LiveRamp VP of Strategic Partnerships, Travis Clinger, highlights how marketers can leverage people-based marketing campaigns in the Open Internet, and why the Advertising ID Consortium addresses several shortcomings that have long plagued the platform
Over the last few years, advertising dollars have increasingly flowed to platforms that pioneered the ability for a marketer to directly engage customers. In 2017, two internet giants in particular comprised over 63 percent of all U.S. digital ad spend. This type of marketing, which has become known as ‘people-based,’ has proven to be extraordinarily effective at building loyalty, reaching high-value segments, and saving spend on non-targeted audiences. The core capabilities that enable platforms to offer people-based marketing are their scale and ability to resolve identity. At the same time, the technical foundation of programmatic advertising remained based on cookies, which are not people-based. This has made it difficult for the companies of the Open Internet to respond to shifting advertiser demand.
While the majority of new marketing spend is limited to two platforms today, the Open Internet and increasingly advanced inventory, such as connected TV, represent the majority of time a user spends online. Marketers want the same functionality on the Open Internet that they have with the largest platforms. Further, that functionality should be easily accessible, and transparently and independently measurable. The Advertising ID Consortium looks to achieve these goals.
Open Internet, Open Inventory
One of the landmark events that brought together participants from the Open Internet in the last year was the establishment of the Advertising ID Consortium. The Advertising ID Consortium represents the vast majority of ad inventory supply on the Open Internet.
The idea was to make more inventory available to marketers and allow marketers the ability to buy and measure inventory using a people-based ID. Today, over 30 companies have joined, including all five established supply-side platforms. This goes a long way in repudiating the tactical shortcomings of the Open Internet—lower match rates, ineffective leveling of data, device-based inventory, etc. As well, all companies participating in the Advertising ID Consortium are required to comply with regional and federal privacy regulations, which is critically important in a GDPR world.
The Advertising ID Consortium’s identity framework consolidates the many cookies of the ad tech ecosystem to just a few. This provides scale for advertisers and more demand for publishers, and crucially, it improves the overall consumer experience, as fewer cookie syncs result in better page loading and fewer entities tracking. Further, all inventory from the Advertising ID Consortium’s supply-side members is people-based with the inclusion of its people-based identifier in bid requests—a significant consideration, given that approximately $125M a day in programmatic sales flows through the Open Internet.
“There is strong demand in the programmatic ecosystem for data and identity resolution solutions for the Open Internet that provide marketers with the quality, scale and transparency they need. Over the coming years, we’re going to increasingly see the largest publishers and advertisers deepen their relationships with independent partners that can deliver value, and bolster the success of their campaigns that fall outside of walled garden environments,” said Jason Fairchild, co-founder of OpenX. “The Advertising ID Consortium allows them to do just that by making it easier to transact programmatically based on data-driven insights that now rival, or exceed, the largest platforms in quality and scale.”
As the industry collectively moves toward people-based inventory, and as new markets emerge and evolve—like advanced TV, with an infrastructure predicated on cookie-less inventory—people-based inventory becomes table stakes. Without an option like the Advertising ID Consortium, the only alternative for advertisers would be device-based inventory, which would mean less addressable inventory, and lower match rates.
“An open digital media future requires that the full supply chain can measure impact and ROI. To do this, there is an undeniable need for collaboration across the ad tech ecosystem. The Advertising ID Consortium has provided a better way that empowers publishers and media buyers with effective solutions and addressable premium inventory at scale across channel, screen and format and ultimately fosters a stronger connection between consumers, content and brands,” said Anand Das, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of PubMatic.
People-Based Inventory: A People-Pleaser
Platforms, publishers, brands and technology providers aren’t the only ones to benefit from the Open Internet movement. Consumers are direct beneficiaries as well. Consumers expect more relevant advertising and personalized experiences. They also want more control and more choices. As a consumer, I can opt out at the PII-level. But if I opt out at the cookie level, it’s at hundreds of levels, which makes it far more difficult to truly opt out. The same does not apply to people-based inventory. As a consumer, if I opt-out at the people-based level, that is only one touchpoint. People-based inventory not only delivers the desired level of control and more choices to the consumer, but it also maximizes the effectiveness of the ads that are being served to a consumer at the people-based level. This is all done in a privacy and GDPR-compliant way.
“I believe unifying around identity is the single most positive step we can make as an industry to avoid over-reliance on the largest walled gardens. Specifically, with TV, this is an area no one currently holds a meaningful advantage, and the Advertising ID Consortium gives best-in-class independents a chance to plant the first and very important stake in solving this for marketers,” said Jay Friedman, President of Goodway Group.
In order to future-proof their business, demand-side and supply-side platforms alike will need to adapt their platforms to become people-based. The same can be said for marketers who will need to bring people-based marketing into the fold, or risk becoming eclipsed amidst new and emerging technologies. The continued development and expansion of the Advertising ID Consortium, for now at least, is the only viable solution to safeguard the success of DSPs and SSPs, and to keep the Open Internet thriving.