The 5 keys to connecting with real people - Part III: accuracy, persistence and privacy

Continuing with our theme on the five keys to connect with real people, this week we’re looking at accuracy, persistence and privacy. These are vital in helping marketers accurately recognise individuals and to continue to reach them with compelling messages over the long term.


Last week we looked at recognition and reach, but for your marketing solution to work they need to be twinned with an understanding of consumers accurate enough to deliver the right messages to the right people.

At Conversant, our recognition technology is based on verifiably accurate reporting of actual customer purchases. This means our network is built from consumers with disposable income to buy your products. We track lists of transactions from our 4,000 clients, totalling 75 million daily online and offline purchases. We match each time our individuals make a transaction, which is more than 3.5 million times per day, that’s 1.5-times the transactions per second of Amazon. As a result of this our matches are based on the highest quality names and addresses.

Our approach conquers the biggest accuracy challenges that marketers face and avoids the common mistakes:

Matching only with email addresses: most internet users have multiple email addresses and this can lead to duplication of IDs. It is also important to match using online and offline transactional material.

A match pool that is too small: this can limit the potential of your campaign. Marketers should use a quality match pool, filled with people who have high household incomes and a history of online transactions.

Matching third-party cookies: Apple browser, Safari, rejects third-party cookies, which means these matches exclude 35 per cent of educated, high-income individuals. The solution for marketers is to work with a partner that can reach users on all browsers, on display and mobile.


Consumers’ activity is always changing, online and off. Data stays strong only if we maintain a persistent link with them over time. Each person is linked to an average of 19 cookies monthly and those disappear roughly every seven weeks.

At Conversant, we don’t rely on cookies alone – we connect other online activities, plus online and offline transactions, to our consumer IDs. This not only allows us to carry on conversations with the same customer for years, it also allows us to make year-on-year comparisons.


Excelling at recognition, reach, accuracy and persistence is difficult but it can be even more of a challenge to achieve it within a privacy framework.

Data should always be scrubbed of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) before it’s used – a piece of industry best-practice to allow data to be used safely across networks.

Conversant complies fully with voluntary industry guidelines for Consumer Privacy Notice and Choice and employs a company-wide Chief Privacy Officer to ensure privacy remains an integral part of our approach. We use anonymous, non-PII data and our client data is always stored with logical separation. We are Certified Information Privacy Professionals and participants in the Digital Advertising Alliance’s AdChoices programme.

Having outlined the key essentials that marketers need to address to connect with real people, in our next post we will explore the benefits of combining all five.

Next blog post, 13 April, 2016: ‘The 5 keys to connecting with real people: the benefits of Conversant’s solution’