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Why You Should Be Fast-Tracking Customer Identity, According to LiveRamp’s Travis Clinger

by Amobee, January 28, 2021

Key Takeaways:

  • Cookie deprecation is the biggest opportunity in the history of ad tech.
  • People-based identity and contextual solutions will become the new gold standard.
  • Create a migration plan now and start experimenting and testing.
  • The reward will be better return on ad spend, better measurement, and a seamless customer experience.

If customer privacy isn’t a top priority for every brand and agency going into the new year, it should be, warns Travis Clinger, senior VP of addressability and ecosystem at LiveRamp, a leader in data connectivity and identity technology for the past decade.

With third-party cookies and device-based identifiers set to disappear by 2022, the industry should be fast-tracking migration plans, cookieless measurement, and partnerships that can help them usher in a new era of customer personalization. Read on to learn how Travis and his team are providing sustainable solutions for brand identity and privacy practices, and what every CMO should have at the top of their identity to-do list.

Will cookie deprecation be a nuclear winter or an advertiser renaissance?

This is the biggest opportunity in the history of ad tech. At a crucial time when marketers are looking at solutions for cross-channel needs, many of these channels such as connected TV (CTV), mobile apps, and the Internet of Things (IoT) don’t use third-party cookies. The advertising ecosystem is long overdue for a change, and cookies are not an efficient way to facilitate advertising and reduce marketing effectiveness. As we see third-party cookies fully deprecate on Chrome over the next year, IDFAs diminish, and CTV usage increase exponentially, we’re going to see a renaissance of people-based identity and a revived open internet that is much more competitive with Walled Gardens.

What’s the silver bullet for replacing third-party identifiers?

No single identity solution will rule them all and there’s no silver bullet. Marketers and publishers should be prepared to use a blend of people-based identity and contextual solutions. Authenticated inventory is the new 100% measurable and addressable gold standard; while it might not have the same scale as third-party cookies, the addressable reach will be better. We’ve found that there are no scale issues with campaigns that rely on people-based identity, and audience-driven campaigns are able to access inventory and match rates that are actually much higher than achieved with third-party cookies.  The more we lean into transparency, and rebuild consumer trust and first-party data relationships, the more scale brands will see on authenticated inventory.

Walled Gardens still maintain identity market share, but for how long?

We know that buying on Google search, YouTube, and Facebook works. They offer 100% addressable inventory; Search is mostly logged in, Facebook is 100% logged in—and they took over 80 cents of every new advertiser dollar this past year. But measurement is restricted and not transparent, and Walled Gardens only account for 50% of people’s time spent on the internet. People-based identity creates an opportunity for marketer dollars to begin shifting and flowing more to the open internet.

What should be at the top of every CMO’s identity to-do list?

With less than one year until the massive transition away from third-party cookies— and just months or weeks away from an anticipated reduction in IDFAs—no time can be wasted.  You don’t want to be the person next January who goes from buying entirely on third-party cookies to buying entirely on people-based identity within a day. Find partners now that enable cookieless targeting and measurement. The reward will be better return-on-advertising-spend and a better consumer experience.

What’s your recommended timeline for future-proofing identity?

  • January-March: Create a project plan and start migrating your budget to future-proof media activation and measurement. Evaluate your goals and KPIs for inventory that doesn’t have IDFAs or cookies. Make sure you’re doing a vendor audit, and audit all the tags on your web pages and workflows. 
  • April-September: Migration should be well underway and completed by back-to-school season. Remember that identity extends beyond just targeting—it’s also measurement and personalization. If you use retargeting and suppression strategies, ensure that they’re functioning.
  • October-December: You should be fully migrated away from third-party cookies. The fourth quarter of 2021 is the era of code freeze. You don’t want to optimize vendors and alternate campaigns then. You need to be completely focused on having a cookieless solution in place.
  • January 2022: Third-party cookies are officially gone.

How do you stay current on industry trends?

We have folks in D.C. that keep tabs on the latest policies coming out of the Capitol as well as the different state legislatures. We also keep a close eye on global legislation and regulatory changes, such as the ICO GDPR interpretations in the UK. Additionally, we belong to a number of industry coalitions such as the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM), DAA, W3C, the IAB Tech Lab, and the Chamber of Commerce.

What innovations is LiveRamp spearheading beyond the desktop?

We have ambitious international expansion goals so all marketers can advertise anywhere in the world using LiveRamp’s identifier. Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) is an omni-channel solution that enables publishers to connect their authenticated users to pseudonymized identifiers. ATS enables marketers to reach consumers without the use of an IDFA, IP address, or third-party cookie. CTV providers can use their deterministic logins to connect their incredibly valuable inventory directly to marketer demand and, at the same time, ensure a seamless value exchange with their customers. Additionally, for app-only publishers, we recently announced OnDevice ATS, which takes a mobile-specific approach to media and identity. 

To learn more about how the strategic partnership between Amobee and LiveRamp can help you buy, measure, and personalize advertising across all channels with people-based identity, please reach out to us at solutions@amobee.com.

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