Resolving Identity, With Advertiser Perceptions VP Lauren Fisher

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This week on AdExchanger Talks, Advertiser Perceptions VP of Business Intelligence Lauren Fisher walks us through her company’s recent study on identity resolution solutions, sharing insights gleaned from more than 300 advertisers, marketers and agencies in the United States. (AdExchanger members can download a free executive summary of the report. Learn more.)

Fisher notes “identity resolution” is a broad-based term, covering a variety of tactics and data types. Among the use cases: buying targeted ads from a single platform, deduping online audiences across platforms and combining online data with offline data for the purposes of measurement.

“No one provider can provide a full end-to-end experience for identity across every single piece of the ecosystem,” she says. “You have pure play specialists who focus largely on identity. You have data enrichment providers who have a lot of data. You have identity resolution capabilities from marketing clouds. And you have the ad tech players and platforms.”

Respondents say they use an average of 4.1 identity resolution providers, and the 10 most frequently used providers include the triopoly (Google, Facebook and Amazon), the “big three” marketing clouds (Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle) and a smattering of independent ad tech companies (including The Trade Desk and LiveRamp).

The study also tried to assess marketer optimism about the biggest question in ad tech: Will the industry come up with a replacement for the third-party cookie and Apple’s IDFA? But answers were inconclusive. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “The industry will work together to create a universal identifier that can replace third-party cookies,” few gave a sure answer. Nearly half (49%) said they “somewhat agree” and another 22% said they “neither agree nor disagree.” Nevertheless, some see silver linings, citing sales lift and ad effectiveness research as areas of promise in the face of identity headwinds.

“The industry’s always been very good at problem solving,” Fisher says. “Sometimes we wait until the last minute, but we always find a way. I don’t know that it will look how everyone wants it to, but we’ve been very good at pivoting. Will it be a universal identifier? Probably not. Will people be relying on multiple? That’s likely. But will there be a way for advertisers to understand who their audiences are? I do think so.”

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