With Digital Identity in Flux, Neustar Wants to ‘Fill the Gaps’ of First-Party Data

The ad-tech vendor struck a partnership with Quaero, a customer data platform

Neustar and Quaero logos
Data deletion requests add a new wrinkle to the digital identity problem. Neustar, Quaero

The demise of third-party cookies and the regulatory might of California’s Consumer Privacy Act have both the buy- and sell-side rethinking how they reach consumers.

To do that, brands and publishers need to make sense of the first-party data they have on their audiences, usually with the help of a customer data platform (CDP). Neustar, a company that helps advertisers with data solutions, is now integrating its identity technology into the CDP space to further help match that data to an end user.

Neustar has partnered with Quaero, a CDP whose customers include Disney, Bayer and PayPal, to help fill any gaps that a customer’s first-party data doesn’t answer.

The partnership will essentially see Neustar use its pools of data collected from integrations with walled gardens and publishers, as well as offline data like in-store purchases, to enrich a brand or publisher’s datasets that Quaero helps to organize.

Managing data and matching to a user is especially important given the rise of legislation such as CCPA, which gives California residents the right to request that businesses delete any data they possess about them.

“You have to be prepared and understand in completeness where all of a consumer’s data lie. It’s no longer reasonable to have fragmented consumer data sitting all over the place,” said Robert McKay, svp of customer identity and risk solutions at Neustar.

Many identity vendors are fighting over market share as the industry seeks a viable alternative to the third-party cookie. Paul Cimino, global head of data strategy at Prohaska Consulting, called identity the hottest issue in digital marketing.

“You have to find a first-party ID system that does two things. One is, it allows you to scale out in the world as much as possible; and two is, it protects your identity as much as possible. Those are opposites, by the way,” said Cimino.

Quaero integrates its technology directly into a client’s tech stack and then connects into Neustar’s platform to match audiences and fill any “missing gaps” in the data, said Quaero CEO Naras Eechambadi.

Eechambadi added that he’s seeing increased interest from the buy-side in adopting CDPs.

“They want to get a better handle of who their current customers are, who their best customers are, and therefore what kind of customers do we want to go after,” he said.

Neustar caters mostly to big brands. It integrates with walled gardens and publishers and marries that information with offline data to provide brands with a sense of who their customers are. McKay said the company looks toward publishers and walled gardens to build privacy-safe “consumer-centric” IDs that will ideally withstand the downfall of third-party cookies.

Cimino said changes to online privacy have finally put publishers in a position of strength.

“There are things they know they never really get paid for. The identity gets stripped away; the segmentation gets stripped away into the bidstream. They just lose control of the data. They’re now in a position with these first-party rules to take control,” he said.

@andrewblustein andrew.blustein@adweek.com Andrew Blustein is a programmatic reporter at Adweek.