LiveRamp's CustomerLink Seeks a Single, Anonymous View

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In tracking journeys across on- and offline channels, the Acxiom unit assigns consumers single CustomerLink numbers.

In marketing's quest to solve the multichannel attribution problem, cookies block the way. The truth is that multiple cookies can be tied to the same individual, obfuscating the true path to purchase, and perpetuating the necessity of spending inefficiencies. Today, Acxiom's LiveRamp unit is introducing CustomerLink, a new SaaS product that seeks to give marketers a true map of a customer's journey by assigning her a CustomerLink number that identifies her no matter where she meanders, online or off.

“A typical customer journey consists of multiple interactions,” says LiveRamp President and General Manager Travis May. “Before a purchase is made, they'll get a catalog, look at email, visit websites, see display ads, mobile ads, videos. We're monitoring the entire sequence of these touchpoints and linking a single user to it. It will be crucial to achieve this as the next set of technology, like addressable TV and IoT, emerges.”

In building CustomerLink, LiveRamp augmented data from more than 200 partners with offline data from AbiliTec, another Acxiom unit. This encompasses such areas as mailing lists and in-store activity and drew retail-oriented companies including Nielsen Catalina Solutions, American Express, and TD Ameritrade as inaugural CustomerLink clients. In a retail and credit card environment growing increasingly sensitive to account privacy issues after countless data breaches, LiveRamp figures customer anonymity for  a hot commodity.

“Deep dives online, CRM files, promotional histories—all of these come with different customer IDs. How do you link them?” says CustomerLink Product Manager Julian Riediger. “We replace all those account IDs with an anonymous identifier and remove all the PII data.”

May says CustomerLink is able to provide attribution data and sales lift analyses by partnering with market research companies including ComScore and MarketShare.


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