Google is not the only company working on "cookieless" data technologies.
Acxiom is launching a new data-management platform this week that ties in numerous data sources for cross-channel and cross-device ad targeting.
Called Audience Operating System (AOS), the offering consists of three "layers."
The first is a data layer that combines Acxiom’s data points from more than 700 million individuals, along with a client’s CRM data and data from partners like Facebook and AOL. The second is the “audience services layer,” in which Acxiom strips the data of personally identifiable information. The final layer contains four applications (cross-channel planner, audience architect, AOS analytics and campaign optimizer) to help marketers launch, manage and optimize their ads across different channels like direct mail, email, mobile, etc.
In addition to targeting ads through third-party cookies, marketers can avoid using cookies through deals Acxiom has made with partners like Facebook and AOL. “Companies don’t want to share their first-party data with Facebook or anyone else, so we anonymize the data and use a safe-haven ID that we give to our partners so they know who to direct the messages to without knowing any of the first-party attributes,” said Acxiom engineer Tom Affinito.
Also, although AOS has been referred to as a data-management platform, it does more than the average DMP, Affinito said. “DMPs can match data sources, but we weren’t happy just doing that,” he said. Besides matching data sources, AOS gives users insight into campaign results and other targetable audiences through its reporting feature and filters for demographic data, income, interests, vehicle types, recent transactions, etc. Its campaign optimizer app also lets marketers match offers to different channels based on an analysis of each channel and various factors.
“This is the first time ever that you have all these data sources: first-party data, third-party data, unstructured data, structured data — all at your fingertips and be able to clean it and deliver it across multiple touch points,” said Nada Stirratt, CRO and EVP at Acxiom. “With this platform, consumers will have access to information that is much more relevant to them as individuals.”
AOS’s launch follows on the heels of its customer-facing product, Aboutthedata.com, which analysts and reporters anecdotally have noted contains numerous inaccuracies. When consumers update their information on Aboutthedata.com those changes are reflected in AOS’s databases as well. “These products are not really the same since Aboutthedata.com is aimed at consumers, whereas [AOS] is used by marketers, but if a consumer opts out through Aboutthedata.com, we will certainly acknowledge that,” Stirratt said.