. That's 300x or 300x, I should say.
Mike Fong: (09:08)
And then looking at the, on the right-hand side, actually, 7% of those without an automation tool were doing their checks annually or less frequently. So essentially not checking or checking only annually. And that's simply not responsive enough. I mean, even in a reactive world, that's not reactive enough. Whereas those of an automation tool clearly were definitely doing it quarterly or more frequently. So I think in a world that's much more, you know, we live in a different world than it was five years ago, GDPR privacy laws, the burden of ensuring you have a good digital governance plan is much higher now than it was say five, six years ago.
Cameron Cowan: (09:52)
Yeah. And I think that it varies across a couple of different vectors. One is what are the technologies you're checking if you're just considering, your tag manager or your analytic system, maybe you only make changes to those, you know, once every month, once every quarter. But what about your marketing email systems or your programmatic ad buys that are going to landing pages, that's money you're spending every single time somebody clicks, you wanna make sure that those are up and running and, measuring as they should be every single day, your homepage, your high volume pages. So there's different kind of vectors as far as how frequently the cadence at which you should be measuring these things. But you want to know that if you need and want to, you can do it at a daily basis and then scale back from there, not feel like you're forced to use at just a free browser plugin, or even worse, just the dev tools that are in your browser. That’s very manual. It's very easy to put off. And maybe you only think about it once or twice a year.
Mike Fong: (10:45)
Actually, just go back, let me just back to that previous slide you mentioned. So the full report will have more details on this point because we do see a growth in switching. We also do even see a difference between those using just the standard network panel in say Google Chrome, or a more dedicated, say a data slay or the observe point plugin as well. So there's definitely more detail. So for those of you in the audience who are wanting more detail, definitely, you'll get the link to download the full report. I believe it's actually already out.
Cameron Cowan: (11:20)
Yep. It's live right now. I believe everyone on this call will receive it automatically from us. We'll send that out to you, but, if you're seeing this later or you hear about it from a friend, know that you can download it at any time from ObservePoint’s website.
Cameron Cowan: (11:35)
Now as we move forward, and this is actually one of the slides I got the most interested in was looking at all of the different technologies or all the different use cases that are important to those that we surveyed. And once again, we're talking about those that are analysts and kind of into the data analytics. We're talking about digital marketers, channel managers, we're talking about privacy professionals. And while they are the natural skew for our audience is web analytics. That's what ObservePoint has been known for a decade and a half now. And we have a lot of our customers that say, this is the most important thing for us. We use ObservePoint’s platform or other automated tools to govern other technology in MarTech stack, analytics just happens to be the biggest one. The most important one is, we rank them one to five.
Cameron Cowan: (12:20)
But you'll also see that as we work our way down that line, we've got both systems of measurement. Think analytics and data management platforms, as well as systems of activation. We've got voice of customer platforms. We've got, CDPs, we've got content management systems, we've got consent management platforms. So all of these things are either collecting data and/or leveraging that data to take some sort of action, improve experience, and make for a better digital world. And one of the things that really sticks out to me, especially being a former Adobe guy, I think about the fact that analytics, when you think about the way they realigned their cloud, a number of years ago, the Adobe Analytics Cloud, isn't just Adobe Analytics, it's Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager. And whether you're in the Adobe ecosystem or you're using Google, and another DMP you're using Salesforce or Oracle's DMPs for example, those things tend to work together and you want to be able to validate, not just is the analytics up and running, but then is the DMP working the way it shows. Is it collecting all the variables?
Cameron Cowan: (13:19)
Is it coordinating with the other platforms? Is it creating those audiences and segments the way I expect it to? For a lot of the organizations, that's a really big investment. You want to be able to govern those experiences as well, not just the analytics that comes before that. Mike, is there anything else you're seeing specifically on this?
Mike Fong: (13:36)
No, just again, I'm always the kind of person that's just gonna look at the first and second position. So I'll do that again, as you said, obviously, web analytics is historically ObservePoint’s, you know, our core audience and well that's because ObservePoint grew out of John Pestana and actually his pedigree over at Adobe Analytics and his network there, but data management number two, for me do you see data management as intrinsically connected to say service side? Or do you see those as not necessarily being connected?
Cameron Cowan: (14:10)
Yeah, I think in general, we're hearing a lot of folks talk, especially about their systems of measurement, the analytics first and foremost, tag management system, but also a number of other kind of data collection platforms that are, they're considering the move to server-side, or they've started to go through that move and they're running into both the benefits and challenges. And I think that's actually one of the things you wanted to highlight was what are some of the things we're seeing from the audience as far as, are they moving service side more aggressively or not? What are the benefits they’re seeing? What are the challenges? Did you wanna dive into that a bit?
Mike Fong: (14:42)
Yeah, sure. So let me just explain the question in the title again. So it starts, if no, so that's not a great start. So this was actually a two-part question. So the first part question was to our survey respondents. Are you, or have you already moved to server-side implementation or a partial server-side implementation? And then this slide on-screen is if you haven't or if no, then why have you not yet done that? And starting from kind of this top right segment, I think a sector, I'll get my math teachers to beat me on the head with a stick if I get those wrong. The first two, the largest are again, similar to the previous one, it's due to resource. So expense that's a lack of money to put towards investing in server-side.
Mike Fong: (15:36)
The second one here, this sort of east-facing wedge, again, engineering resources. So almost a third of our respondents said they haven't gone over to server-side yet because they're lacking in resource. And then most interestingly was the second two categories. So this group here making up almost another third, there was uncertainty. They actually weren't sure how to go about it, how to execute, so uncertain how to implement or uncertain how to integrate privacy compliance. And for me, that's a very, I guess that's a very telling one because there are certain commentators on LinkedIn and in the space who would say that actually going server-side is potentially causing more difficulty. Like there's actually a decrease in transparency if everything that your organization does is under server-side. Because in that case you are the, one of the, I guess, benefits, but also pros and cons, a double-edged sword of server-side is the ability to collect data in a first-party way on your website or on whichever channel you're using, such as an app. But then on the server-side, potentially distribute it to ad platforms or analytics platforms. And so actually you are removing the tracking. It's one more step removed. So there are some arguments claiming that actually it would be worse for the privacy aspect and I think that's reflected by 13% of people answering with that one.
Cameron Cowan: (17:18)
Yeah. And I think you're calling out something that's really important here is that a lot of times when we're talking about server-side in the market, we focus very much on the benefits of moving a certain technology to server-side. It's going to speed up the load of the page. It's going to consolidate data into a single stream. So you have more consistency across your measurement technologies. And those are all true and good benefits if you can get to that point. But I think we also shy away from talking about some of the challenges that come with it and definitely the privacy implications are there to be thought about. I think right now the legislation isn't in place. There aren't a lot of restrictions from the browsers themselves, but as we move forward, as we've seen, for example, with ITP, they've gone through iteration after iteration. If all of a sudden the European Union comes out and says, you know what? Going server-side is actually creating a more opaque environment and we need to be able to see what's being tracked and consumers need to be able to see what's being tracked about them. All of a sudden there could be a massive shift. So I'm not saying that's going to happen. I'm saying that, like you said, there are commentators there.
Mike Fong: (18:19)
There is potential, absolutely.
Cameron Cowan: (18:20)
The one other thing I do want call with this and what we're seeing in some of the deeper results, not on the screen, but just some of the other questions that we're asked, is the fact that when we talk about going server-side, a lot of people think, okay, I'm going to take my entire website and go server-side. And really the average website has what, close to 37 different marketing technologies implemented throughout its different pages and site sections. And yet when you talk going server-side, you're usually talking about a specific subset of those technologies, whether it's your analytics or your tag management system, but there's still a lot of technologies that even if they wanted to today, can't make that shift.
Mike Fong: (18:58)
Yeah absolutely. We know that there's many, we know that's many tracking, for example, what they call, you know, the voice of the customer, the screen recording technologies, they all actually have to happen on the front end. You can't record someone's mouse movements on the backend. So there are technologies where it is impossible, or as far as we know, it's impossible to implement on the service side.
Cameron Cowan: (19:20)
Well, and if you wanna back up just a touch I do wanna look at that, that broader, you had that landscape of that long tail of marketing technologies, and I've mentioned systems of measurement and systems of activation. And this is one of the things that's really important to me. As my career has progressed throughout the digital ecosystem, understanding that we are truly working in a complex landscape of a lot of different technologies working together and it's no single one use case that becomes paramount to all the others. Yes, you need a good data foundation, but then you need to activate that data through its various forms. You also need to make sure that everything you're doing is in a privacy-compliant way. And so we see a little bit down further in that tail, we see CMPs.
Mike Fong: (20:01)
Well, that's the thing, Cameron, you said there is no single-use case or single requirement, which is head and shoulders above the others. But I would say here we are living in London, under GDPR for a while. I would say that the most tangible potential impact to your bottom line, as we've seen very recently with these massive fines for Google and Facebook and Amazon, the most tangible ones are the data privacy. So in my opinion, that probably should come before all your ROI, the 1%, the 2% here on your return on investments calculations, the massive million-dollar fines, multi-million dollar fines that you can get levied by the EU in accordance of GDPR. So that's a big impact. So it's very surprising to me that consent management and privacy compliance was languishing all the way down here. And this may have been related to the fact that there was a large skew on our survey respondents towards the U.S. So hopefully I'd hope that in the EU, this would be higher up on the pecking order, but let's talk about that. And I'll just go to the relevant slide for that one.
Mike Fong: (21:22)
So we asked our survey respondents, what processes have they put in place? And the second one here, the second group, we've got a person or a team dedicated to data privacy monitoring. The fact that that is, you know, nearly 40%, that's great news. The fact that it's grown by a tiny amount between this year and last year, that's also good news. And then the other one, this fourth group, we haven't done anything or we haven't started, that's gone down. So again, that's good news. The fact that the I don't knows is still the same size, I don’t know what that says. What do you think Cameron?
Cameron Cowan: (22:00)
I mean, I agree. I think the fact that we haven't started is small and getting smaller is a great thing, but that's still way too many I don't knows. And I think part of that you'll see, in the research report, we talk about the different audiences we have, and yes, we have a pretty big audience from here in North America, a little bit smaller audience coming to us from Europe. And I think that's what we're seeing is there's still a lot of folks, especially on this side of the pond that just aren't feeling that urgency. They're not necessarily focused; a lot of businesses that I work with here in the states don't even have a CMP yet. They know they need one eventually, maybe, but it's not really a big focus unless you're a large international brand that also has a material amount of business going on in other countries, especially in Europe. Whereas I think Mike, you're feeling it a way more than we do because everyone you're talking to knows not only, yes, this is a problem. Yes, I have to be compliant, but they know someone or some business adjacent to them that's already been fined or looked into because they're not following it. Is that fair to say?
Mike Fong: (22:59)
Yeah. I mean, many, many of our customers over here in Europe, are working with very closely in order to ensure that CMPs are actually, firstly, are present on all of their site, which is something that many take for granted, that you shouldn't take for granted. And secondly, that actually the CMP is working because in our experience working with hundreds of customers, now, they have, what we as a group, and they, have come to the realization that CMPs aren't all smooth sailing. And you do need to check that your CMP is working just as you need to check that your analytics is working or your AB testing tag is working. Right?
Cameron Cowan: (23:40)
Yeah. I think that the other thing that sticks out to me here and we talk about how it's great that there's a high number of people that know or believe that there's a person or team dedicated to monitoring that privacy, but kind of the discrepancy or the confusion about who exactly owns that and are people pointing at themselves or pointing at other people, what are you seeing from the results here?
Mike Fong: (24:01)
Actually, I lied before, this is my favorite slide. So we asked our server respondents who they thought, or which team they thought was responsible for data privacy. We've always seen people responding to us and not responding to our survey, but people talking to us as an organization, it's always been a kind of mixture of marketing/legal IT, so we actually explicitly asked. And so each group represents, you know, which other team or which team that group thinks. So 73%, so on left here, 73% of respondents who worked in IT believe that IT was in charge of data privacy and data governance. And I thought, wow, finally, some ownership or is it just the fact that IT people are control freaks and they just love to take control of all systems? Then in the middle, you can see that marketing team is more spread out, but we do see that 38% of marketing professionals think that marketing is in charge of privacy and compliance.
Mike Fong (25:03)
And similarly, we didn't have a group of, we didn't have a team of analysts, but analysts think that it's IT as well. So I was tempted to draw a diagram of who's pointing at whose fault is it, but ultimately what this shows us is that there's still not a consensus. I mean, marketing thinks it's marketing, analysts, broadly for our market, digital analysts thinks it's IT. And IT thinks it's IT. So I'm glad that opinions are forming. It's still too early to say that's a good result because there's still discrepancies. If everyone said it was the IT team's job then that would be unambiguous. And that would be a great result. But as it is, it's still kind of all over the place.
Cameron Cowan: (25:48)
Well, and I think that highlights two things, one in some way, it's everybody's job. I mean, if the company gets dinged massively for not being privacy compliant, marketing is not gonna get away with simply saying, well, I told you it was IT's job. It's not my fault. I think everybody has to take some level of ownership. And I also think there are specific functions that either are or need to be created around that role. I know one of the things, I don't know if you even have a slide for this, but one of the things we had talked about and the results was all the different names of who those owners are. You wanna tell the audience just a little bit about what you saw there?
Mike Fong: (26:24)
Well, you know we have a slide for this, Cameron.
Cameron Cowan: (26:26)
Oh, we do.
Mike Fong: (26:27)
Yeah. Stop pretending and feigning ignorance. So absolutely we found a strong level of taking accountability. Many organizations had Chief Data Officers or a Chief Information Security Officer, or a Director of, sort of the point being that data privacy is being taken, to the very top of the organization. We're talking about the C-suite here. So that's massively good news across the market.
Cameron Cowan: (26:57)
Yeah. All right. Well, I think that's a good place to wrap up. We wanted to leave a few extra minutes here at the end for any questions. I know we've only covered a smattering of what we found the most interesting points of the report were. Like I said, this will be sent out to anybody that's registered for DataChat LIVE! here today. And if you have any other colleagues or you wanna pass it along, it can be always accessed on the ObservePoint website. Just checking the chat pod, if any come in, I'm gonna get flagged by our moderators. But as we wait for that one question that I see here that Mike, I wanna ask you directly, especially as it relates to the European market. How do you see digital governance evolving over the course of 2022?
Mike Fong: (27:39)
Ooh, 2022. Nearsighted. I would say that in terms of the overall digital governance, in terms of Europe at least, GDPR is starting to mature. So I believe that there's going to be a lot greater, a benchmark, I would say, and a firm understanding of what is and is not compliant, or at least I would say that that would've been my answer back in December, but now since January, both Austria and France have dinged Google, for quite large sums, well actually no, they haven't dinged Google in sums. They've actually dinged that Google's Google Analytics itself is essentially non-compliant. So there's a big question there. So I would expect a slow shakeout of that decision and those appeals
Mike Fong: (28:33)
In terms of the data privacy, the more, I guess, the set parts of the CMPs, I expect to see potentially some, what's the word, some coming together of CMPs. There are some CMPs that we know are market leaders and there are some CMPs which are contenders. We are expecting to see a bit of maybe a bit of mergers and acquisitions business there. And in general, I expect that there's gonna be a lot of, there's going to be some large, there's some more large fines coming our way.
Cameron Cowan: (29:11)
Yeah. I don't know as far as predictions, but what I would love to see over the course of the next year. Obviously, I wanna see North America catch up to where some of our European counterparts are, a little more focused, a little more ownership over data privacy specifically. I think that, like we said, that's everybody's job. And as we see more legislation regulation come out here in America, specifically, as we see CCPA morph into CPRA, as we see the Virginia and Colorado laws go live and others on the table right now, I think that's just going to be an increased focus. We're just about a year or two or three behind where you're at over there, Mike. And then the last thing that I'm very focused on is making sure, and we talked about those 37 different technologies, MarTech solutions on any given website.
Cameron Cowan: (29:58)
Those people have to start talking to each other, it can’t just be analytics in a silo and personalization in a silo and voice of customer in a silo. You need to be able to have A. a program that can help you validate across all of those things more holistically, but also just communicating and coordinating so that, you know the data I'm picking up over here in the analytics platform, it can actually really help drive some of these other systems. And I think as we see more coordination, the cream will rise to the crop. The people that are doing it best will really see a competitive advantage and that's what really digital governance is all about. It's not only protecting and establishing standards for your brand, but it's building that competitive advantage. So you truly get lift and ROI.
Mike Fong: (30:39)
Cameron, there's one question in the chat. What misstep do you feel is most likely to trip up American companies as we attempt to adapt to increased regulation. From Christina.
Cameron Cowan: (30:50)
Mike Fong: (31:49)
Agreed. Agreed. So to summarize, don't try to do the least possible. Think ahead about opportunities abroad for international expansion and also think ahead about the flexibility you'll need in your system to be able to handle any changes. CCPA is not the only American law. There'll be other state ones and they'll potentially even be in some point in the future, a federal one as well. And I should say that's from Christiana, not from Christina.
Cameron Cowan: (32:18)
All right. Well, I think that wraps us up today. I wanna thank everybody for joining us. We're going to be sending out this report to anyone that registered. So take a look through. We're happy to continue the discussion. You can hit us up on LinkedIn, you can talk to your local CSM over at ObservePoint or just reach out to me directly. You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Mike, if people wanna chat with you, What's the best way to reach you?
Mike Fong: (32:42)
Yeah. LinkedIn. Our customers in here in Europe pretty much all know me. So yeah, definitely easy name to remember, easy name to find on LinkedIn. I'll be at Measure Camp as well.
Cameron Cowan: (32:54)
Well, thank you Mike for your time. Thank you to the audience and we’ll see everybody on the next DataChat LIVE!
Mike Fong: 33:01
Thanks, Cameron. Thanks, everyone, bye.