Will the Advertising ID Consortium Solve Marketers' Audience Identity Problems?

Will the Advertising ID Consortium Solve Marketers' Audience Identity Problems?

  • In recent years, a few ID consortiums launched to give advertisers an audience identification alternative to the Facebook-Google duopoly.
  • This summer, two consortiums joined forces. And a few weeks ago, they launched their first commercial proof of concept.
  • Travis Clinger, vice president of strategic partnerships at LiveRamp, spoke with eMarketer about what’s next for ID consortiums.

The Advertising ID Consortium is getting off the ground after an eventful 2018: MediaMath's co-founder departed the organization, AppNexus vacated its board seat after getting bought by AT&T, and the consortium integrated with DigiTrust a few months after the fellow ID group was acquired by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab. In addition, the consortium launched its first commercial proof of concept in late November.

ID consortiums have cropped up as a solution to accurately identifying audiences outside of the Google-Facebook duopoly, which is a pain point for many advertisers.

In a July 2018 survey of 408 marketing industry professionals in North America conducted by Winterberry Group and Data & Marketing Association (DMA), just one in seven respondents said that they are able to identify their audience members extremely well. Most respondents indicated that they can identify their audience fairly or somewhat well.

The study predicted that spending on identity solutions among US marketers will grow from $900 million in 2018 to $2.6 billion in 2022.

Of course, advertisers should proceed with caution when using data to try to identify people. In a May 2018 poll of 1,000 US consumers by ExpressVPN, seven in 10 respondents were worried about how brands collect their personal data. And dozens of companies came under fire after a report from The New York Times revealed that the so-called anonymous data that advertisers purchase could still be used to identity individuals.

Other privacy regulation issues, like the EU’s General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR), have forced some data onboarding companies to rethink their opt-in strategies. But according to LiveRamp, the ID consortium only collects identity data and avoids profile-level data. The company also lets users opt out of its cookies.

LiveRamp’s Travis Clinger spoke to eMarketer about the what the Advertising ID Consortium group is up to.

Why do marketers want more centralized audience identifiers?

The loss in match rate can be significant between vendors. Imagine a marketer swarmed by data that has only a 60% match rate between the demand-side platform (DSP) and data-management platform (DMP). If you were targeting a million people, you’d end up with fewer than a half million of your original sample.

Now that the Advertising ID Consortium has collaborated with DigiTrust, how many audience identifiers do those groups offer prospective clients?

There are three cookie spaces—The AppNexus ID, The Trade Desk ID and the DigiTrust ID. The idea is that the industry moves from transacting off just our own proprietary cookies to transacting off these common cookies, and this could help create a common cookie identity framework.

Why does the consortium offer three identifiers instead of just one?

There a few reason why we have more than one cookie. If anything bad happens to a cookie, you need another one that you can quickly move over to. There is also a competitive concern that it is good to have more than one.

AppNexus and The Trade Desk are both making their cookies available publicly. And then DigiTrust has a membership method where you pay to have access to its cookie. And the reason for paying to access DigiTrust's cookie is, if you get it, it is 100% neutral, and you're actually paying to support the technical infrastructure for that cookie. All three cookies will be able to interact.

But didn’t AppNexus pull out of the consortium when it was acquired by AT&T?

AppNexus withdrew from its leadership role in the consortium. However, AppNexus has continued to support the cause of the consortium and is not planning to take away its domain.

What's the timeline for having the consortium’s products publicly available?

By the end of January you are going to see us out of beta and fully available with some platforms.