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Can a ‘framework’ of solutions be an alternative to the duopoly?

AppNexus leads adtech consortium to enable ‘people-based marketing’ rivaling Facebook and Google’s duopoly.

In a recent piece published by The Drum Ronan Shields discusses how AppNexus are leading a group to help enable “people-based marketing”.

AppNexus, LiveRamp and MediaMath, along with Index Exchange, LiveIntent, plus Rocket Fuel, have all agreed to to create a standard framework that will enable people-based media buying for advertisers looking to utilize programmatic technologies, similar to the deterministic targeting promised by the two-biggest digital media owners Facebook and Google.

On first impression, this looks like a whole host of moving parts are required to work in harmony for this to actually do its job. When the pie is this complicated, I am unsure how having this many different fingers can be beneficial, especially when it’s trying to be a real alternative to a) Google or b) Facebook.

Travis May, president and general manager of LiveRamp, added: “There’s huge demand for leveraging a deterministic, omnichannel identifier in the bidstream, as marketers want to improve their interactions with consumers by linking data from customer files and offline channels – such as in-store purchases – to media exposure in programmatic channels. The creation of this consortium will accelerate the delivery of this value to marketers and their partners in the digital media ecosystem.

On this Travis is spot on. Through better linking consumers to their online alter egos, the benefits to clients are endless – from mapping the effects of media on offline and online behaviour, to treating customers like people and personalising how brands communicate. However, he is incorrect in the assertion that the consortium will accelerate this value as there are products outside of Google and Facebook already – whether they can be purchased through agency desks could be the reason they are not as prevalent as they perhaps could be.

David Gosen, general manager, platform solutions and SVP, international at Rocket Fuel, said: “This collaboration of businesses operating in the digital advertising space will contribute to more transparency and efficiency, which is great news for the internet and our industry. Vitally, it also creates greater relevance for the end consumer. At Rocket Fuel, we believe the future is about people, not devices, so partnering with others in the digital ecosystem to deliver this more widely is a positive move for all involved.”

The common theme from all of those involved within the consortium is that person first media is vital to all marketers. Yet, there is no indicator of when this will be available from them. Surely if person first media is so vital, marketers should be reaching out to vendors who have the ability and experience of running person first media today? They need to speak to someone who can do it right now.

Conversant, the company I work for has spent decades perfecting their person-based marketing solution which hundreds of clients would testify to. I’ll be watching with keen interest to see how the consortium’s solution works when it is released, and how it measures-up compared to the mature solutions available today.