The marketing-data giant Acxiom said today that a new system from its LiveRamp subsidiary will let advertisers continuously track, target and measure the same consumer across mobile and desktop devices, targeted TV spots and in-store transactions.
The system takes LiveRamp's original data on-boarding service, which connects advertisers' offline CRM data with digital identifiers in order to target individuals in digital channels, to a more sophisticated level. When the new system ingests consumer data such as transactional information, it strips out identifiers and returns an anonymized ID that can be used to target and measure marketing campaigns across an array of tech platforms including ComScore, Kantar Shopcom, Krux, MediaMath, Nielsen, TransUnion and Videology.
"What we actually return is a linked file to marketers which actually tells them the different touchpoints are the same consumer," said Travis May, a president and GM at LiveRamp. "We give that to marketers, the linked file that gives them the common token, the person-level token that they can use to recognize the same person in every marketing touchpoint that they have."
LiveRamp, which is participating in Ad Age's Data Conference on Oct. 8 in New Yok, began building the Customer Link capability in January and began testing with clients in April. Pilot partners included American Express, Kellogg's, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, TD Ameritrade, Sony and TiVo.
To promote Kellogg's Rice Krispies as an ingredient for goodies like Rice Krispies Treats, the brand came to Nielsen Catalina Solutions earlier this year seeking a way to reach potential buyers based on whether they bought Rice Krispies during the 2014 holiday season. And it wanted to use mobile to do it, via Opera Mediaworks. Without consistently linked consumer identities across all marketing touchpoints and taking into account multiple devices in the same shopping household, said Adam Paulisick, senior VP marketing and strategy for NCS, "You can't see it over the lifecycle of the purchase of the product."
After adding LiveRamp's new product to the mix of companies, an eight-week campaign targeting 3.5 million households lifted Rice Krispies sales 28%, LiveRamp said.
When Acxiom bought LiveRamp last May for around $310 million, Acxiom's CEO said it was part of the company's goal to be a tech-agnostic data-linking platform, suggesting, "Someone needs to emerge as Switzerland."
Yesterday one of Acxiom's biggest rivals in the data broker space, Epsilon, announced its ShopperView product for cross-channel shopper insights and ad delivery via its own partnership for retail transactional data with NCS.
Cross-channel marketing services are growing in popularity, but matching data sets existing within several corporate silos is no simple or cheap task. So, for now, the sorts of holistic marketing systems offered by data giants like Acxiom and Epsilon are typically the turf of the largest brands with the resources and budgets to invest in a massive data matching undertaking.
Noting such offerings still involve "messiness" due to the volume and scale of the data, said Mr. Paulisick, referred to them as "a little bit pricier."
At Ad Age's Data Conference on Oct. 8 in New York, LiveRamp will be participating in a panel, All Aboard: Offline Data Moves Online. The panel will discuss how brands are using offline data to target and measure omni-channel campaigns. Register today at: adage.com/events/data-conference-2015