How Unify tripled data revenues with Permutive

The company

Unify is present in France and internationally and brings together the digital activities of the TF1 Group to create a powerful ecosystem at the heart of the daily lives of French people. A leader in key verticals — including women, health and wellness, food, lifestyle, high tech and gaming — Unify reaches 48 million unique visitors in France through its brands (91% reach) and more than 100 million unique visitors overall.

The challenge

Unify needed a data partner that could bring together 20+ media brands, across geographies and content.

Unify is the result of an M&A by TF1 creating three core areas of the business: publishers, brand solutions and services, and social e-commerce. For the publishing arm of the business, the M&A process created the need for a platform to aggregate all of the data in the group, not just media or behavioural data but email and semantic data too. The aim was to make Unify exist as one company by bringing data into one platform.

Unify needed an Audience Platform to support its core needs of insight, analytics, and complete reach of all its audiences across browsers. The publisher set out to find a new data platform to handle large volumes and diverse data and a partner with the technical ability and tools to serve the group’s needs.

Building a data platform from the ground up

The Unify team were building a strategy from scratch due to the recent M&A, so they needed a partner with a strong customer success offering. “It was essential for us to have people that we can rely on, that know how to handle the tech and the kind of complexity that we have…it’s fine to deploy a DMP as a piece of JavaScript on a website, but we had to do it on 20 websites and more than five apps. We acquired the confidence, during the RFP process that the Permutive team would be able to handle this kind of complexity,” says Dounia Zouine, Group Chief Data & Digital Officer at Unify Group.

Unify aimed for 100% cookie-less advertising after realising third-party cookies were being blocked in Safari and Firefox. “We were looking for a reliable cookieless technology, and because we were launching activity for growth, we realised we couldn’t grow because we were not able to address 100% of our audiences,” adds Zouine. “We were very happy to be able to provide proof that we were already well engaged in a cookieless roadmap.”

"Every one of our decks and pitch presentations starts with the fact that we are a data-rich media house and that we have a cookieless data platform powered by Permutive."

Dounia Zouine, Group Chief Data & Digital Officer at Unify Group

The solution

Permutive is a central piece of Unify’s data stack. Unify is using Permutive to monitor and follow the performance of all its websites. It is crucial for Unify to have one tool to access the segmentation, behaviour, and evolution of its audiences cross-site. Permutive is also used as a targeting tool natively linked to its ad servers, SSP, and data lake.

Unify is one of the top three users of the Permutive insights features which has resulted in Permutive being one of the leading providers of insights for Unify’s Insight Lab, which surfaces audience trends and behaviours from across the Unify Group of publishing brands. This information is reported across Unify’s pitch decks to outline the strength of its data, media and sales house offer.

  • 3X

    increase in data revenues

  • 4X

    increase in reach

  • 46%

    increase in click-through-rate


Unify tripled data revenues, increased reach by 4x, and grew the percentage of impressions sold with first-party data from less than 1% to 10% in the first year by partnering with Permutive, reaching 16% in Q2 of 2021. 

After testing the power of its data offering, via a campaign for a multinational beauty brand, Unify found that using a general cohort for beauty increased click-through rates (CTR) by 46% when compared to a campaign without data. And a niche cohort for beauty+ increased CTR by 4X. A similar test for a camera brand showed that using a general cohort increased CTR by 2X.   

So far, Unify has trained more than 100 sales team members on Permutive and its data offering has helped to win  10 advertiser and agency deals. These deals are larger too, in regards to the volume of revenues and maturity of the clients.

  • Insights to activation

    By implementing Permutive, Unify diversified its revenue base, activity, and empowered its sales offering. Rather than having insights on one side and activation on the other, Unify can now use the Insights Lab to create bespoke cohorts for brand clients. For example, a cohort for users with a family who eat organic food, like cooking, and are looking at content for electric cars. When the cohort matches the brief and the insights prove relevant, Unify can now action this cohort within the Permutive platform — a core differentiator for Unify. Unify Insight Lab is also natively connected to its audience targeting to facilitate seamless marketing from insights to activation.

  • Empowering the sales team

    Unify’s data offer was the first to be grouped during the M&A process; previously the sales team had been selling website-by-website. It shifted its value in the market as they were more confident in their ability to draw from relevant insights and cohorts across the whole group. “The sales teams feel more empowered and proud to take this data offer and targeted offers to the market. They feel like it’s a great innovation and that we are at the forefront of a new transformation,” says Dounia Zouine, Group Chief Data & Digital Officer at Unify Group.

  • Building direct brand relationships

    “Permutive helped us to disintermediate the relationship that we have with brands, to be able to speak to them directly. We are now invited at least two to three times a year to give an elevator speech and input to the marketing strategy adopted for FMCG brands. They feel that they can rely on the insights that we have before deciding on new creatives in new orientations, new messages they need to work with their agency.”

    “We were able to grow in terms of hierarchy in the people that we are talking to, so instead of only talking to people doing programmatic, we now have many workshops with CMOs, digital CEOs, and digital directors. They consider us more broadly within a digital marketing strategy, rather than the end of the chain where you're going to deliver your message.”

Next steps

Building on success 

Unify are planning on launching and accelerating other projects based on the success of implementing Permutive, having established the expertise and confidence with the Unify Group board members. 

Investigating measurement

As part of its cookieless roadmap, Unify is looking into how the market measures the investment and ROI of campaigns. Traditional KPIs are not always publisher friendly so Unify has an internal task force to propose different KPIs that will help brands see the impact of doing media with a publisher. 

See how Unify partnered with Permutive

"Permutive helped us to disintermediate the relationship that we have with brands, to be able to speak to them directly."

Dounia Zouine, Group Chief Data & Digital Officer at Unify Group