LiveRamp, a company that takes offline marketing data and matches it with online advertising, continues to find ways to blend in customer relationship management into the digital mix. The company is releasing a CRM data onboarding software product, called GetOnboard, that helps tie online and offline, as well as CRM and advertising, more closely together.
The process of onboarding can be labor-intensive and slow, and as a result, progress on connecting offline consumer data with online has lagged. The San Francisco company also wants to be seen as addressing that issue, particularly as it looks to work with more demand side platforms and data management platforms, which tend to be limited to using cookie-based data.
"The new product is designed to automate the onboarding process," said Travis May, VP of product for LiveRamp. "Two years ago, almost no marketers were onboarding their offline data to online. That's changed these days, but the use cases are still limited. What GetOnboard does is create a dashboard where marketers can better manage that process and continue to upload and segment additional offline databases."
LiveRamp also is working to solve the mobile puzzle, said Dan Scudder, LiveRamp's VP for business development.
"Mobile is a big growth area for us, naturally," Scudder said. "We do have some mobile partners integrated, but our onboarding is still based on cookies and is therefore limited to Google Android and mobile web. In the next two or three months, we'll be launching an in-app version as we nail down partnerships with a variety of mobile ad networks."
One of the company's clients, marketing services firm Epsilon, will use GetOnboard to give retail clients a better picture of how online and offline campaigns have reinforced each other (or not).
"Retailers expect us to measure the in-store impact of online advertising campaigns," said Kyle Antoian, Epsilon's VP business development for online solutions. "We have access to transactional data from call centers, in-store, online and we're able to tie all those touchpoints together."
For Epsilon, GetOnboard serves two purposes, Antoian said. First, it's an audit tool that ensures its data is flowing properly to ad networks and DSPs it works with. Secondly, it has additional controls around audience segmentation. "We can now build new audience segments and profiles on the fly and instantly get that out to ad networks and DSPs in a matter of minutes," he said. "We're also a manager of first party client data. LiveRamp is the conduit for getting that data out to the ad networks and DSPs we work with. If there's a problem, we'll be able to see them and fix them more quickly."
The overall goal is to align CRM with advertising decisions, LiveRamp's May said. In essence, marketers have a part of their company that's directly responsible for handing CRM, which includes email and direct mail. And another part of the company deals with social media – which often bleeds into CRM – display and search advertising.
"People with the data in one part of a company and the people who need access to those analytics are increasingly sharing their competencies," May said. "We're seeing the organizational siloes come down between CRM and advertising. In digital, they're already merging into one consistent marketing strategy. Offline is catching up to that."