Digiday assesses the top 10 ID alternatives

Without third-party identifiers (like cookies), we've all come to recognize that connected identity is the current and future backbone of digital marketing. But in a landscape with many players (some old, some new) and technology (also some old, some new), how do you know who has the best identity solution?  

Digiday stepped in to help. In a new Digiday+ research piece, “A guide to the top ID alternatives for publishers,” Digiday looks at the major identity solutions in the market and “breaks down the key characteristics of each of the leading IDs and maps out their ideal use cases.”  

Epsilon’s CORE ID was the only one to use all nine identifiers in Digiday’s criteria. While the assessment is not a stack ranking of identity solutions, Digiday assessed them across all potential identifiers used, and for reference, the next-highest solution only uses five of the nine.  

This shows just how comprehensive Epsilon’s CORE ID is, and how much more you get by working with us.  

Who is in the Digiday report? 

The guide focuses on identity solutions for publishers, but “publishers” are what make up the entire internet—they’re everything you read online and every app you download. Which means Digiday’s assessment can be applied to any brand or publisher that needs a reliable way to reach people in a world without prevalent third-party identifiers.  

In the full report, Digiday assesses the following identity solutions (in alphabetical order): 

  • Connect ID (Yahoo) 
  • CORE ID (Epsilon) 
  • Fabrick ID (Neustar) 
  • ID5 ID (ID5) 
  • nonID (LiveIntent)
  • Panorama ID (Lotame)
  • Ramp ID (LiveRamp)
  • SharedID (Prebid)
  • SWID (51Degrees)
  • Unified ID 2.0 (The Trade Desk) 

And they show what identifiers each solution incorporates across the nine most common ways to identify consumers, which is where Epsilon stands out as the only identity solution that incorporates and connects all of them 

  1. Email
  2. Phone number
  3. Name
  4. Postal address
  5. IP address
  6. Browser activity
  7. Device data
  8. First-party cookies
  9. Third-party cookies 

Why are all of these identifiers important?  

Why does Epsilon go through all the work to use nine identifiers when the next-best option only uses five? Well, each of these identifiers help to ensure persistent, not duplicated, privacy-safe connections with real people over time. Without all of them, you’re simply not getting the best of the best in identity resolution, and here’s why:  

Email, phone number, name and postal address allow you to know the offline person. 

  • Truly knowing a person requires having a name and address connected to that individual, which is how we anchor CORE ID. 
  • In the Digiday report, you can see that competitors make an email address the foundation of their identity solution, and then append data to that profile. This is problematic because many people have multiple email addresses.  
  • With CORE ID, we typically see an average of 5 email addresses associated with a single individual. We use email addresses to strengthen matches during onboarding, but it’s just one of many data points used to inform each CORE ID.  

IP address, browser activity, device data, first-party cookies and third-party cookies all connect the person to digital signals.  

  • Once we have the offline identity established, we can appropriately connect digital signals to that foundation.  
  • In a post-cookie world, you’re going to need all digital signals to identify real, relevant consumer activity online.  
  • Our first-party integrations with publishers are critical to connecting online activity to our CORE IDs.  
  • What’s more, each brand client can connect their own first-party data to their instance of CORE ID, allowing them to benefit from all our identifiers plus their own data without ever sharing or comingling their data with other client data that uses CORE ID.  
  • With all of these factors, we’ve already been delivering people-based marketing in the cookieless world on Apple and will be able to in Google’s future state. 

Digiday also called out what makes CORE ID unique, which has a special nod to our persistent opt-out policy to ensure we always respect consumer preferences: “An offline name and address is the basis of CORE ID. And once a user opts out on one device, they are opted out on all devices, making user consent a dominant factor.” 

What do you get by working with Epsilon? 

  • A dynamic (not static) view of each person: People aren’t staticthey’re dynamic, and your marketing should be too. Those first-party publisher integrations we just mentioned? They leverage real-time data about the individual that connects to the CORE ID. Yes, some of the other solutions in Digiday’s assessment use similar digital signals, but many reference historic (a nice way of saying “outdated”) information versus real-time, which not only creates annoying experiences for the consumer because it’s referencing information that is no longer relevant to them, but it’s also wasting your brand’s ad dollars.  
  • More opportunities to reach consumers: One of Digiday’s callouts was CORE ID’s full-service activation through our digital media solutions and how that enables us to consistently reach consumers. With this approach, the brands we work with get 2-3x more reach when activating their customer files than they get from other identity solutions—that’s a lot more people and a lot more matches.   
  • Persistent and built to last: Identity solutions need to build today for the future, but far too many partners just started building for today about 2.5 years ago when Google said they were getting rid of third-party cookies (yikes…). At Epsilon, we’ve been building this solution since 2012. And because we anchor across multiple data sources, we can recognize and reach consumers both online and offline, and we won’t lose them even as third-party identifiers go away.  

Want to learn more?  

We talk about this topic a lot (it’s a pretty big deal). Check out these other resources to learn more about Epsilon’s approach to identity and what others have to say:   

  • Forrester’s Q1 2021 Wave on Customer Database and Engagement Agencies, where Epsilon was named a leader with the top score in the “current offering” category and the highest scores possible in 20 of the evaluation’s 29 criteria.
  • Our SVP of product sharing the 6 ingredients to create a fully baked identity strategy with Adweek.
  • Forrester’s 2020 Now Tech report on Identity Resolution providers, where Epsilon was the only partner to be categorized in all four primary functionality segments of identity resolution (first-person PII identity, onboarding, embedded digital identity and digital identity).

We also get that this topic can be super technical. For some fun, easy-to-understand ways to think about identity solutions, see what the new Spider-Man movie can teach us about identity resolution, or get a zombie’s take on how brands “just don’t seem to understand” how to talk to him since he was zombified (because they’re only using historical information).

And check out our website for more information on Epsilon's CORE ID