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Identity Resolution

Trends Retailers Need to Know for 2019

Eager to know what 2019 holds for the world of e-commerce? posted an article on the five key e-commerce trends that promise to fuel retailers worldwide in the coming year. One trend in particular is exactly what Throtle has been saying, that customers demand a personalized experience.

TotalRetail Article States:
Customers Demand 1:1 Personalization. Consider these findings: 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that recognizes them and provides tailored recommendations based on their previous history, and 40 percent have left a site that overwhelmed them with irrelevant options. Many businesses are risking turning consumers off while they perform A/B tests and manually adapt their site in an attempt to appeal to their target demographic.

So how do brands and marketers create a personalized experience for each and every customer? The answer is identity resolution.

Identity resolution is foundational for uncovering customer insights. It requires collecting and connecting (matching) data to individual customers, and then activating that data to engage them at the right time with the right message.

Think of identity resolution as an elaborate jigsaw puzzle where each interconnecting puzzle piece contains an element of information that helps brands and marketers accurately identify the customer behind any screen or device. The explosion of devices and touchpoints, combined with siloed or inaccessible data, has left most organizations with only a fragmented view of their customers, an unfinished puzzle.

Pertinent data on these puzzle pieces includes everything from names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and cookies, to social handles, mobile device IDs, demographics and lifestyle traits, regardless of whether or not the user has logged in to reveal their identity, even in an otherwise anonymous setting.

Organizations that have successfully adopted identity resolution are able to more easily collect customer profile information across a wide range of sources and manage it in a single location. Having this information provides insights that can be used to more effectively engage customers at the right time, in the right place and with a relevant message. It also provides more accurate and holistic tracking capabilities that contribute to better measurement and analytics.

Learn how to make the most out of your marketing with Throtle Identity Resolution. Request more information today.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

10 Benefits Of Building Accurate Customer Identity Graphs

It’s crunch time for accurate customer identity. Today, brands are capturing more customer data than ever before across a multiple channels, devices and touch points. But many companies struggle with using that data to create useful customer identity profiles – “identity graphs” – that can greatly improve marketing campaigns, customer experiences and more.

1. Better Customer Experience
Customers increasingly expect brands to engage them in highly relevant, individualized ways, with accurately targeted content. Companies that are successful at customer identity resolution can confidently create content and deploy 1:1 customer engagement strategies and tactics that take customer experiences to another level.

Equally as important, brands can avoid misidentifying or engaging customers in ways they perceive to be intrusive or even creepy. Having accurate identity information also helps Marketing support the company’s commitments to good data stewardship, which reinforces brand trust and reputation.

2. New Revenue Opportunities
Insights gained through identity resolution can greatly increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities and reveal new ways to re-engage former customers.

3. Superior Results with Less Budget
Timely and accurate identity resolution allows brands to market more efficiently and spend less to achieve the same, or even better, results. Accurate ID graphs reduce waste, overlap and duplication.

4. A Single Unified Internal View of Your Customers
Companies that aren’t using quality ID graphs to regularly synchronize and validate their data often end up with disparate views of customers across various business units. They can never be sure who is on the other end of a browser or mobile app.

What’s more, many brands have compiled their internal data by relying only on de-duping across their own data points such as same-name spellings, emails, addresses etc. But that’s insufficient. For instance, the brand may not recognize the same person interacting with two different emails or shipping to work and home addresses. True accuracy requires external validation against a known, proven ID graph recognize bad data, fix it, and fit together fragments and missing pieces of the identity puzzle.

Accurate identity resolution allows companies to create a true, single view of their customers that can be consistently leveraged across a portfolio of brands, business units and product lines. Accurate identity resolution enables brands to continuously enrich, update and share identity data across the entire organization to facilitate greater control and personalization.

5. More Accurate Measurement & Better ROI
Robust data sets and high customer match rates across screens and platforms helps to create a more complete picture of customers. This, in turn, makes marketing measurement and analytics easier and more accurate. Marketers will be able to holistically measure results and fuel their analytics engine.

Without identity resolution, multi-touch attribution results can be misleading because the same person has been counted several times. Marketers need to resolve identity across devices in order to count unique touch points and attribute ad spend to results correctly.

As the number of consumer touch points grows, so does the quantity of data collected, causing analytic teams to struggle at providing an accurate view of marketing ROI. With a well-constructed approach to identity, marketers can create a single, holistic view that more accurately measures customer interactions across all channels including digital, mobile, website, phone, and store visits.

6. Livelier Marketing Creative & Campaigns
Knowing more about customers also allows marketers to create campaigns that are more interesting, relevant, engaging and generally pack more punch. One can avoid campaigns that are dull, generic, and miss the mark.

7. Greater Speed & Flexibility
Marketers must be highly flexible and adaptive to hit constantly moving and changing targets. Having the ability to quickly and accurately identify customers across screens and channels gives marketers greater flexibility and allows them to react more quickly to changing conditions. For example, brands can quickly adjust messaging when they have confidence knowing who a customer is, where they are and what they are doing.

8. Fill Customer Intelligence Gaps
The more data sources there are, the greater the chance gaps will appear if those data sources aren’t properly linked. Marketers can solve that by continuously corroborating, verifying, and appending missing information across customer records, to produce a 360-degree customer view.

9. Identify Customers Online in Real-time
The ability to identify a quality lead or an existing customer in real-time on your website is crucial. With an identity framework in action, brands can identify a prospect the moment a website visit occurs, thus improving the customer experience. Brands will, for example, be able to accurately identify an existing loyalist even if that customer hasn’t been authenticated through a login and act accordingly.

10. Improved Marketing Credibility
Marketing organizations that are able to accurately identify customers and engage them in personalized ways earn greater stature and credibility internally (not to mention budget clout). Painting an accurate picture of customers allows brands to create and communicate compelling success stories, earning more brand equity.

Identity Resolution

The New Rules Of Cross-Device Identity Article: The New Rules Of Cross-Device Identity

As consumers bounce relentlessly across an increasingly wide array of devices and applications, the data trail they leave behind becomes more and more fragmented. And that’s a problem for marketers who are often left wondering: Who’s the person behind the screen – exactly – that we’re talking to?

To solve the cross-device, data-fragmentation dilemma, savvy marketers are turning to identity graphs (ID graphs). An ID graph is essentially a dynamically maintained database containing all of the information a marketer needs to accurately pinpoint the person behind a screen at any given time.

Identity graphs deliver true omni-channel identity resolution, which means marketers can confidently send highly targeted and personalized messages to customers or prospects at any stage in the purchase journey.

But identity graphs come in different flavors, and some work better than others. For example,
many companies build ID graphs by using “probabilistic” algorithms to achieve scale. It’s kind of like sophisticated guessing, but it’s still guessing. At best, ID graphs built this way lead to incomplete, semi-accurate glimpses of customers. At worst, they misidentify individuals altogether.

ID graphs that uncover distinct “deterministic” connections to individuals are far more accurate and useful. For that reason (among others), it’s important that marketers pick the right identity resolution partner.

Below are three rules that can help marketers achieve more accurate cross-device identity to unlock customer insights and inform smarter, more productive marketing efforts:

Don’t start with the DMP.
Data management platforms are experiencing a kind of “correction” in 2018, as marketers come to grips with the inherent limitations of DMPs, such as poor data accuracy and match rates. In response, some of the most forward-thinking brands are taking a step back to implement in-depth data hygiene processes to improve data quality and match identities more accurately.

“Marketers looking to improve engagement often focus high on the tech stack first — on their data management and other platform partners without considering the fuel that makes those platforms work,” says Kathy Bachmann, EVP of product management at Throtle. “But that’s a mistake. Identity is the fuel, and without it, the engine won’t run.”

Instead, marketers should seek partners with a direct view to verified identity, including customer data platforms, data onboarding providers and others. Accurate customer data is the foundation on which the rest of a successful marketing stack is built. Without it, you can’t target the right individuals or deliver relevant customer experiences.

Don’t underestimate the need for high accuracy rates.
Looking at onboarding match rates isn’t enough; it’s important to evaluate how accurately a provider can connect your prospect or customer files with a validated graph. For example, Throtle uses an industry-leading onboarding approach that delivers peak accuracy and identity validation to its clients. The company has developed a comprehensive, validated truth set through a selective, deterministic approach to data validation. Instead of settling for a single match – such as an email address – to verify an identity, Throtle connects data points across multiple external sources to better ensure accuracy.

Matching individuals to multiple touchpoints, such as device IDs, app IDs, phone numbers, street addresses and more eliminates validation errors that can arise from using only a single source. This approach reduces duplicate profiles and results in more comprehensive and accurate cross-channel identity recognition.

“Throtle goes far beyond simply connecting data points,” says Paul Chachko, CEO. “We focus on validation – ensuring that each ID is matched to the correct individual. You don’t hear that in the marketplace much. Many consumer graphs casually compile data without truly understanding if the data belongs to a particular individual or not.”

Using a truth set validated by multiple sources allows brands to uncover subtle discrepancies and compile deeper, more accurate customer insights.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Achieving accurate customer identity resolution can seem daunting. Marketers face internal pressures from chief privacy officers and CIOs, and external partners who often use obscure jargon. When in doubt, ask questions until you fully understand the data privacy and security issues. Take time to understand the value propositions and underlying technologies of prospective providers – including data onboarders.

Understanding the differences between onboarding technologies that are built around cookies, deterministic data, probabilistic data – or any combination of those methods – is an important first step toward choosing the right partner and uncovering profitable market insights.

“There are many onboarding vendors out there who collect and compile a lot of data,” says Chachko. “But that data is less useful and won’t deliver the results a marketer seeks if a brand can’t accurately identify customers across multiple devices and touchpoints.

“Using a deterministic, 1-to-1 methodology is the only way to be sure you understand each customer at the individual level.”

Recent studies confirm that investing in accurate identity resolution improves long-term results In a Wakefield Research study, for example, 75 percent of respondents indicated identity resolution helps improve targeting and real-time campaign optimization. In the same study, 72 percent of respondents believe it will help optimize customer insights and improve the customer experience.

With digital technologies and consumer behaviors evolving side-by-side at an exponential rate, cross-channel engagement won’t be the last major headache digital marketers face. But by gaining the ability to track customers across every device and application, marketers can develop a deeper knowledge of their customers, understand how they shop and learn how they interact with brands. This knowledge will allow them to deliver relevant, personalized marketing experiences in exactly the right time and place.Achieving accurate customer identity resolution can seem daunting. Marketers face internal pressures from chief privacy officers and CIOs, and external partners who often use obscure jargon. When in doubt, ask questions until you fully understand the data privacy and security issues. Take time to understand the value propositions and underlying technologies of prospective providers – including data onboarders.

Original article can we found here:

Identity Resolution

Fixing A Missing Ingredient With In-House Programmatic

The trend continues for big brand advertisers to bring programmatic media buying in-house. While there’s much talk about why brands are going in-house, there is seemingly less discussion about the ingredients for successfully building the tech stack needed to operationalize. Since customer data is the fuel for effective programmatic buying, why is data missing from the conversation?

The topic of “in-housing” has certainly grabbed the attention of the advertising and MarTech industry. Per the ANA study last year, 35% of marketers (most with >$100MM in annual media budgets) have already expanded their in-house programmatic media buying capabilities – that’s double from the study just one year prior! Major brands such as P&G, Sprint, Unilever, Allstate, Netflix, Kayak, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Electronic Arts and more have been blazing the trail with in-house capabilities.

The trend is driven by interest in greater transparency, control and efficiency. From a study highlighted in AdWeek, 65% are driven by interest in greater control – and harnessing data is one aspect of control that can pay off. In-house technology moves brands closer to their data. It’s commonly said that data is a brand’s most valuable asset. However, strategic advantage really comes from the ability to leverage data with precise accuracy to create relevant, timely experiences and connections with customers.

To bring programmatic capabilities in-house, you need budget, expert talent, team bandwidth, and a solid tech stack. Of course, brands need to carefully select DSPs/DMPs. A key ingredient is often forgotten though – the customer data that forms the foundation for marketing campaigns.

Identity resolution is the base layer in a marketing technology stack – a way to resolve to a single individual across all brand touchpoints and bring into view everything known about a customer. As part of the programmatic tech stack, brand marketers need to select a partner for accurate identity resolution and data onboarding to effectively target individuals with relevant ads across devices and browsers.

It’s important to select an identity and onboarding partner who has precise accuracy, vast reach to individuals across devices, and flexibility to innovate with you. Whether you choose to access identity resolution as a managed service or install an identity graph behind your firewall, every brand needs timely, secure and privacy-compliant access to customer intelligence to fuel programmatic campaigns.

While there are sure to be many lessons ahead for the industry as more programmatic advertising efforts are brought in-house, building a foundation with a validated, deterministic identity resolution partner is a key first step. Keep the focus on the data and watch your programmatic efforts flourish.


Data Quality And Protection With GDPR

Everyone is talking about the General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR, but do you know exactly what it means? How it will impact individuals and companies? Or better yet, how to prepare for it?

What is GDPR?
GDPR is a set of regulations designed to give individuals in the European Union (EU) more control over their personal data. It enforces strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information (PII). These regulations also extend the protection of personal data and data protection rights by giving control back to the people of the EU.

What is considered personal data under the GDPR?
Personal data under the GDPR is defined to include personally identifiable data points like name and email address, as well as less precise data points like cookies, device IDs (MAIDs), and IP address.

When is GDPR happening?
Beginning May 25 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation will bring about the greatest change to European data security in 20 years.

What companies are impacted by GDPR?
GDPR applies to all companies and organizations established in the EU, regardless of whether the data processing takes place in the EU or not. Even non-EU established companies will be subject to GDPR. If your company is collecting data on individuals in Europe, then it’s subject to GDPR.

Why does GDPR matter to a company?
There are penalties for those companies who don’t comply with GDPR. Those fines are defined as up to 4% of annual global revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater.

Throtle and GDPR
GDPR validates what Throtle has said from day one: data is the most valuable asset in today’s digital world. And while GDPR does create certain challenges for companies, it also creates opportunity.

Domestic companies should use best practices to comply with the GDPR regulations, i.e. scrubbing all data and domains so they are free of any EU data, having data suppliers verify they are not collecting EU data and clearly posting privacy and GDPR policies on their sites.

Companies like Throtle, who show they value an individual’s privacy, are transparent about data usage and the management of customer data, build deeper trust with their clients.

For more information about the EU GDPR please visit

Identity Resolution

Throtle’s Commitment To Deterministic Matching – The Why And How

There are typically two schools of thought when it comes to matching consumer identities — deterministic and probabilistic. Throtle believes in purely deterministic matching and at the individual level (of course, you can have household roll-up’s too). We are not in the business of compromising quality for scale, and we have been able to achieve top-notch quality matching that outperforms even higher scale match networks.

Let’s look closer into what these two terms really mean?

  • Deterministic matching means it is a factual, exact match of one piece of identity data to another. That same identity is found across multiple independent sources to be certain of a direct match. This is a precise, scientific approach – with facts and validation.
  • Probabilistic matching uses fuzzy linkages that are inferred or proxied based on assumptions and best guesses. In this case, algorithms are used with sample data, which can lead to false-positives. Some data companies use a blend of deterministic and probabilistic matching to get greater scale – a higher volume of matched identities in their database and the data is not validated.

Why Throtle Chooses Science Over Art
When it comes to marketing data practices, there’s usually some combination of art and science at play. There are times when a blend of art and science make sense and there are situations where pure science is better. But when it comes to consumer identities, there’s no reason to use art; the science alone provides the very best answer. The facts say it all while the imagination should be left to the art director.

How Throtle Does Deterministic and Individual Matching at Scale

  • We use dozens of independent data sources to corroborate each identity linkage as truth. We see each email plus name connection three times or more before incorporating it into the Throtle Truth Set (ID Graph).
  • We scour the universe of potential providers and curate the highest quality data sources. We have evaluated over one hundred potential data sources.
  • We are continuously optimizing and fortifying the Throtle Identity Graph. Every month, the graph is refined and refreshed with additional data as well as combed for data hygiene and quality. It’s a living repository of the most comprehensive consumer identities in the U.S.
  • We constantly validate our graph with external sources to improve and maintain accuracy and consistency.
Identity Resolution

Identity Resolution For Brands: Data Vs. Identity Resolution

Data is everywhere. Every channel, device, click, and digital exchange produces data. In the last two years alone, the world produced 90 percent of all the data in existence today. Do the math, and that breaks down to approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day — a number so big, the average person probably can’t even numerically write it out!

Now imagine trying to deconstruct those data points down into snippets of consumer data. With 7.6 billion people in the world, you can see where brand marketers have their jobs cut out for them. That is why it is more important than ever for brands to dial-in data beyond simple core demographics and distill it down to an individual with a profile, also known as an identity resolution.

Identity resolution takes data to the next level by putting organization around today’s complex data environment and forming each piece into a single consumer ID. From CRM data, cookie data, third party data, etc., identity resolution is just that — a resolution to the cluttered mess of data that brand marketers have to manage. It’s simply a better way to manage your data.

Still not convinced? Let’s break it down.

Here is what your marketing campaigns look like relying only on data many marketers have today:

  • You don’t know anything specific or tangible about your customers. Each customer is just a number. A transaction. Beyond that, you don’t know much about them. What are all the devices they use? What was their last purchase? What are their shopping preferences? Even hobbies?
  • You’re making educated guesses and relying on cookies alone. News flash — cookies don’t equal an individual. They are single data points that need building upon. A cookie will tell you basic demographics, but everything else about that data point is based on probability and assumptions. As a brand you need to focus on a truth set and an actual individual identity, rather than just a snippet of data you are assuming is a specific individual.
  • Your campaigns are not engaging the right audiences. One of two things are happening here. When you aren’t drilling down into a specific consumer identity, your campaign strategy is likely too broadly targeted. This results in canned, one-size fits all experiences for your audiences and bored and unengaged consumers. The other possibility…
  • You miss the mark on engagement when a person switches across devices. You may recognize a customer on one device and provide them with an engaging experience in that moment but miss the mark when that person switches devices. Imagine that your customer has been shopping on a laptop and makes a purchase based on a targeted advertisement. Congrats, marketer! Your customer found your campaign engaging and made a purchase. Yet, following this purchase you continue to serve that customer advertisements on their mobile device for that same product. You automatically lose engagement and your customer’s annoyance at improper targeting leads them to avoid your site all together.

Here is what your marketing campaigns looks like with cross-device identity resolution:

  • Your messages are targeted and relevant across devices. Identity resolution is the best way to connect devices between the same individual. It is also the best way to ensure that each device belongs to the same person and not another member of a household. You are reaching a precise individual.
  • Your targeting is more fluid. Identities change over time which amplifies the need to have the right context. Preferences change. Contexts change. In such a quickly changing landscape, implementing identity resolution is as best to real-time as marketing gets these days. It allows you to link identities across touchpoints and channels so that you can monitor a customer’s journey over time.
  • You provide a consistent and engaging customer experience. Remember that customer that you incorrectly targeted on their mobile device after they already made a purchase? Thanks to identity resolution, you now know who this person its, that they already made a purchase on their laptop and that they are no longer interacting with your mobile campaigns. You can take this information and now build it into the customer ID, preventing this situation in the future and opening the door for more engaging and relevant experiences down the line.
Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

MAIDs: Effectively Leveraging Mobile Ad Identifiers

Looking back at the advertising industry, even as little as five years ago, it’s easy to see how quickly the industry has been forced to focus on cross-device. In just two years’ time, the average number of connected devices per person is expected to climb as high as 6.58 (Statista).

In this always connected world, consumer expectation has changed. Deliver seamless ads and content experiences between all of a consumer’s digital formats or don’t even bother. While still a difficult task for advertisers to muster, the industry is finally coming together to coordinate data sets between devices in order to deliver the cohesive experiences consumers desire. Enter mobile advertising and mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs).

So, what are MAIDs?
A MAID is similar to a cookie in that it helps advertisers identify the person behind a device. A MAID serves the same purpose for marketers as a cookie does in a web browser. Using these identifiers that are connected to certain devices, marketers can reach users based on the data sent by their mobile device. Since MAIDs are set by the operating system, data is easily available, allowing for a more complete and deterministic picture of a consumer.

But the benefits don’t end there. MAIDs are bringing major opportunity to marketers that never before existed on digital. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the go-to platform for just about everything, and businesses have to adapt rapidly to ensure that they are responsive to this unwavering trend. Statista has found that mobile traffic globally has a larger share of internet usage than desktop traffic. (Actually, mobile traffic has been ahead since 2015.)

Here is why you should care:

Identifying A Unique Owner
Computers and desktop browsers can be black holes for marketers. Computers often live within multi-person households and can be used by many different people. This leaves assigning a unique identifier to a distinct person all the more difficult. With one unique owner, marketers can collect a diverse pool of data about their users, all the way from demographics to behavioral data, both of which are often difficult to pinpoint when multiple users are frequenting a single device.

The Key To Personalization
The higher the level of personalization, the better the user experience and consumer retention rate. MAIDs represent a more efficient way for customizing ads based on customers’ interests and the biggest differentiator when it comes to serving users with content that is not only relevant to their needs, but also personally tailored to them. Overall, data from MAIDs comes through more rich and precise and allows advertisers to connect the pieces of a disparate and complicated puzzle.

Connecting Data Across Channels
In this day in age, it’s impossible for marketers to rely on IDs from one channel. MAIDs are the missing link. MAIDs can serve as the bases for a single individual’s online identity and through tools like identity graphs* and company CRM data, linking desktop cookies, MAIDs and other forms of data across channels can be more precise. (*When it comes to identity graphs, the only reliable way to get good cross device data at scale is through an individual level identity graph. Click here to learn more about Throtle Identity Graph and our individual based approach.)

Whether you are trying to reach a specific audience within a device or retarget an audience across other similar devices or connecting consumer identities to a larger data pool, MAIDs are the next generation of cookies that will take your marketing and advertising campaigns to the next level. Consumer are expecting more. It’s time to deliver.

Want to learn more about MAIDs and how Throtle can take your marketing and advertising campaigns to the next level? Contact us today.

Identity Graph, Identity Resolution

A Case For Accuracy In A Multi-Device World

Data drives the marketing industry. From a marketer’s perspective, data is time; data is money. Marketing dollars are trustingly thrown at data to build campaign strategies and targeted advertising across all marketing channels.

Despite the time, money and sophisticated technology shifting towards data mining, many marketers still can’t determine proper attribution across channels in a way that accurately measures their brand’s lift and consumer experience. At the root of this is a persistent lack complacency when it comes to properly matching data to an actual consumer in a way that allows advertisers to reach them with relevant and appropriately timed messages.

Unfortunately, for the most part, data targeting has been focused on scale over accuracy, resulting in an upside down model that benefits everyone but the advertiser. The result – the digital data and identity matching industry gets a bad rep by marketers for high cost and low returns. For consumers, the experience is forgettable at best and, at worst, full of skepticism about the source and quality of data fueling targeted ads. The problem is the glut of low fidelity data that has flooded the marketplace over the past decade in both identity resolution across device and data insights. Yet, advertiser priorities have not changed while accuracy is being scrutinized, verified and measured in more ways than ever before.

Today, accuracy in identity resolution and data targeting is a requirement for all marketers. But all this technology has focused so heavily on proxies rather than delivering individual-level targeting, because resolving to the right individual, onboarding data correctly and serving the right consumer relevant ads is not an easy proposition.

Here’s How Throtle Does it Differently

Identify Sources and Context
One key to building robust, accurate data is to know where the data comes from, including its timeliness and its context. Keep in mind the demographic and other online/offline behaviors, not just transactional data in a single moment in time. For example, we all shop for gifts, whether or not they are personally relevant to us. A consumer may at one point have shopped for a baby gift for an expectant friend. Five months later, that consumer has ended up on a mailing list for baby formula and incessantly receives free samples in the mail, although the consumer in point is not a mother nor expecting in the near future. You can see where the discrepancy lies and why knowing the source and context makes this data all the more accurate.

A Fully Deterministic Approach
Marketers must have a deterministic understanding and approach to their data to ensure accuracy. This means ensuring that a single consumer is accurately matched, with definitive proof, to an organization’s corresponding first-party data. This approach ensures that the person is a single user and not generalized under a household or group of consumers. Measuring every interaction across devices can be challenging, but attribute something to the right person and you can identify trends and patterns across all marketing channels. Without accuracy and deterministic matching at the individual level, cross-device attribution is impossible to obtain.

The Identity Graph
Creating this deterministic approach is easily accomplished through a consumer identity graph. An identity graph ensures that all first-party and third-party identifiers for a single consumer reside and are resolved in one place. This is imperative for marketers who want to accurately read consumer behavior and interactions across multiple touchpoints. If you look at everything separately, the picture is hazy and the 360 degree view of a consumer’s core identifiers are lost.

The Results of This Complexity

CONSUMERS: They want to see relevant, harmonized experiences across content. There will be those that complain that after browsing online for new living room furniture, they see cross-device ads from multiple couch vendors for the next three weeks. However, in a world where customer experience is the majority of the battle (according to Gartner and 89% of marketers), when a consumer experience is accurate and relevant, a brand elevates itself above the competition.

ADVERTISERS: Highly accurate targeting is required to reach the same consumer on different channels and devices. Targeting, attribution and defendable measurement can’t happen using inaccurate data; campaigns will produce better ROI because a marketer is able to determine which specific activities are producing the best results

Our Commitment
In short, many of the old approaches to collecting accurate data no longer work. Ad and MarTech companies should be held to a higher standard and greater level transparency when it comes to the data that they source and provide.

Throtle is a 2nd generation data onboarding company focused on deterministic matching, identity resolution, and closed loop enablement. Our data centric onboarding approach guarantees the highest level of accuracy, scale, and responsiveness for our clients.

Data, Identity Resolution

Taking Larger Strides Toward Data Transparency – A Call To Action

There has long been a desire for transparency and specific guidelines around data within the advertising industry. Recently the Advertising Research Foundation partnered with the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement to propose a data labeling initiative. Still in the early stages of development, the proposal is surrounded by a plethora of open questions about how an initiative such as this can come to fruition.

While we fully support the idea of data labeling and affirm that this is a move in the right direction, a need still exists to take this initiative further. Sure, slap a label on something, but how do we know what that label means or represents? What are actual steps that should be taken to rid advertising of skepticism and uncertainty? As a group, we need to move toward confidence and knowledge that data is being sourced and analyzed correctly. Without these specific instructions and action items around a standard operating procedure when it comes to data transparency, we’re still staring at a problem that will only continue to grow with the current data revolution.

Why we need more help:

No one wants to be labeled a ‘bad actor’. Most data providers are quick to tout the accuracy of their data and create noise around why their product is better than the next. Maybe the data is accurate, but there is still a black box around how that data is collected, built and validated. As a result, brands and marketers don’t truly trust the data they receive. Although they continue to use that data, doubt still abounds. Advertiser Perceptions even recently found that 80% of advertisers use audience insights, but that only 33% say they ‘completely trust them’.

In nearly every industry outside of advertising, there is data regulation. There is clear delineation on how data is sourced, kept and secured. Take HIPAA legislations, for example, which put highly strict regulations on what type of medical data can be shared and where personally identifiable information should be withheld. These type of regulations don’t exist for the mass amounts of general, publicly available data that exist. There is no official standard. And this is not acceptable. On top of data labeling, this is the standard that needs to be set and how we all get there together.

  1. Providing clear and accurate reports – Inaccurate reporting often stems from identifying sample size and consumers at the individual level versus the household level. In these cases, the baseline of the data collection is left unknown as the data suppliers create false match rates simply using an address and last name, thus making sweeping assumptions about a household as a whole. Everyone in that household is essentially ‘matched’, but without transparency on the report, simple qualifiers at an individual level — age, ethnicity, occupation, gender — can be extremely wrong and suddenly all the information is invalid for the consumer of that information. To avoid this, data providers should be required to disclose the level at which their data is being represented and whether or not that sample is consistent with other information in the database or identity graph.
  2. Describing how the data is built – Data can be collected in any number of manners, so as data providers, we should be sharing the methods we use with clients. This boils down to whether or not data is collected in an appropriate manner, that it is recent and updated regularly, what the point of collection is (online surveys, transactions, web scraping, via phone, with consumer notice that we are collecting data). Again, was this data collected at the household (inferred) or individual level?
  3. Clarifying proprietary vs. white labeled data – Let’s look at a scenario. Company A may want to license data from company X and Y, but company A doesn’t realize that company X is white labeling from company Y and that the data is the same. In this scenario, without full transparency, company A is potentially left buying the same data twice and wasting time and money. If you’re buying data, you’d like to know that you are dealing with the originator of the data or at the least, where that data’s origins are. Companies can sell data, but we often see white labeled data presented as proprietary, presenting a substantial need for more transparency around where data is truly coming from.
  4. Creating a standard sample set — When data providers supply samples they often try to put their best foot forward. It’s easy to mask what they are doing poorly if they are allowed to drive what that sample is and only supply the best data upfront. For this reason, there should be a standard sample set that people can adhere to. If there were standards around what the samples should be, there would be no way to hide this and everyone would get a clear, accurate sample of data to test before committing fully.
  5. Developing data accuracy compliance — It’s difficult to imagine a world where companies fully disclose the names of their sources or are truly 100% transparent. Yet if every other industry has data security and privacy standards, why shouldn’t the advertising industry? In addition to labeling data, we need to develop a compliance checklist that ranks companies in terms of their level of transparency. This would give brands and advertisers the option to be selective about the firms they choose to work with based on whatever standards they deem fit.

This may require giving up a few sources or opening up previously closed doors, but if the whole industry was held accountable to this standard, it would be common practice. If you feel strongly about your data you will be willing to follow these standards and stand together as we take more steps toward full transparency.

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