Colin Grieves, Managing Director of Marketing Services, Experian
It’s the start of a new year but the same fundamental challenges facing the digital advertising industry remain. With the declining influence of third-party cookie identifiers in Google Chrome on the horizon and the end of Apple’s IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) in-app from this month, online publishers have to deal with a looming advertising revenue crisis.
First-party solutions offered by media owners are important but limited. Publishers are already embarking on the journey of building their first-party audiences based on increasing registrations, but in the short term, as they rely on users being logged in, these audiences are likely to lack the scale that marketers need.
The industry has been rushing to develop solutions that meet these challenges and whilst some existing capabilities may help the industry, there are limitations. Experian has developed a different approach, one that meets the technology challenges, achieves scale and most importantly puts privacy and consumer transparency at its heart.
We believe Experian Match will be a critical solution for the future. Built on the InfoSum infrastructure, Match removes the need for both third-party cookies and registration data to solve the identity problem, giving publishers almost immediate scalability that was previously impossible to achieve and brands greater insight into the audiences they want to reach.
By matching existing first-party IDs from publishers and overlaying them with Experian socio-demographic data, Match delivers meaningful insights about the likely characteristics of an online audience regardless of web browser and device. It means it is no longer necessary for website data to be continually shared between publishers and advertisers. This has to be a positive step for those organisations, but also critically for consumers.
Unlike increasingly common ‘Universal ID’ solutions which typically rely on a consumer registration, Match performs without the need for a logged-in audience. Where publishers and advertisers are already using or are in the process of implementing authenticated Universal ID solutions, Match can also work in conjunction and complement these other solutions.
In contrast, other solutions in-market, such as those which rely on device ‘fingerprinting’, are going to be short-lived by failing to meet data privacy and consumer transparency requirements. Achieving greater scale is a fundamental objective for any privacy-centric solution looking to maintain a strong degree of audience fidelity.
Match will help publishers increase the size of their inventory enriched with data, achieving greater reach and revenue. At the same time, Match will help advertisers to ensure the audiences they want to engage are not compromised in volume and are within the boundaries of their preferred target audience. This means advertisers are not over saturating their target segments, which means more relevant and more effective ads. But throughout the process, the consumer is in control.
The future is here
The declining relevance of third-party cookies has caused great concern for both online publishers and advertisers. On the user side concerns over transparency, privacy and how behaviour is tracked online has become increasingly part of the wider digital debate.
Match solves both these issues. It is a genuine game-changer for the online ecosystem, giving richer, relevant insights to audiences at a scalable level, while at the same time, putting control in the hands of the consumer. A win-win for everyone.