Experian Marketing Services Rolls Out Device Recognition Offering Via AdTruth

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Nadya-KohlThree months after acquiring its parent company, 41st Parameter, Experian Marketing Services clients can now incorporate AdTruth’s cross-device recognition technology into their marketing campaigns, the company said Thursday.

Founded in 2010, AdTruth lets advertisers identify users across platforms and mobile devices by connecting those devices to a user ID for retargeting purposes. AdTruth’s other offerings include campaign performance tracking, frequency capping and analytics on device activities.

Experian plans to let AdTruth continue to function as it had and eventually integrate it into Experian’s brand within the next six to 12 months, said Nadya Kohl, VP of global strategy and business development at Experian Marketing Services.

One of the main benefits to adding AdTruth to its marketing stack, Kohl said, is that clients will be able to leverage AdTruth’s technology along with Experian’s extensive consumer databases.

“Experian Marketing Service has a lot of clients that use our data, "she said, "and while AdTruth does not use PII [personally identifiable information], what the clients can do is use AdTruth’s device-recognition identifier for their own purposes and unify it with other mechanisms, such as cookie IDs, and make connections that allow them to engage in segmentation, analysis, retargeting.”

Experian faces competition from other companies that have supplemented their ad-targeting capabilities with cross-device recognition technology. Last year, Exelate announced a partnership with AdTruth’s competitor, Drawbridge, and ad agency VivaKi integrated Adelphic Mobile’s device ID technology into its custom audience segmentations for retargeting campaigns.

Companies that offer ad-retargeting services must also contend with increasing scrutiny from privacy advocates. California enacted a law that went into action this month that requires websites that collect personal information about users to disclose how they respond to a Web browser’s Do Not Track (DNT) signal and if third parties can also collect that information.

In a hearing about the operations of data brokers, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) also singled out Experian Marketing Services, Acxiom and Epsilon for reportedly not providing satisfactory explanations of its business practices. AdTruth has been involved in the consumer privacy issue, engaging with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), TRUSTe and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA).

In a panel discussion about cross-device recognition trends at the AdExchanger Industry Preview, tech providers agreed that privacy is an important factor in the marketing industry’s development.

“Marketers believe that harmonizing messages and offers across devices has an impact in terms of customer experience, but you have to do this in a way that’s privacy-sensitive,” Kohl said. “There are also explicit risks in getting it wrong. … Nobody wants to touch privacy because it’s super scary.”

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