Personalized marketing depends on the ability to identify consumers. But how marketers go about identifying consumers is complex in today’s ecosystem. An Advertising Week panel led by MediaMath VP of strategic business development Ellie Windle pondered this topic. With an eye to changes in 2019, panelists discussed the GDPR, connected TV and the dynamic nature of establishing identity. The panel included Michele McCray-Howard, director, media partner solutions at Macy’s; Molly Parr senior director, data platform product management for Disney DTC; and Wendy Verschoor, product manager at Akamai Technologies.
Regarding the GDPR, Parr said, “I probably spend 40 percent of my time talking to privacy and legal. Everything needs to be put through that gauntlet and the lens of ‘Will our guests be happy?’” Parr said the holy grail is to please both guests and advertisers.
Meanwhile, the topic of connected TV came up several times. Panelists noted a shift in media consumption in which viewers are seeing TV as a source of on-demand content rather than as a broadcast medium.
“Identity can help you serve better content and ensure that where you’re buying your spots is where you want to be,” said McCray-Howard. “What we’ve been learning from our tech partners recently is you could be buying on network and then find out you’re on a kids’ TV show.” McCray-Howard said better data will prevent the serving of ads to inappropriate audiences.
Another conundrum for marketers is how to establish identities across platforms. Parr said a common misconception is that identity isn’t static. “We don’t go out and figure out identity and we’re done,” she said. “It’s a constantly trained model.”