Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Adobe Announces New Data-Sharing Effort for Cross-device Ad Targeting

On March 22nd, Adobe revealed a new cross-device targeting effort to help advertisers target the same user across multiple devices.  Adobe is not the first company to launch a cross-device targeting platform. Existing companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon have cross-device targeting capabilities.  These companies use what is called a "Deterministic Approach", which is when login information is used to track the same user across multiple devices.  For instance, if a user signs into Facebook on a desktop and then the same account on a mobile device, then the targeting tool determines it is the same user.

Adobe understands that not all advertisers can be of the same caliber as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, so it has decided to launch the Cloud Device Co-op platform to enable advertisers of smaller scale to share data with each other.  With the Cloud Device Co-op platform, if one company has been able to use login data to determine two devices belong to the same person, other members of the co-op can take advantage of that and tailor their ads accordingly. If a business wanted to target ads at a user on a laptop, they could now also reach that user on a smartphone.  The targeting can also determine if a user looked at a product on a laptop but bought it on a tablet, and therefore inform advertisers not to re-target ads for something the user has already purchased.   

There are some privacy concerns with the platform, but Adobe notes that advertisers will only participate in the program if they explicitly opt in and that no personally identifiable information will be shared about individual users- only the fact that certain devices have linkages to each other.   


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