IBM-owned pub The Weather Co. is working to tap into people-based marketing budgets that would normally go to Facebook or Google by using LiveRamp’s IdentityLink product.
Marketers and publishers alike onboard their data to LiveRamp’s huge online identity graph to kick off the process. Because LiveRamp can identify many more users than a marketer or publisher could on its own, the solution has enough scale to provide solid match rates.
From there, marketers can use the publisher’s data to buy media across the web using their own DSP. They also can more readily find their target customers on Weather Co.’s site.
Unlike Facebook Custom Audiences or Google Customer Match, Acxiom’s IdentityLink only provides the data match – it doesn’t provide targeting.
“Using a tool that allows us to sell people-based marketing solutions is great for our business,” said Jeremy Hlavacek, VP of global automated monetization at The Weather Co. “It helps us compete with Facebook and Google, and that’s the number-one goal for traditional and digital publishers today.”
LiveRamp built the tool using tech from its $140 million acquisitions of Arbor and Circulate last November. Before, it would sometimes do one-off customer matching projects between marketers and publishers, including Weather Co IdentityLink will make that process easier and more standardized.
Weather Co., which is just going live with IdentityLink, hopes to move from being just a publisher to a publisher and a data provider.
Marketers can use IdentityLink’s capabilities with Weather Co. in a few different ways. They can use it to make targeting more precise, layering age and gender with a high accuracy rate on top of other types of targeting.
“We hope this makes existing weather triggers work better,” Hlavacek said. “If we know a weather trigger works in New York City when it’s hot, it could work even better when you target a man or woman aged 18-35.”
Second, Weather Co. expects IdentityLink will also increase the quality of its own data, because it will be able to match its data to people, not cookies.
If Weather Co. can analyze weather triggers using data of real people, for example, it’s more likely to find new way that an advertiser’s sales are influenced by different weather conditions.
The product also will allow marketers to use Weather Co.’s data in more varied ways, including off Weather Co. properties. Via IdentityLink, marketers can find users who are experiencing different weather triggers across the web and serve them relevant ads.
Weather Co.’s sales team includes members who sell just data to the marketplace, whether it’s a huge retailer or an ad tech company. IdentityLink provides the tech to sell this data to the marketplace.
LiveRamp is betting that this product will help level the playing field between publishers and the duopoly.
“We have only been advertising to approximations of people,” said LiveRamp CMO Jeff Smith. “We see more and more marketing budgets flowing to people-based initiatives over the next three to four years, and this [product] opens up the opportunity for publishers to tap into these growing people-based budgets.”