The Only Truly Universal ID Option Is the Ability to Work With Multiple IDs

More is better when it comes to identity solutions

While credible alternatives to third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) have emerged, none have risen as a clear leader. And that’s in part because publishers and marketers have yet to make the shift in earnest. They are still transacting on cookies and MAIDs, clinging to the old model for as long as possible.

While the cliff is fast approaching, the market provides what seems like a new alternative every day. LiveRamp has its Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) and IdentityLink Consortium (IDL), The Trade Desk offers the Universal ID 2.0 (UID 2.0), Merkle has its Merkury ID, ID5 has its own Universal ID, and the list goes on. Each of these solutions presents a credible currency for marketing-based on identity.

However, in spite of the branding, the multiplicity of offerings more or less guarantees that none will be truly universal out of the gate. To succeed, marketers need to be prepared to execute against a multi-point, multi-ID ecosystem, and be in control of a centralized deployment and analytic solution.

People-based marketing is the future

Despite this uncertainty, there are a few things that we can project with some confidence. Namely, that this future will be people-based and privacy-first. Marketers, via whatever mechanism, will need to leverage their data assets in a secure way to reach real people.

At this moment, it’s worth remembering what hasn’t changed in this equation: People-based marketing is still fundamentally about matching first-party data with the personally identifiable information (PII) that establishes who they are in a deterministic way.

The entire world has changed, but PII hasn’t. It’s still a hashed email or home address. Both are relatively stable and can be confidently validated as representing a real person. Regardless of the mechanism, people-based marketing connects first- or third-party data to PII and delivers a holistic and consistent marketing message.

Adstra has focused on building a solution to facilitate that connection via whatever mechanism works best for an individual marketer. This identity management platform works for today’s standard of third-party data and tomorrow’s standard of first-party data. It provides safe, compliant, portable, and cost-efficient access to any form of marketing data, combined with any form of identity and any form of applied analytics. With the ability to transform identity from one media to another, Adstra can orchestrate consistent messaging at an individual level, utilizing any ID graph in combination with any form of marketing data.

Marketers should not have to make their own assumptions about which of the emergent identity solutions will gain traction and become a currency. It’s possible that none will. Betting on one option risks the possibility of having to rework your mar-tech investment strategy. The only truly universal solution lies in having the agility and interoperability to work with multiple identity solutions at once.

As the EVP of product solutions, Bryan MacDonald owns Adstra’s product strategy and roadmap and manages many of Adstra’s third-party partnerships. He and his team also provide sales solutions engineering support of new account acquisition and existing client cross-sell.