Acxiom’s LiveRamp Acquires Pacific Data Partners To Power B2B Identity

LiveRamp has acquired B2B audience marketplace Pacific Data Partners to boost its B2B data footprint, the company said Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company’s co-founders, Pieter De Temmerman and Grant Ries, both formerly of BlueKai and Oracle Data Cloud, will join LiveRamp to expand its IdentityLink business and its B2B data store.

Pacific Data Partners aggregates anonymized data from B2B providers, which it claims improves match rates against online profiles for professionals. But B2B data generally has a scale problem.

“There just hasn’t been a large enough variety of B2B data available at scale or in ways marketers are able to use effectively,” De Temmerman said.

B2B marketers often don’t have access to large, verifiable audiences once they’ve onboarded their first-party data.

What made Pacific Data Partners particularly attractive to LiveRamp, however, was that it had access to large, anonymized data sets and started to provide more transparency into its data sources.

“People want to understand what you’re doing [with data] and why you’re doing it,” said Jeff Smith, LiveRamp’s CMO and GM of brands. “There’s been so much hype around third-party data that once LiveRamp has aggregated data for marketers to use, they’ll know we’ve vetted it, that it’s ethically sourced and there won’t be any risk in using it.” 

LiveRamp originated as a pure-play data onboarder, but recently it’s started to expand its data marketplace. But Smith emphasized the company doesn’t take a position in data and it’s not getting into media activation.

Instead, LiveRamp integrates its identity resolution service with major DSPs and data management platforms, which marketers and publishers use to activate audience segments within their own platform.

So DSPs and DMPs can go to LiveRamp’s data store and essentially cherry-pick which data they want to use for marketing, De Temmerman said. “We’re not really promoting one data provider or another in this case.”

While LiveRamp and IdentityLink – now known as Acxiom’s Connectivity business – command the smallest portion of Acxiom’s revenue (it did $147 million in revenue in 2017 compared to Acxiom’s marketing services business, which banked $411 million last year), Connectivity is Acxiom’s growth engine.

As of last week, the company also consolidated all of Acxiom’s identity assets under the LiveRamp brand, according to Smith, when the company announced plans for a strategic review of marketing services and some audience solutions assets.

“When you think about all of this third-party data, LiveRamp was already kind of taking the lead on that for Acxiom with the IdentityLink data store, and Pacific Data Partners is another key addition,” Smith said.

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