LiveRamp extends its multi-channel identity resolution service to its clients

The Acxiom-owned data onboarder is launching IdentityLink so that client companies can target individuals both offline and online.

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Data onboarding service LiveRamp is launching its biggest service expansion yet, making its identity resolution service available to client companies.

Owned by marketing data provider Acxiom, Liveramp is launching IdentityLink so that the service — which links data across channels to generate individual customer profiles — can now be used by clients for their own cross-channel advertising and marketing.

Previously, chief product officer Anneka Gupta told me, LiveRamp’s clients would assemble first-party profiles of its customers from its own data, and sometimes overlay them with second- and third-party data.

That collection of data would then be given to LiveRamp to create more robust single-identity profiles that link data between offline and online sources around key identifiers like email address, name/street address, or phone number.

This identity-linking capability is now available to client companies for their own profiles, for any channel and using any offline or online data.

The result is what LiveRamp and others call “people-based marketing,” because the profiles reflect individuals’ activities in offline stores, web surfing, and other channels. As LiveRamp CEO Travis May wrote in a blog post announcing the new service:

“IdentityLink enables our customers to resolve the hundreds of different identifiers for consumers used on devices, marketing platforms, and in their own internal systems to a real person in a privacy-compliant manner.

“It doesn’t matter if data is offline or online, first-party CRM or third party behavioral, online exposure data or mobile app download data—all of it can be tied back to a unique, privacy-safe identifier at the consumer level.

Everyone has some of the pieces, we put them together to create a complete and accurate picture.”

Although they are based on actual identities, the LiveRamp profiles are anonymized before they were handled off to a demand-side platform like MediaMath for targeting of ads across desktop and mobile web, and mobile apps.

A retailer, for instance, might now use IdentityLink to resolve data from a wide range of sources — its own customer list from physical store sales, logged-on website traffic, customer service calls, and so on — into profiles that reflect each customer’s activity across channels.

These omnichannel profiles can then be used to consistently market across channels to those people, just as Facebook or Google can market to its massive base of identified subscribers across channels. Facebook and Google’s growing footprints in people-based targeting has raised concerns among many publishers, because they dominate targeted marketing.

LiveRamp, of course, is not the only identity-resolution provider outside of Facebook and Google. Some, like Drawbridge, specialize in cross-device identity, matching the same user — logged in or not — across a desktop computer, smartphone, and tablet. Others, like Viant (now owned by Time) and Publishers Clearinghouse also offer massive people-based profiles that grow individual profiles through the linking of data across multiple channels, centered around Viant’s and Publishers’ Clearinghouse’s huge member/subscriber lists.

Gupta said that LiveRamp’s IdentityLink has a greater scope than non-Facebook/Google competitors. This includes, she said, the ability to offer this people-based targeting across the marketing platforms of hundreds of partners like retargeter Criteo that, combined, can reach over a billion devices.

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About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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