GLASGOW: Mars, the confectionery business, is placing greater emphasis on owning data and is considering setting up its own data management platform (DMP) to facilitate this, a leading executive has said.

"We need to understand why managing and keeping your own data is important," Dan Burdett, global brand director for Snickers, told The Drum.

"In the past, we, along with other companies, have fallen into the trap of allowing the data and information to be held by third parties," he said, a practice that had not been conducive to getting full value from the information.

Third parties, he suggested, "give you the bits of information that they're keen for you to see … while keeping the bits that they think are better for themselves".

It's a problem faced by many FMCG brands which don't own their own purchase channels and, in the case of snacks, are often bought on impulse.

As Derek Luddem, Mondelez area media manager for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, explained to Warc last year: "Where you own the point of [digital] consumer purchase then you can profile all those people who are actually buying."

Mars' own data, however, will not supply answers to all the questions to which it seeks answers, so it will continue to work with third-party data from businesses such as Facebook and Google to develop nuanced audience segmentations.

It may even take the process a step further and share its own audience insights with selected third parties. "We don't have a DMP but it's something we're looking at," said Burdett.

Mars has no shortage of data but problems arise in trying to make sense of it, interrogating it in different ways to generate insights.

"I think you can only interrogate that data in all those different ways if you have a proper data management platform in place," he said "And I think we need to set that up."

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff