RampUp 2019: Insights from CTO Dr. Bill Simmons


This week we sat down with Dr. Bill Simmons, Chief Technical Officer, at dataxu to hear more about his experience at RampUp 2019.

Hi Dr. Bill, thank you for sitting down with us to tell us about your experience at RampUp last week. Let’s dive in.

For starters, can you tell us a little bit about LiveRamp’s RampUp Conference? Why does everyone go?

LiveRamp works with a number of contributors to this ecosystem – marketers, publishers, tech partners. Everyone in ad tech intersects with LiveRamp in some way.  The content that you will find at RampUp appeals to many kinds of marketers and advertisers.

The event in San Francisco hosts more than 3,000 people in the Fairmont Hotel and the lobby serves as a central location to make connections – essentially networking at its finest.

Lastly, puppies. RampPups. LiveRamp partners with the San Francisco SPCA to bring adoptable pups onsite for cuddles. What more could you ask for? 

Why were you interested in attending this year?

LiveRamp has been a longtime partner of dataxu’s, and we recently expanded that partnership. In November, we announced that dataxu’s TouchPoint DSP was the first, and only way to buy against LiveRamp IdentityLink natively in the bidstream.

LiveRamp’s IdentityLink™ is a people-based identifier. It has recently become available in the bidstream leveraging the Advertising ID Consortium. This allows brands and agencies to buy media against their own customer or third-party data with greater precision, and to manage frequency and targeting at the person-level. The main benefit: marketers can significantly reduce the data loss that is common in programmatic activation, which can exceed 50 percent. We are proud to be first to market with this integration.

What were some of the key themes that were present at RampUp 2019?

Last week news broke that LiveRamp was making the use of IdentityLink (IDL) free to DSPs for targeting, frequency caps, and analytics. (the fine print: you can’t charge for it and you can’t use the data to build your own graph). This sparked endless conversations about different solutions to the identity issues in programmatic and how LiveRamp’s announcement could shake up the industry.

I also participated in a panel session with Index Exchange, The Trade Desk and LiveRamp from the POV of the Advertising ID Consortium, of which all the panel companies are members. In our session, The Power of Identity, we discussed the various open-identity solutions the group supports and highlighted the progress the Consortium has made in the last 12 months.

And of course, TV was an ever-present topic. One of the many exciting elements of the dataxu and LiveRamp integration is how dataxu customers can use IdentityLink across all touchpoints, including TV. By using OneView and IdentityLink in a TV plan with dataxu’s TotalTV™ offering, marketers are also able to better activate customer data across OTT streaming devices, seeing 100 percent audience match between dataxu and SSPs. This opens up dataxu’s more than 40 million North American households to LiveRamp customers.

If you could sum up the biggest takeaway from the conference, as it pertains to getting ahead in 2019, into a few sentences, what would it be?

It’s critical that your marketing technology stack contains a unified view of the customer. Whether you’re looking at current customers, prospects or viewing behaviors (be it CTV or linear), you need a unified way to look at all of those factors to understand ROI and optimize accordingly.  In 2019, the right approach to do this is quite uncertain. Do you depend on LiveRamp IdentityLink for your offline/online link? Experian? Neustar? Which probabilistic vendors should you use?

dataxu is unique in the market in that we offer our customers flexibility. OneView is a fully configurable real-time Graph Management stack. We can mix and match providers for our customers, helping take the best of all providers and navigate the challenges.

Your presentation was around dataxu + LiveRamp IdentityLink. Could you give us a summary of your presentation for those of us who were not able to join?

I presented as part of the LiveRamp Innovation Studios track, and gave a great audience of 100+ details on dataxu’s first-to-market partnership with LiveRamp IdentityLink.

The presentation highlighted our first public results for our new feature that lets you use OneView, dataxu’s cross-device DMP,  to optionally select LiveRamp IdentityLink (IDL) as your primary ID for programmatic. So far, we’ve seen:

– 8% more reach per unique IDL
– Precise cross-device frequency capping per person-based IDL
– 100% coverage of IDL annotation in exposure files sent back to LiveRamp for measurement (typically 40 to 60% of events have no IDL match!)

Those who’ve worked with me for many years know that I’m not known for histrionics, but I have to say these results are awesome and I expect them to improve as real-time IDL rolls out to more inventory.

If you are a customer of LiveRamp and frustrated by inaccurate onboarding and inaccurate reporting by your current DSP, try us out.  It’s easy and the results are amazing. We’ve achieved excellent scale using this feature to buy CTV inventory in our TotalTV Marketplace.

For those interested in learning more about dataxu + LiveRamp IdentityLink, where can they find more information?

Cortney Frank, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, at dataxu wrote a great blog around our offering. You can view it here!