Three tech companies – AppNexus, LiveRamp and MediaMath – have launched an open technology consortium aiming to widen the use of people-based marketing in programmatic.

The trio is creating a framework through which programmatic buyers and sellers can improve consumer experience and create more relevant campaigns.

LiveRamp’s president and general manager, Travis May, believes the move will answer the demand among marketers to have “deterministic, omnichannel identifier in the bidstream” which would help them link consumer data and offline channels to media exposure in programmatic, resulting in improved interactions with consumers.

“The creation of this consortium will accelerate the delivery of this value to marketers and their partners in the digital media ecosystem,” he commented.

The consortium has been initially joined by OpenX, Rocket Fuel, Index Exchange and LiveIntent.

New opportunities

Up until now, there was no common, omni-channel and people-based identifier in the space, which meant marketers couldn’t coordinate campaigns across platforms. Channels were siloed and there was an issue with the lack of interoperability with the mobile web.

By becoming members of the consortium, companies will gain access to an identity framework created from combining open cookie with an encrypted version of an omnichannel, people-based identifier; all within an open and shared domain.

Michael Lamb, president at MediaMath, expressed that the company is “thrilled” to provide the necessary data protection and policies; “Upgrading this foundational piece of the infrastructure puts us on solid footing, as programmatic grows to encompass all of digital,” he explained.

Among the benefits for members is the ability to increase ROI by targeting at the level of users, including channels such as mobile, addressable TV, internet of things and email for targeted programmatic advertising, and increased publisher monetisation through better addressability of audiences.

In return, joining companies will have to stick to the best practice agreement to ensure privacy and security are protected as well as adhere to the industry self-regulatory code and relevant laws.

“Creating an open, people-based identifier across industry leaders is a major opportunity – this changes the programmatic landscape for the better, as it exposes unified methods of people-based buying to the open web,” said Andrew Casale, president and CEO at Index Exchange, calling the move a “positive step” towards improved transparency in the space.

The general feeling is that the consortium will bring more transparency and efficiency to the space. For David Gosen, general manager, platform solutions and SVP, international at Rocket Fuel, it will also bring improved relevance for consumers.

“At Rocket Fuel, we believe the future is about people, not devices, so partnering with others in the digital ecosystem to deliver this more widely is a positive move for all involved,” he commented.

A positive step

Where almost half (48%) of digital advertising spend is shared between the industry giants Facebook and Google, AppNexus’ CEO Brian O’Kelley believes the consortium will offer precision advertising “comparable” to the two major providers, but in a way that’s “privacy-conscious”, alleviating the strain put on open internet companies generating content.

“That means better outcomes for marketers, greater monetisation for publishers, and more engaging content for consumers,” O’Kelley explained.

OpenX’s CEO, Tim Cadogan, believes the market is craving a new solution to give advertisers and agencies a choice other than relying on Facebook or Google.

“The lack of a unique identifier to date has been one of the biggest factors in fueling concerns around transparency, fairness, and control in the digital advertising ecosystem, as well as one that has limited marketers’ ability to achieve optimal results with programmatic advertising,” he commented, adding that creating a standard framework without sacrificing neutrality between players is a “big step in the right direction.”

“This consortium delivers what people-based marketing needs: success at the intersection of marketing and advertising,” concluded LiveIntent’s founder and CEO, Matt Keiser.