IDGraph Players Expand to Merkle’s Merkury

Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing company, today announced the launch of Merkury, Merkle’s identity resolution and data platform designed to power the creation of first-party, “private identity graphs” for both brands and publishers.

“Consumer privacy and the death of the third-party cookie are changing the rules for digital and cross-channel marketing,” said John Lee, president of Merkury. “Going forward, both marketers and publishers will begin with their first-party relationships to create owned, private identity graphs that generate addressability while maintaining their own intellectual property. These brands will be able to network their private graphs with partners and publishers in a way that increases addressability for all in a privacy safe way. Merkury’s mission is to serve as a neutral technology enabler of the private graph, supporting seamless interoperability between brands, publishers, and technology platforms.”

Through this integration of existing and acquired capabilities, Merkury provides clients with a complete identity and data platform, including identity resolution, third-party data, marketing technology integrations, and data privacy clean rooms. These components will be highly customizable to each client’s needs and can be managed and hosted internally by clients.

Merkury will be operated as an independent, neutral entity open to serving the entirety of the marketer, media owner, and technology ecosystem, irrespective of agency relationships.

To enhance Merkle’s pre-existing identity and data assets, Merkle recently announced the acquisition of 4Cite Marketing, whose best-in-class, first-party identity resolution capabilities will play a central role in Merkury’s private graph solution for world-class brands, including Cadillac.

“At Cadillac, we seek to become the category and market leader in data-driven, performance marketing,” said Melissa Grady, CMO, Cadillac. “In an ever-evolving and challenging environment, our partnership with Merkle has been invaluable in providing us with the additive expertise, data, and identity management technology needed to help us do this in a privacy safe way, as we move into a cookie-less world. The release of Merkury represents the next evolution of that.”

Merkury’s launch will coincide with the integration of its private identity graph capability with key technology partners, including MediaMath, Index Exchange, and SourcePoint, who will automate the industry’s first-ever programmatic trading of marketer and publisher cookie-less, private graph IDs.

“Merkury is a reference application for MediaMath’s SOURCE, a fully addressable, accountable, aligned supply chain that can activate against private identity graphs,” said Joe Zawadzki, CEO, MediaMath. “By treating Merkury identity as the first-class signal across our global supply chain, we are driving a collective effort toward enterprise-grade marketing.”

In addition, Merkury will be launching in partnership with key publishers including Meredith, Pandora, and iHeartMedia’s SmartAudio. “The market is accelerating toward a world where cookies are no longer a solution. We are aligned with Merkury’s perspective and direction on the future of private graphs powered by great partners,” said Alysia Borsa, EVP/chief business & data officer, Meredith.

Merkury will also be partnering with Xandr to power cross-screen insights in advanced TV and digital. “Merkle’s launch of Merkury speaks to a major industry challenge and opportunity to build direct connections to consumers through unique, first-party insights, in a privacy-safe way,” said Jason Brown, chief revenue officer for Xandr. “Xandr today delivers results for clients by working with Merkury to power smarter TV and digital campaigns. As demand increases for integrated cross-screen experiences across linear, addressable TV, and digital, we find ourselves in a unique position to meet buyer demand with Merkury.”

The Merkury leadership team, with John Lee at the helm as president, includes Peter Randazzo, chief technology officer, Gerry Bavaro, chief strategy officer, Eugene Becker, chief data officer, and Kelly Leger, SVP sales.

Tru Optik & Skydeo Partner on Connected TV (CTV) Household Graph

Tru Optik & Skydeo Partner on Connected TV (CTV) Household Graph

Tru Optik, the identity resolution leader across OTT and Connected TV (CTV), today announced an exclusive partnership agreement with mobile data platform leader Skydeo Inc., to enhance mobile device identity resolution and audience-based targeting capabilities across Tru Optik’s Household Graph™.

As part of the agreement, Skydeo’s mobile data marketing platform, which consists of over 300 million unique mobile devices in the U.S. (2.7B globally), will be anonymously mapped to Tru Optik’s patented Household Graph™ of more than 80 million U.S homes.

Media companies and advertisers will be able to leverage Skydeo’s mobile behavioral data and geo-location people-based insights for audience building across OTT, gaming and streaming audio inventory.

“Media consumption is rapidly increasing across OTT, streaming audio and online gaming – content that is often accessed on mobile devices,” said David Wiesenfeld, Chief Strategist, Tru Optik. “Our clients and partners come to us for best-in-class cross-device targeting and measurement across streaming media. Skydeo’s scale of deterministic mobile data and privacy compliant sourcing directly from consumers enhances our capabilities by offering unparalleled mobile scale mapped back to consumers of ad-supported OTT, streaming audio and online gaming.”

“Tru Optik has been focused on OTT and Connected TV since before it was fashionable,” said Skydeo founder and CEO Mike Ford. “We’re excited to partner with the leader in the space and enable brands and agencies to leverage Skydeo AppGraph & PlacesGraph audiences via Tru Optik’s identity resolution solutions.”

Consumers will be able to opt-out of audience-based targeting through Tru Optik’s Privacy.TV, a free privacy compliance solution for CTV and Advanced Media that offers consumer opt-out for publishers, adtech platforms, data providers and device manufacturers.

About Tru Optik
Tru Optik identity resolution powers the streaming media ecosystem. Tru Optik’s patented Household Graph™ of more than 80 million U.S. homes enables the world’s leading brands, agencies, media companies, and platforms to engage consumers across OTT, streaming audio, and gaming with unmatched scale, accuracy and privacy compliance. To learn more about Tru Optik visit: http://www.truoptik.com.

About Skydeo Inc.
Skydeo provides customer acquisition solutions to brands and their partners through Skydeo’s mobile-first data marketing platform of over two billion unique devices globally. Skydeo’s unique combination of privacy-compliant data solutions features the Skydeo AppGraph, PlacesGraph, ShoppingGraph & ConsumerGraph for custom audience creation and programmatic activation. Check out https://skydeo.com.

GroupM’s mPlatform – Fading into the background or viable platform?

GroupM’s mPlatform – Fading into the background or viable platform?

Digiday highlighted  mPlatform  which it says is “fading into the background” at WPP.    mPlatform is and still could be a viable platform for WPP providing they invest more in sourcing mobile data directly in a GDPR compliant manner vs.data soup from a bunch of vendors.

GroupM launched its data and tech division mPlatform with great fanfare in 2016, billing it as an alternative to Google and Facebook that would allow advertisers to link different data assets in order to track and target people online. Three years later, the promise of the division has petered out, with talk centering more on missed opportunities than growth potential…But three years on, mPlatform has faded into the background at GroupM. It’s telling that during WPP’s latest earnings call, CEO Mark Read hailed the growth of Xaxis in the quarter but didn’t mention mPlatform. Changes behind the scenes also suggest GroupM’s priorities have shifted away from mPlatform.

Brian Gleason

Brian Gleason – GroupM

Its CEO, Brian Gleason, was promoted last year to GroupM’s Performance Media Group, which encompasses many of the same businesses mPlatform did. Now, mPlatform is headed by GroupM’s global chief product officer, Amit Seth. WPP insiders say the division is no longer a key part of the holding company’s programmatic strategy.

“Consumer identity has always been a core focus of mPlatform, as knowing something about a consumer and their proclivities inevitably assists in deciding target audiences and how to message those audiences. The advertising industry’s demand for data to build brands and sell more product is one of the reasons GroupM continues to vigorously educate the market about our data practices. We have put in place a strong consumer rights practice where we give consumers full access and ownership rights to revoke the data we capture about them. Our expertise in evaluating data sources is increasingly important to clients with the increasing focus on consumer privacy and regulation.”

Cookie alternative
Data from WPP businesses like Kantar and Millward Brown would be linked to third-party data and data owned by advertisers via the MiD it hoped would one day rival consumer identifiers from Google and Facebook. The problem for mPlatform was sourcing data after the arrival of the GDPR. For it to work to its potential, mPlatform had to tap into third-party data from vendors and app owners, which under the GDPR would require those businesses to explicitly inform all their users that their data is being shared when they opt in to a service. That’s a hard model to scale when not every business that’s trading data can get the consent to do so.

Given Dentsu Aegis’ $1.5 billion acquisition of Merkle in 2016, IPG’s $2.3 billion purchase of Acxiom two years later and Publicis’ $.4.4 billion buy of Epsilon earlier this year, GroupM arguably had the right idea when it decided to buy into data and ad tech stacks with mPlatform. But the arrival of GDPR alongside a spike in advertisers who thought they could do what mPlatform pitched in-house or with other ad tech vendors made it hard for that idea to become anything more.

Xandr & Comscore Partner for Addressable TV Measurement

Comscore and Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising and analytics company, today announced that Comscore will be the measurement and currency provider for Xandr’s Addressable offering, inclusive of DIRECTV, Altice USA, and Frontier. The partnership is designed to give advertisers reliable third-party measurement across the leading national live linear addressable footprint.

Dan Rosenfeld

Dan Rosenfeld, VP Data Strategy at Xandr

“We are excited to have Comscore as our addressable measurement partner. We’ve relied on Comscore for our own DIRECTV addressable measurement for more than five years and look forward to extending to our expanded offering. With its years of experience in addressable advertising measurement, Comscore represents a currency that advertisers can rely on,” said Dan Rosenfeld, VP of Data Strategy, Xandr.

By leveraging independent measurement from leading third-party providers in the space, Xandr is committed to providing advertisers access to comprehensive measurement and insights in their Addressable campaigns to improve performance and drive ROI.  Xandr’s Addressable offering is powered by AT&T’s first-party data, combining set-top box data with anonymized subscriber data to create highly targeted consumer segments. With Addressable, advertisers can reach the right audience regardless of time or platform, in both live and playback modes.

“Addressable advertising has been seen as the holy grail of the industry for decades, but it has been held back by an ability to scale,” said Scott Worthem, senior vice president, strategic partnerships for Comscore. “We’re thrilled to partner with Xandr on this industry-leading solution that will make it easier for brands to unlock the value of addressable.”

About Comscore
Comscore (SCOR) is a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms. With a data footprint that combines digital, linear TV, over-the-top and theatrical viewership intelligence with advanced audience insights, Comscore allows media buyers and sellers to quantify their multiscreen behavior and make business decisions with confidence. A proven leader in measuring digital and TV audiences and advertising at scale, Comscore is the industry’s emerging, third-party source for reliable and comprehensive cross-platform measurement. To learn more about Comscore, click here.

About Xandr
Xandr is creating a better solution for advertisers and publishers, through consumer insights and powerful technology, built on more than a decade of AppNexus’ buy- and sell-side innovation. As a leader in advanced TV advertising, our curated marketplace of premium video inventory, Community, offers valuable audiences at-scale, in a brand-safe environment. Xandr is rooted in a tradition of responsible data usage. For more than 143 years, AT&T has used data and technology to inform and improve the consumer experience.

Bring Your Own Data – Twitter joins Facebook in removing 3rd Party Data from platform

Bring Your Own Data – Twitter joins Facebook in removing 3rd Party Data from platform

According to a report by WSJ, “Twitter plans to remove 3rd party data sources from its ad-buying system, becoming the latest tech company to put more distance between itself and third-party consumer data providers.  The company currently offers data from outside firms to help advertisers target users on its platform, but early next year the company will end that integration and require advertisers to buy data on their own.”

Skydeo CEO Mike Ford  said, “This is great news for data companies that have relationships with advertisers, agencies and who have sourced data with consumer consent.  We have been a proponent of “Bring Your Own Data” since we started the company.”   Skydeo works directly with advertisers and agencies to provide privacy-compliant, custom audience segments that can be activated directly in Twitter, Facebook and other ad platforms.

john lee merkle dentsu

John Lee, Dentsu Merkle

It would appear that Twitter, like Facebook, is seeking to distance themselves from the perceived risks associated with third-party data,” John Lee, chief product and data officer at Dentsu Aegis agency Merkle, said. “By requiring advertisers to upload the data from their first-party seat, these platforms are ensuring that advertisers, not the platform or agency, is taking the accountability for the provenance and permissibility of the data they are injecting.”

 

Megan Pagliuca

Megan Pagliuca, Chief Data Officer

Megan Pagliuca, chief data officer at the ad-buying agency Hearts & Science, said Facebook’s move was good because clients should take responsibility for their own data strategy and build their own custom segments. “While it was a little inconvenient process-wise, we think it was the right thing strategically for our clients and business,” she said.

Closer relationships with data providers could push advertisers to create more granular audience targets instead of relying on “off-the-shelf” segments offered through Twitter, Ms. Pagliuca said. That could lessen the direct competition for certain audiences and potentially reduce costs.