Experian has “hundreds of clients” using its linkage technologies who will, if they choose, be migrated onto OmniView. An Experian spokesperson also said its linkage technologies process 3.5 billion records a month for its North American clients, not including records processed by its AdTruth subsidiary.
AdTruth creates a universal ID designed to connect user activity across devices that Experian inherited when it acquired its parent, 41st Parameter, last October. It is not part of the OmniView platform because, Erwin said, AdTruth has product developments of its own “in the coming months, maybe coming weeks.”
As Experian describes it, AdTruth is an identifier that links activity across devices; OmniView is “customer-based,” connecting various offline, email and digital interactions.
While these capabilities aren’t mutually exclusive and are often complementary, as it stands, OmniView can make connections across devices as long as the information needed to do so is already held in its clients’ first-party data stores.
“[We built OmniView to connect] any form of digital identifier that carries with it customer behavior data [advertisers own],” Erwin said.
Does this make OmniView a data-management platform (DMP)? Erwin said no – at least, not in the sense that a DMP traditionally combines third-party data sets for audience targeting. But if a DMP is a tool that connects disparate consumer logins and identities stored by an advertiser, then OmniView fits the bill.
“We didn’t set out to create a compiled third-party database that connects all of these things,” Erwin said. “We set out to create a system that can take all forms of digital identity, ingest them and resolve them back to an anonymous persistent identifier.”
With this initiative, Experian hopes to seize an opportunity and capitalize on a disconnect between marketing and ad tech, wherein one set of applications doesn’t always speak to the other. “One of the things that’s clearly missing is some of the tools and techniques that allow advertisers to do what classical one-to-one marketers have done for a long time,” Erwin said.
This isn’t for lack of trying.
Adobe has an application called Media Optimizer within its marketing cloud, but it’s mostly for paid search. Salesforce.com didn’t seem to have a strategy until Tuesday, when it unveiled a data-sharing partnership with holding company Omnicom’s analytics arm, Annalect. And Oracle, with its BlueKai acquisition, seems to be positioning itself to enable better connections between marketing software and ad software, though it’s unclear how well it can currently execute on that potential.
Correction 9/24: An original version of this article described AdTruth as a "mobile mega-cookie." An Experian spokesperson said "AdTruth is a device recognition technology that creates a universal ID. It can be used with cookies in place to ensure persistency but part of what’s great about the technology is that it works on devices in which cookies are disabled." The article has been amended.