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 is a data connectivity platfom that enables businesses to connect, unify, control, and activate data across different channels and devices to optimize customer experiences and drive better results.
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 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.
LiveRamp’s ability to connect and integrate disparate data from multiple platforms is similar to what Improvado does with its Marketing Common Data Model (MCDM) framework, although both platforms are not alternatives to each other.
Improvado’s MCDM framework enables marketers to automatically combine and harmonize customer data from all their marketing channels. This empowers them to go past the hassles of disparate naming conventions and achieve a holistic view of campaign performances across all channels and devices.
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.
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.
500+ data sources under one roof to drive business growth. 👇