All Aboard The LiveRamp Train. Next Stop Ensighten

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LiveRampEnsightenNo rest for LiveRamp.

The Acxiom-owned data onboarding company announced a new partnership Thursday with enterprise tag-management provider Ensighten – the third such alliance in just a little over a week.

Prior to the Ensighten deal, LiveRamp joined up with video firm Eyeview and location-focused mobile ad company xAd, both examples, said LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman, of his company’s efforts to remain the Switzerland of data.

“The rationale for the acquisition by Acxiom is that LiveRamp would serve everyone equally,” Hoffman said. “The goal is to build the pipes, but then to give everyone access to them.”

Here’s how this partnership works: Ensighten collects first-party data for its clients across channels, and LiveRamp syndicates those segments across roughly 100 exchanges, networks and publishers with the aim of more personalized communications.

Ensighten founder and CEO Josh Manion analogized this partnership to plumbing: If Ensighten controls the plumbing to the people (sites, apps, etc.) inside a particular house, then LiveRamp can connect that house to the city’s water main.

The partnership is designed to allow Ensighten clients – which include Expedia, Hotels.com, Microsoft, Staples, Subaru and United – to take any of the first-party data that they’ve collected through the Ensighten platform, be it online, offline or mobile, and tap LiveRamp to optimize their campaigns across platforms. In other words, the “ability to extend reach and eliminate the costs of switching between networks,” Manion said.

For instance, if Network A performs better than Network B, advertisers should be able to shuffle budget without financial or technical roadblocks.

“Today, marketers work with, say, about 10 partners and they’re worried about lock in,” said Manion, who predicts that number will rapidly “balloon to 20, 50, 100 partners or more” when advertisers have the freedom to manage their data based on whatever makes sense for specific campaigns.

“The moment an ad is displayed or a visitor has an interaction through a particular channel, the Ensighten platform collects that information and adds it back to the first-party profile,” Manion said. “LiveRamp takes the actions across dozens, if not hundreds, of different partners and pools all of that data back into a central repository that the enterprise owns. Each future interaction is therefore more intelligent, as opposed to having all of that information stuck in silos.”

Ideally, this gives advertisers more control over their data assets.

“There are thousands of marketing applications out there, and it’s unfair to ask customers to only use one, because there are so many great ones and there’s no reason not to use hundreds of them,” Hoffman said. “Instead of going to one company and getting 100% of what you need, in the future I see marketers going through many specialized companies to get what they need piece by piece – and they’ll all be linked together with data.”

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