When Dentsu Aegis Network acquired performance agency Merkle last year, it gained deep expertise in data-driven marketing as well as a data hub for its agency brands.
That hub is called M1, Merkle’s data and media planning tool launched last year. M1 can pull in an advertiser’s data and match it to personally identifiable information (PII) on more than 280 million known user IDs from Merkle’s days as a direct marketing agency to create a privacy-compliant universal ID.
M1 can then sync that ID to a publisher’s audience data to find exact impression matches. Merkle has signed on AOL as a partner for this two-way ID sync, and will bring on CBS, ESPN, Weather, Pandora, Comcast and more publishers in the coming months.
“We’re using a secure, standard key that publishers link to their known audience and we link to our advertisers' audience,” said John Lee, chief product and data officer at Merkle. “M1 can match directly across everything AOL [for example] has on owned-and-operated as well as programmatic inventory.”
Merkle has only used its ID sync with a dozen or so clients, but early results are strong. Performance varies from around 20% to the “very high double-digit range,” Lee said.
Using ID sync, one financial services client reduced cost per lift on mobile by over 80% and on desktop by over 25%. Another client saw 60% unique reach when running its segments against M1’s ID sync publishers versus the open exchange.
“We’re reaching people we set out to reach and avoiding issues like finding a person with six cookies,” Lee said.
Lee spoke with AdExchanger.
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