Intensely Investigating Identity Issues

On top of their pandemic woes, publishers need to begin preparing for Life Beyond Cookies—key to that will be identity marketing and traffic authentication, but our most recent PubForum in Santa Monica showed me there’s a great deal of confusion about these concepts.

To prepare for our webinar on Debunking Authentication Myths on Wednesday, May 20 (register now!), I caught up with LiveRamp SVP and Head of Publishers Jason White to clear up some questions about identity, privacy, and… and well, just exactly what role LiveRamp serves in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Gavin Dunaway: LiveRamp labels itself as a “data connectivity platform,” but I think there’s a lot of confusion about where you guys fit in the space. You’re not a DMP or a data merchant—how do you quickly explain the service you offer the digital advertising ecosystem, and why is it particularly necessary at this moment?

Jason White: Correct, we’re not a DMP or a data merchant as these categories do not cover the breadth of what we do. Our vision is to make data safe and easy for companies to use data effectively. By enabling the safe and effective use of data, we help our customers deliver more meaningful experiences and generate better outcomes and higher ROI.

Companies turn to LiveRamp because we are the safe and neutral choice to enable their omnichannel customer data strategies. We are uniquely positioned to be the standard for connected data in the ecosystem.

While many companies, including DMPs and data merchants, create value for brands, none of them solve the most fundamental problem—disconnected and disparate data. Marketers don’t want to have to navigate an ecosystem of more than 5,000 tech partners in addition to privacy, regulatory and security requirements.

They want solutions that work—a way to organize their customer data to power the customer experience. Connectivity is the currency for personalizing interactions across channels, devices, and tech platforms for the largest companies.

As part of our product and technology roadmap to standardize data connectivity, LiveRamp enables advertisers to target and measure their campaigns cross-platform. Our Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) product enables publishers to monetize their cookie-less inventory regardless of platform. That simple.

Today ATS helps Advertisers and Publishers “connect” in Safari and Firefox as well as App and CTV. When Google Chrome gets rid of third-party cookies, we will connect advertisers and marketers there as well.

GD: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions publishers have about identity solutions and identity resolution?

JW: They think that they don’t have enough, or a small amount isn’t valuable. With Identity-Link-targeted campaigns being nearly double Chrome CPMs and Cookieless Browser CPMs being 52% lower than Chrome, the incremental revenue opportunity for publishers is significant.

GD: Is there a “right number” of identity partners?

JW: You should partner with only those identity partners that can show they have real advertiser demand, scale, and are secure from a consumer privacy perspective.

GD: There are fears that by embracing identity marketing, we’re trading invasive third-party cookies for something that could be considered even less privacy-friendly. Can you allay some of those concerns?

JW: We are considered a service provider in the eyes of CCPA because of how we handle PII and that is we never store PII nor do we pass PII or even hashed emails, only IDLs that are unique to each name source and can only be decrypted by LiveRamp.

GD:  Mozilla announced a browser add-on called Private Relay that enables easy creation of email aliases for users that don’t want to hand out their actual email. Apple also has a similar service in the works. Couldn’t widespread use have a highly detrimental effect on traffic authentication and identity resolution in general?

JW: The reality is we expect to see a very low level of adoption of these browser add-ons as only the extremely tech-savvy would be interested and have the ability to operate these features.

Oh, did we mention to sign up for our webinar with LiveRamp, Debunking Authentication Myths, on Wednesday, May 20 at 1 pm EST? And how it features speakers like News Corp’s Chris Guenther and MediaMath’s Jeremy Steinberg? We did? Good on us!