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The Evolution of Digital Media Buying & Omni-Channel Personalization

If you’re into media buying, the LiveRamp + Ensighten partnership should make you look like a hero.

The Evolution of Digital Media Buying & Omni-Channel Personalization

Who you partner with in business can make or break your future—and LiveRamp has a knack for teaming up with only the best. The latest dynamic duo is LiveRamp + Ensighten. Together, these companies are offering 1:1 personalization solutions complemented with simple integration.

From 2007-2008 I had an unfunded start-up called Adiqus which focused on Advertising Intelligence, so I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about how to make advertising work better. Finally, after seven years, we are at the point where advertising is truly intelligent. This partnership is the most exciting marketing/advertising breakthrough, possibly ever.

If your company has a huge budget for ad spend, you need to be familiar with this new development.

Acxiom Acquired LiveRamp for $310M in May 2014

liveramp_acxiomThis acquisition is pure brilliance by Acxiom leadership. With Acxiom’s 2800+ points of consumer data on every US citizen, combined with LiveRamp’s ability to move data across many channels and silos, this deal is huge for the future of marketing and advertising intelligence.

LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman said his company intends to remain the Switzerland of data. Think of LiveRamp as the “pipes that move data”, while their partners provide the purpose.

It has been a big week, full of deals for LiveRamp. Prior to the new Ensighten deal, LiveRamp connected with video firm Eyeview and geo-local mobile ad company xAd.

The Marketing Technology Landscape

Many of the marketing clouds from IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, to Google have been buying best-in-breed tools and integrating them into their ecosystem. When this occurs, those tools don’t always play well with others in the marketing technology and advertising technology landscapes.

An open platform is key for integration and ease of use. Hold the proprietary platforms, please. I’ve been debating the merits of building a marketing cloud via tag management versus buying a large corporate marketing cloud lately on panels and as a keynote at the MarTech Conference. This is a huge opportunity for marketers, and one I feel strongly about.


Ad Technology is the Bridge Between Advertisers and Publishers

Before the LiveRamp + Ensighten partnership, there were many inefficiencies in the advertising marketplace. It’s been fragmented, and over time, we’ve seen the arrival of DSP’s, SSP’s, DMPs, ad networks, etc. to help solve those inefficiencies.  It is still not enough. Now, however, imagine standardizing all of your onsite, offsite, online, and offline data across all channels, platforms, and all mobile devices IDs.

In the past, marketers and marketing agencies could buy direct from publishers. This was based on content—if you want to reach a male market, you placed an ad on a sports site (it’s sexist, but true).

Obviously this wasn’t the best approach for sellers or buyers. Sellers weren’t able to accurately predict how much inventory they needed on hand, so a lot sat stagnant. Buyers were on the hook for audience-specific items no matter where they went online. With ad networks, these problems were solved.

However, it wasn’t perfect. Publishers had to wrangle a bunch of ad network tags and buyers had to deal with purchasing from a slew of vendors.

LiveRamp can Onboard Your Data and Move It Where You Want

When data is connected, it’s streamlined, faster, and more efficient for everyone in the marketing landscape. Measurement, targeting, and personalization are key. Need proof? When big box retailers embraced data connection to reach more customers online and result in more in-store sales, conversions soared up 40 percent. According to LiveRamp, they also enjoyed a 35 percent decrease in customer cost per acquisition and 30 percent increase in return on spend.

collectallthedataWhat LiveRamp does is onboard your data and move it to where you want (ie, to one of the 100+ technology integrations). They describe themselves as the “pipes”.  They want to be neutral so everyone will be willing to plug into them, which is what enables them to move data. This is why, even though they’ve been acquired by Acxiom, they’re being kept at arm’s length.

By collecting your data from all of those marketing technologies, along with all of your onsite data, offsite data, maybe kiosk data, and retail point of sale data through LiveRamp+Ensighten, you’re going to be able to target and personalize messaging better than ever before.

“What Ensighten delivers is the ability to collect first-party data from online and offline touchpoints, and unify it into an omni-channel customer profile.  LiveRamp then enables us to move those omni-channel customer profiles into any of their 100+ technology partners, delivering on our promise of activating data across all digital touchpoints.” Stated Darr Gescovich, VP of Marketing for Ensighten.

Essentially, Ensighten Activate allows you to collect data, including formerly siloed data, standardize it, and then stream your personalized messaging via unified profiles to over 100 advertising technologies.  We’re talking mobile advertising, attribution, DMP, television, and other platforms.  This allows for 1:1 omni-channel personalization everywhere on the web across any screen. If this is the case, this is huge, as no one else is offering this.

“Ensighten played a big part in enabling the Microsoft Store to achieve close to 800 percent online revenue growth over the last few years by improving customer experience and targeting, and overall marketing agility,” said Bill Bazley, Director of Marketing at Microsoft Store. “I am very excited about this Ensighten and LiveRamp partnership, which opens the door to leveraging our omni-channel customer data across all channels and devices.”

Ensighten + LiveRamp = Omni-Channel Personalization Badassery

LiveRamp has one of the biggest traffic footprints around (size really does matter!). It is used to sync marketing data with your apps. Then the magic happens—transfer online data instantly with over 100 advertising and media buying applications. LiveRamp has the tech that drives the absolute best data onboarding.  Then you send Ensighten Activate segments to LiveRamp and you’ve got a perfect match. LiveRamp then matches the segment to the partner cookie pool and bam! Ensighten Activate profiles are now in major platforms.

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This is a great match for e-commerce, retail, the travel industry, financial services, telecommunications, and the auto industry. In fact, it just might be the missing link you’ve been searching for.

“When brands want to reach the same audience, the same customer segment, across all of these different places, the data needs to be portable, and that’s what Ensighten+LiveRamp partnership enables.” Said Justin Schuster, VP of Strategic Partnerships for LiveRamp.

The end-result? Marketers can offer better customer experiences on every single digital touchpoint, every channel, everywhere. If you’re a media buyer of huge digital ad budgets, this partnership should make you look like a hero.

It’s powerful.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author for Search Engine Journal
Post Image #1: Used with permission.
Post Image #2: Used with permission.
Post Image #3: Created via
Post Image #4: Use with permission.

Travis Wright Chief Marketing Technologist at CCP Global

Travis Wright — Venture Catalyst, Digital Strategist, Keynote Speaker, CMTO, StandUp Comic, Marketing Technology Entrepreneur, Data & Analytics Geek, Startup ...

The Evolution of Digital Media Buying & Omni-Channel Personalization

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