How Will the New Co-op Benefit the DMP Landscape?

More businesses are realizing that, to fully articulate the complete customer journey at every touchpoint, you need measurement and targeting tools that give you an understanding of your consumers’ “cross-device identity.”

The majority of your consumers today are using smartphones and five or six other screens in their digital life. In the course of a typical day, a user might use a smartphone, a tablet, a desktop computer, a laptop, a wearable health device, and an RFID-enabled identity card at work, each generating its own data stream containing preferences and behaviors.

Sharing this device graph information among co-op members and matching it to the same person substantially increases the information you have about your consumers’ preferences and online behaviors—while not actually revealing consumer information. A vast array of marketing and targeting opportunities can result. If your consumer starts brand research on a smartphone, continues it on a tablet, and then finishes with a purchase on a desktop, you are missing conversion opportunities if you don’t understand the cross-device linkages that let you follow consumers across digital touchpoints.

Today’s marketing strategies involve disperse data sets across any number of first-, second-, and third-party data providers. A data management platform (DMP) consolidates these datasets and manages the segmentation and identity definition of users, enabling cohesive audience targeting across all of the various channels where you might be engaging with a consumer.

Users are demanding highly personalized experiences as they engage with their multiple devices across channels. Without a DMP, communication with your consumers becomes fragmented and it is very difficult to create a more unified experience.

But recognizing your same consumer across devices is challenging. Cookies don’t work well in a mobile environment, so two other methods have evolved to track user movement between devices.

The more reliable and exact method is known as deterministic tracking, relying on personally identifiable information (PII) to match users with devices. When someone logs into an account on a smartphone and then logs into the same account on a laptop or desktop, a cross-device linkage is created. As long as they stay logged in, advertisers can target those consumers on multiple screens with considerable accuracy and understand more about their online behavior. As an advertiser, you have to have a large user base in order for this information to have real value.

The other method is known as probabilistic cross-device matching. Analyzing thousands of anonymous data points, this method creates likely matches between devices. IP addresses, device type, Web browser, even lists of installed fonts, are used to create a digital fingerprint that links one individual to various devices. The data is fed into a statistical model that infers which user is using which device. Providers of this service say the accuracy is anywhere from 70 percent to 90 percent.

Up until now, if you wanted cross-device targeted advertising solutions, you had to work with just a few of the big companies who have large numbers of users required to log in to use their services. You give your data to them, but they don’t share any with you! They have become known as “walled gardens.” These companies are also major sellers of digital media.

Adobe has been working on a new initiative – and Adobe Marketing Cloud Audience Manager users will begin using it later this year – known as the Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op. Here’s the idea: With this Co-op, Adobe will establish a network that will enable the largest global brands to collaborate to better market to people as opposed to a disjointed pile of devices they use, while ensuring the highest level of privacy and transparency. The Co-op will empower participating brands to deliver more personalized experiences to consumers across devices and applications at massive scale.

As brands provide Adobe with their piece of the cross-device puzzle through cryptographically hashed login IDs, Adobe will process this data to form device clusters, which represent a group of devices used by an unknown persona or household. These device clusters will be given to Co-op members to link devices they’ve already seen visit their sites or advertising, and used to provide their consumers with a better, more consistent and relevant cross-device experience. Other Co-op members will never have access to personal or site visit data, targeting segments, or any other user-level data from the other Co-op members. They will only be able to access the linkages that have been established between their existing consumers’ multiple devices. The Co-op will provide unprecedented transparency by giving consumers insights into participating brands as well as all devices the Co-op associates with the device currently being used.

Adobe’s new Co-op will provide the opportunity to scale authenticated deterministic data, sharing the device linkages based on authentication at a scale not previously possible. In fact, early measurements indicate that Adobe’s Co-op could link up to 1.2 billion devices seen by Co-op members.

The Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op will provide a better alternative to walled garden providers, opening up a powerful stream of marketing opportunities that will provide insight at a level not typically available.