Delivering first-party addressability at scale

Delivering first-party addressability at scale
Richard Foster
Thursday, September 17, 2020

The greatest challenge facing traditional media owners right now is the ability to offer their advertising clients a directly addressable first-party audience at scale. 

Addressability has previously been achieved through proxies for identity, namely the third-party cookie. But the introduction of stricter privacy legislation and with all the major browser providers ending their support of these third-party IDs, media owners must now implement new strategies to offer brands an authenticated audience to target against.

To combat this loss of addressable inventory, all media owners are on a journey from ‘unknown’ to ‘known’, building up their declared audiences. This transition is achieved through the collection of authenticated first-party data, often through registration mechanics or subscriptions.

However, the building of a scaled first-party authenticated audience takes time, and it is clear that if third-party IDs dropped out of existence tomorrow, most media owners would struggle to maintain current display ad revenues. It is likely that the lack of audience definition that these media owners could offer would result in a significant loss of CPMs, as we’ve seen in Safari, where media owners have seen a reduction in revenue of 52% on average*. 

All media owners must therefore find solutions to more quickly build authenticated audiences, and at the same time test a range of alternative solutions to help them provide addressability at scale to their advertising partners. 

What does this mean for advertisers?

On the brand side of the advertising equation, marketers are going to lose the audience definition that they have thus far relied on to deliver targeted advertising. This means that they will be targeting with much less precision and personalisation.

This is likely to mean that marketers shift ad spend to contextual based solutions, or to the walled garden platforms and publishers which already have significant authenticated audiences that won’t be affected by the changes to third-party IDs. 

Clearly the challenge for brands is that consumers do not spend every moment of their day inside the walled gardens. Marketers will still want to reach their customers and prospects in clean, well-lit environments that have been traditionally offered by media owners. 

It is in everyone’s best interest to find another path forward. 

Enter Experian Match powered by InfoSum

This week, Experian launched Match, a totally new type of identity resolution. Powered by InfoSum’s decentralised marketing infrastructure, this privacy-first solution uses first-party IDs and IP address only to enable media owners to match and make available authenticated audiences at scale. The key difference with Match is that it does not require a login or registration from a user and so has the potential to make up to 100% of a media owner’s audiences identifiable. Match also works across all browsers. For the first time in a long time, media owners will possess the opportunity to compete with the walled gardens on a more level playing field.

While IP based identity resolution has previously existed, what makes Experian Match so unique is that it allows brands to match their customers against a media owner’s audience without either data set ever being shared with the other party. 

By removing the need to move data between the various parties, Experian Match is able to bring both advertisers and media owners to market considerably faster than traditional solutions, by removing the burden of compliance - legal reviews, privacy and security questionnaires - that would usually exist for legacy Identity solutions which rely on data centralisation (or pooling) to function. 

Why is this better for consumers?

With the challenges that surround the building of addressability at scale, many other solutions are coming to market that rely on opaque methods of identity resolution, often referred to as Fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is difficult for consumers to detect and even harder to opt-out of. 

Through the combination of Experian and InfoSum, Match provides the most privacy-friendly solution for consumers. Through rigorous consent mechanisms, consumers have full control over how their data is collected by both the media owners and the brands. And because InfoSum’s decentralised marketing infrastructure removes the need to share data, consumers can have complete confidence that they know where how their data is being used

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