The 21st-century business ecosystem is heavily powered by data, with businesses spending a large chunk of their marketing budget in acquiring customer data.
Despite all that’s been said over the years about data being the new oil, most of the data collected by organizations simply go unused. There is no denying that data-driven customer experience is crucial to success. Yet, most organizations struggle to unify, control, and activate data across all relevant touchpoints to power optimal customer experiences and ultimately generate more revenue.
This struggle can be attributed to several factors. Scattered touchpoints and siloed data are popular instances. Marketers depend on a wide variety of tools and platforms to execute their marketing campaigns. With each new platform, marketers generate new data sets, and turning these into actionable insights in real-time becomes more complicated.
This has given rise to the need for systems that can connect disparate data sets and empower marketers to make effective data-driven decisions. This is what LiveRamp seeks to achieve.
In this guide, we will take a look at what LiveRamp is, what it does, and how it helps marketers drive better results with data.
What is LiveRamp?
LiveRamp also excels at data onboarding, helping organizations integrate offline customer data into their online marketing platforms. This empowers marketers to leverage complete customer data for analytics, targeting, content personalization, and more in an effective and safe way.
This essentially answers two questions: “What is LiveRamp” and “what does LiveRamp do?” But another important aspect of this guide is knowing how LiveRamp works and what sets it apart in the industry.
How Does LiveRamp Work?
The key to understanding your customer's journey and optimizing their experiences lies in your ability to get a full view of the customer’s interactions at all stages. But this is not as easy as it sounds.
Customer attention is scattered across many touchpoints. Thus, to get a full view of your customers’ interactions, you’ll need to connect thousands of offline and online customer data across all touchpoints.
So, how does LiveRamp help marketers achieve this?
Let’s say you own a retail shop and want to launch an omnichannel marketing campaign that targets customers on all channels relevant to them. You want to find them on online platforms like blogs, video sharing platforms, social media networks, search engines, email services, and more, but all you have is their offline data. LiveRamp allows you to onboard this offline data through the following steps:
- LiveRamp collects your offline data through SFTP or LiveRamp Connect. The platform strongly discourages sending your marketing data through email for privacy reasons.
- It anonymizes and matches the data to an IdentityLink (more on this soon).
- This offline data is then translated into internet-usable formats (online data) by matching the IdentityLink to cookies and mobile IDs.
- The generated data will be sent to any of LiveRamp's 500+ data destinations, allowing you to perform more efficient analytics and target your ideal customers in a privacy-conscious, personalized manner across all channels.
What is LiveRamp’s Data Onboarding?
LiveRamp Data Onboarding facilitates this process by securely and accurately matching offline customer data with online digital identifiers, such as cookies and mobile device IDs. This allows marketers to target their existing customers with personalized and relevant content across various digital channels, ultimately leading to improved marketing performance and better customer experiences.
Who Can Benefit from LiveRamp Data Onboarding
Organizations with significant amounts of offline customer data can benefit from LiveRamp Data Onboarding. Particularly those handling transactional records, CRM data, or customer loyalty information. With LiveRamp Data Onboarding, these organizations can:
- Enhance their online marketing efforts by targeting their existing customers more effectively.
- Improve customer segmentation and personalization, delivering more relevant content and offers.
- Gain a better understanding of their customers' online behavior, enabling data-driven decision-making and optimized marketing strategies.
- Increase return on investment (ROI) on their digital marketing campaigns by focusing on high-value customer segments.
- Ensure data privacy and compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, as LiveRamp employs strict security measures to protect customer data.
LiveRamp Data Onboarding Steps
LiveRamp Data Onboarding involves several steps to ensure accurate and secure matching of offline customer data with online identifiers:
Data Collection: Businesses provide their customer data, such as mailing addresses, email addresses, or phone numbers, to LiveRamp. This data must be in a structured format, like a CSV or Excel file, and must adhere to LiveRamp's data formatting guidelines.
Data Preparation: LiveRamp processes the provided data and prepares it for onboarding. This step includes data cleansing, normalization, and hashing to ensure data consistency and security. Personally identifiable information (PII) is anonymized, and a unique, non-reversible hash is generated for each data point.
Identity Matching: LiveRamp's IdentityLink technology matches the hashed offline data with online identifiers such as cookies, mobile device IDs, or IP addresses. This process relies on LiveRamp's extensive identity graph, which contains billions of anonymized consumer profiles and digital identifiers.
Data Activation: Once the matching process is complete, the matched online identifiers are made available to businesses through their preferred marketing platforms, such as demand-side platforms (DSPs), data management platforms (DMPs), or customer data platforms (CDPs). Marketers can then use this data to create targeted and personalized marketing campaigns across various digital channels.
Measurement and Optimization: Businesses can analyze the performance of their campaigns using the onboarded data to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This information can be used to refine and optimize marketing strategies for better results and improved ROI.
What is LiveRamp’s IdentityLink
LiveRamp’s IdentityLink is an anonymous identifier that uniquely pinpoints an individual across all relevant channels and devices, including offline.
Large-scale enterprises typically leverage a wide variety of offline and online channels (TV, email, offline stores, mobile apps, radio, print, etc.) to market to their prospects scattered across the world.
Each channel has its own tools and platforms: digital ad networks, retargeting platforms, display and addressable TV platforms, CRMs, email service providers, etc.
These tools generate their own unique customer data during marketing campaigns, and since they don’t use data in the same formats, they can’t share data with each other. This makes it hard to tie all the data back to the same, real customers.
Thus, it is tough to see the entire customer journey, measure marketing efficacy, and optimize campaigns.
LiveRamp’s IdentityLink collects all the data from each of these channels and devices and matches them to the relevant customers using its identity graph. This enables marketers to see every piece of data related to each customer. That way, they can understand their customers’ journeys, measure the efficacy of their campaigns, and ultimately optimize for better results.
LiveRamp’s IdentityLink stands out because it doesn’t rely solely on cookies for identifying users across channels and devices. This gives it a higher matching accuracy rate than platforms that solely depend on cookie matching.
According to LiveRamp, marketers who use IdentityLink as part of their targeting data can narrow down their audience more efficiently and make opt-outs more persistent.
LiveRamp recently announced that it had rebranded IdentityLink to RampID in a bid to align the widely used identity resolution tool to the LiveRamp brand.
RampID and the Cookie-less Future
In the last few years, ad tech industry experts have speculated over the inevitable end of the third-party (3P) cookie system. The fate of the 3P cookie would seem to have been sealed when Google announced that it would terminate its support for third-party cookies in 2023.
This doesn't come as a surprise to marketers and publishers, judging by the several challenges associated with 3P cookies. For instance, with 3P cookies, site visitors have minimal choice and control over their data on the open web. Also, third-party cookies are infamous for negatively impacting user experience.
“LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution has become the industry standard for identity in a post cookie world, and Safe Haven® is game changing for the future of data-driven customer experience.”
LiveRamp CEO Scott How
In anticipation of the shift away from the cookie-based model, LiveRamp partnered with many publishers and tech platforms to roll out a people-based infrastructure that helps marketers thrive in the cookie-less future. These include:
- The Authentication Traffic Solution (ATS): Enables publishers to engage in transparent value exchange with their site visitors, who can get access to content in exchange for authenticated data
- Preference and Consent Management Tools: Enable publishers to build trust with their site visitors by allowing them to control how much data they want to share
- RampID (formerly IdentityLink): Uses Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to connect marketers to consumers. This empowers them to deliver optimal customer experiences without relying on 3P cookies
Publishers are reinventing their engagement philosophies to enable their visitors to express control over how their data is used. This helps them build better connections and trust with their site users and connects them to relevant advertisers in high-quality, privacy-compliant environments. As a result, marketers will get access to high-quality prospects that can relate to their advertising content.
RampID: a deeper dive into LiveRamp’s identity resolution solution
RampID, formerly known as IdentityLink, is LiveRamp's identity resolution tool that helps marketers connect, control, and activate data across different channels and devices. It uniquely identifies an individual across all relevant channels and devices, including offline touchpoints.
The identity resolution process in LiveRamp works through the following steps:
- LiveRamp collects data from various online and offline channels, including email service providers, digital ad networks, retargeting platforms, CRMs, and more.
- It then matches the collected data to create an identity graph that connects all data points related to an individual customer.
- By using this identity graph, marketers can get a comprehensive view of a customer's journey, measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, and optimize for better results.
RampID, the rebranded IdentityLink, maintains the core functionality of IdentityLink but is now aligned with the LiveRamp brand. The primary difference between RampID and IdentityLink lies in the branding and not in the technology itself.
One key advantage of RampID (IdentityLink) over other identity resolution tools is that it doesn't rely solely on cookies for identifying users across channels and devices. This gives it a higher matching accuracy rate than platforms that depend exclusively on cookie matching.
By using RampID, marketers can narrow down their audience more efficiently and make opt-outs more persistent, ensuring better marketing outcomes and improved customer experiences.
How to Use LiveRamp for Marketing Attribution
LiveRamp enables advertisers to attribute offline transactions/events to online advertising on certain platforms. The process involves uploading transaction data to LiveRamp, which then matches the data to the identifiers that the platform expects. The platform receives the matched data and determines which events can be attributed to their advertising.
For example, an advertiser running ads on Facebook can use LiveRamp to send in-store transaction data to Facebook's Offline Conversions API Attribution Program. Facebook then uses this data to create reports and dashboards that show the advertiser which offline transactions can be attributed to their online advertising on Facebook.
This attribution process generally consists of these steps:
- The advertiser uploads transaction data (usually offline PII) to LiveRamp.
- LiveRamp matches the input PII to the identifiers expected by the destination platform.
- LiveRamp delivers the transaction data, now tied to the appropriate identifier, to the platform.
- The platform matches the identifiers to their users (events matched - unattributed).
- The platform determines which events can be attributed to their advertising (events matched - attributed).
Another use case is LiveRamp’s DV360 offline conversions attribution program. LiveRamp helps attribute offline conversions from DV360 by enabling marketers to integrate their offline transaction data with their Campaign Manager account.
Here’s how it works. LiveRamp first receives authorization and user access from the marketer to send data to their Campaign Manager 360 account. The marketer then sets up Floodlight activities and custom Floodlight variables, if necessary, and provides LiveRamp with the generated IDs. LiveRamp matches the data and delivers it to the Google DV360 account, allowing the marketer to view the attribution analysis, which showcases the ROI of their advertising campaigns across both online and offline channels.
In addition, LiveRamp enables cross-device and cross-channel attribution by connecting customer data from multiple sources, such as mobile devices, desktops, social media, email, and display advertising. LiveRamp's identity graph accurately connects consumers' various online and offline identifiers, such as email addresses, cookies, and mobile device IDs. By creating a unified and anonymized customer profile, LiveRamp allows marketers to understand the customer journey across different devices and channels.
Beyond LiveRamp: exploring alternatives for attribution and marketing analytics
While LiveRamp is an effective solution for merging, activating, and operationalizing first-party and third-party data, it doesn't address the complete needs of marketers and marketing analysts when it comes to data analysis. In this scenario, they still have to seek out business intelligence tools, ensure that all data is aligned, and manually search for insights.
A comprehensive marketing analytics platform would solve the problem. Improvado is the perfect example of such a platform.
Improvado automates the entire process. What would take weeks to accomplish takes seconds with Improvado.
The platform then loads your analysis-ready data from LiveRamp and other platforms into the business intelligence tool of your choice. Improvado offers ready-to-use attribution dashboards for various attribution models. Meaning you don’t have to worry about building charts, naming your metrics, mapping data, and other tedious data-crunching tasks.
With Improvado, users can seamlessly connect the dots between their marketing, sales, and financial data, unlocking the full potential of their marketing analytics.
As the internet marketing industry continues to evolve and the end of 3P cookies continues to loom on the horizon, it has become essential for businesses to adopt more sustainable technologies in leveraging data to provide optimal experiences for their customers.
LiveRamp exists to help businesses connect, control, and activate data in an efficient and privacy-compliant way. This empowers them to transform customer experiences and drive better results from their marketing campaigns.
Frequently Asked Questions