Identifying customers across channels and devices is already a challenge for marketers, and it’s bound to be more difficult in a world with increased data restrictions as well as one without much-relied upon cookies. Indeed, a majority of marketers envision a future that will necessitate the need for multiple identity solutions, per data [download page] provided by Lotame Solutions.
When the more than 150 marketers surveyed were asked how they foresee the future of identity solutions, 6 in 10 said that multiple identity solutions will be needed, as long as they are interoperable. Only 1 in 5 (22%) believe that only one identity solution will be needed — winner takes all, while 1 in 10 think that only walled gardens will be needed as identity solutions. There was also a scarce 7% who said that no identity solutions will be needed in the future.
Is Budget Standing in the Way?
One area where marketers are close to unanimous in thinking is that a post-cookie world will need to include a connected ecosystem including elements such as universal device ID, publisher co-op and open web with ad-supported, diverse content. More than three-quarters of marketers agreed that a connected ecosystem is very (42%) or quite (35%) important in a world without cookies, with a further 14% believing it will be critical to industry success.
There are indications that organizations are taking identity-based solutions seriously. Merkle found that close to two-thirds of US companies are allocating between 16% and 25% of their marketing technology budgets to identity-based solutions, with more than half (56%) of those in IT allocating in excess of 20% of their martech spend to these solutions.
Nevertheless, budget does stand in the way of some organizations taking advantage of some identity solutions. Some 22% of marketers are already embracing the use of identity graph solutions in order to map audiences across devices, platforms and browsers, and another half anticipate using it either in the next 6 months (25%) or next year (24%). However, 1 in 5 claim they have no budget for such a solution.
Past research from Sizmek found that although advertising decision-makers tended to prioritize audience and context equally, they did sway more on the side of audience than context. More than two years later and faced with replacing audience targeting, Lotame Solutions’ research shows that more than one-third (35%) of marketers surveyed for the report are fully confident that contextual targeting alone will replace audience targeting. This is countered by 12% of respondents who say they have no confidence in contextual targeting alone as a replacement for audience targeting.
Harkening back to the finding that most marketers see a future involving multiple identity solutions that are able to exchange and use information, more than half (54%) of marketers believe that contextual targeting is a useful tactic, but not when used on its own.
Find the full report here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 152 US senior marketing decision-makers.