Almost exactly a year ago, data onboarding and identity resolution provider LiveRamp announced a new people-based search targeting service for IdentityLink.
With Google’s Customer Match, a brand can target customers with ads in Google Search results. A Honda dealer in Boston, for instance, can target previous and current customers for a sale at its dealership when that user searches for, say, “Honda CRV.”
The dealership can upload the email addresses, phone numbers or addresses of its customers, and Google will try to match it to data users’ Google account data. It might also have other corresponding email addresses for the same person, since non-Google email addresses are sometimes used on Google properties, like YouTube.
Since many people remain logged into their account on a Google property while searching, Google can identify those people for the Honda dealer, so the dealership’s ad can be targeted during that search to that person’s history. LiveRamp’s IdentityLink features an extensive correlation of different data sets for the same person, including online and offline attributes and behavior.
This week, LiveRamp is applying the same service to Bing Search Ads.
To match up a relevant ad, Bing first looks at the search query. A search for, say, “hiking trails” may result in links to hiking trails, with accompanying search ads that include ones for hiking boots.
But, if someone is logged into a Microsoft, Yahoo or AOL property (since Yahoo and AOL employs the Bing search engine), LiveRamp’s IdentityLink may be able to match the address with other attributes, such as the fact that this person bought a pair of hiking boots in a physical store a month ago.
If the person isn’t logged in with a Microsoft or Yahoo email, the match might be made between a cookie on the user’s device and a cookie in the IdentityLink profile.
So, while the ad targeting is first made against the query, it might next be made against that person’s history. In this case, since the person searching “hiking trails” bought some hiking boots recently, the accompanying ad for this person searching for “hiking trails” might feature, say, hiking poles instead of boots.
LiveRamp CMO Jeff Smith told me that IdentityLink typically has three or four email addresses for every person’s profile, in addition to matching offline data like purchases in a physical store.
He said advertisers often find that as many as a quarter of their targeted customers can be matched with their profiles on IdentityLink. While other data providers can similarly offer matching profiles to the cookies or email addresses of Bing searchers, he said, IdentityLink’s difference “is the strength of our identity graph.”
It’s “more likely we know something about you, and more likely we have an identifier for you,” he said.