Marketing Partnership to Help Fine-Tune Targeting

Sonobi and San Francisco-basedLiveRamp, an Axiom company, on Tuesday announced a partnership to help marketers improve targeting of potential customers.

The partnership will let brands and agencies build media packages using the Sonobi JetStream multichannel ad platform and LiveRamp’s identity resolution system.

“Sonobi has a forecasting and planning engine that understands the visitation patterns of an individual user across the open Web,” said Michael Connolly, CEO of the Winter Park, Florida-based company.

“Through our integration with LiveRamp, we can give their clients a complete understanding of how to best find their customers,” he told CRM Buyer.

Users will be able to connect their CRM databases directly with media companies with appropriate inventory, giving LiveRamp’s marketer customers direct control over building Deal IDs, the unique number LiveRamp uses to match buyers and sellers of programmatic media.

“The process of building Deal IDs is time consuming and complex,” Connolly said. “This partnership lets the end user create Deal IDs with one click and [provides] flexibility on how to traffic those deals.”

Direct control over building Deal IDs lets users understand where their customers consume media, connect brand data with appropriate publishers, and create cross-channel and cross-format deals. It also lets them make programmatic media purchases more efficiently.

Publishers will get better feedback on content because of the partnership, noted Ray Wang, fprincipal analyst at Constellation Research. Consumers will get less spam and more targeted and relevant experiences.

Sonobi can reach about 100 million logged-in users across multiple publishers. Its ID product connects marketers with consumers signed in across the top 200 publishers as ranked by ComScore, as well as another 5,000 publications.

While the partnership approach will work, “it gets more complicated as you keep adding additional systems,” Wang told CRM Buyer.

The Partnership’s Impact

“This is a cross-selling opportunity for both LiveRamp and Sonobi,” observed Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

It lets users “streamline the marketing process by linking channels from Sonobi’s marketplace with unique consumer IDs from LiveRamp,” she told CRM Buyer. “Scale and breadth are really important in this space, so this benefits both.”

The partnership “should give marketers an easier way to measure and track the overall impact of their impressions on individual consumers, and streamline the buying and negotiation process from targeting to engagement,” Wettemann noted. It would also reduce the burden of vendor management, as purchasers “can buy the whole plan, from target to impression.”

Consumers will experience fresher, more relevant digital engagement from brands, and more easily can discover offerings they want, Sonobi said.

Teaming up “improves reach for LiveRamp in another system,” remarked Constellation’s Wang. For Sonobi, identity resolution “improves segmentation and targeting, which improves the conversion rate.”

LiveRamp has partnerships with other companies, including Bing for search marketing, and Google’s Customer Match (for which IdentityLink was initially created).

Sonobi, meanwhile, has ambitions to build the third largest addressable digital marketplace.

Leveraging CRM

Currently, programmatic media planning using data from CRM packages has to go through a lengthy route, as programmatic purchasing is likely to be buried in media buying stacks, Sonobi said. That reduces the control CRM teams have over media plans.

Connecting CRM databases directly to media companies with high-quality inventory “takes [users] one step closer to mass personalization at scale,” Wang pointed out.

Traditional CRM vendors have focused more on B2B targeting, Wettemann noted, and “as the lines blur between B2B and B2C, we’re seeing, and expect to see, more similar partnerships — with Oracle Data Cloud and its media partners, for example, and Salesforce and Google.”

B2B customers increasingly have been expecting the same ease of purchase and accessibility to online purchasing as in the B2C field.

One recurring problem with CRM systems, which is common to all databases, is that the entries have to be cleaned and updated regularly. How can companies tackle this issue if their CRM databases are connected directly to media companies?

“There is a need to clean the data,” Wang said, “but identity resolution helps improve data quality.”

Bringing Programmatic Ads In-House

More than 80 percent of digital display ads will be purchased programmatically this year, eMarketer has predicted.

That will add up to US$46 billion dollars’ worth of ads — about $10 billion more than in 2017.

By 2020, that figure will go up to $65 billion, according to eMarketer.

Nearly two-thirds of brands making programmatic ad purchases have moved the function in-house, either fully or partially, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Among the advantages:

  • Improved ad performance and return on investment;
  • Greater cost efficiency and transparency;
  • Better control and management of data and targeting;
  • Enhanced real-time optimization; and
  • Full accountability and focus on brand goals.

The Sonobi-LiveRamp partnership also will help companies that want to bring programmatic advertising in-house.

The technology will be made available to LiveRamp customers only, for a three-month public beta. Agencies will be able to participate after that.

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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