Since the first cookie dropped on a browser, publishers have been obsessed with their first-party data—almost to a fault. By focusing on crunching their first-party data and arranging them into proprietary segments, publishers lost sight of their advertisers’ larger goals.
“Trust us,” said the publisher. “We know our audience.”
That may be true, but that knowledge couldn’t really be shared in a language that advertisers and other parties in the transaction could understand. It’s limiting.
One of the most important reasons for publishers to jump on the identity train is to get connected to the advertisers’ bigger targeting picture. To understand just how identity accomplishes this, behold the eighth wonder of the world: the Identity Pyramid. This lists the various identity signals in terms of prevalence (most at the bottom) and value (least valuable at the bottom, most at the top).
- At the bottom, cookies are the most prevalent form of identifier, dropped on various browsers. A cookie is a very limited proxy for an individual.
- Next are the browsers themselves—typically multiple ones per device, diluting their usefulness.
- Up another rung are devices, which each individual typically has a few of (and may even share). So a device does not necessarily equal an…
- Individual, which you might think would be on top, but where do individuals congregate?
- That’s right, a household—but why is a household more valuable than an individual? Advertisers can reach multiple individuals, and households tend to make economic decisions together. Marketing individuals with household data attached is far more powerful than individual alone.
Crystal clear? I bet not—that’s why we wrote a playbook about identity with our pals at Lotame. This quick but insightful read will help you wrap your head around identity, understand all the elements within it, and how to choose identity partners.
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