Chain of Custody: Offline to Online Attribution

Offline to Online Attribution - the problem lies in a broken “chain of custody”.Offline to Online Attribution - the problem lies in a broken “chain of custody”.

It’s become painfully clear that cookie matching isn’t cutting it.  Customers are rightfully demanding higher levels of transparency to the audience being targeted, as well as proof that the audience is actually receiving the impressions as promised.

The problem lies in a broken “chain of custody”.

Online Marketing technology companies have been working many different angles to bridge the gap between a digital connection and the physical postal address.  Facebook, Google and others solve for it within their closed-silos link registration data to a person-based “Universal ID”.  Universal IDs certainly sound good to marketers but the reality is that a silo-specific ID, such as those from Facebook or Google, limits unique user coverage and is only operational within the walls of Google or Facebook.

Outside the “wall”, where (in addition to FB and Google) unique users still live, onboarding is being based on a device or an email match.  There are more device IDs than ever before, but onboarding remains dependent on matching the (many) emails or devices of a named person to a cookie pool.  In order to get any scale legacy systems still have to match emails or devices to a pool of cookies. This is where the one-to-one chain of custody between the digital population of users and the ID breaks.

Because of multiple email accounts per person and the pool-matching nature of cookies, the match represents an enormous number of overlapping anonymous individuals.  Yet cookies still cover only about 25% of active users, and they still time-out, fade away, and need to be updated constantly.  In a world that demands transparency, one-to-one matching, and end-to-end attribution – onboarding cannot realistically be depended on to link to a household, much less a person.

And then there is B2B.  While the so-called digital “Universal ID” for a person and an address can exist, the limits of the match becomes apparent when the person goes to work.  The ability to link an onboarded unique user to a business, school, or public venue requires a deterministic, cross-device linkage that does not currently exist at scale.

The final challenge is transparency.  Without an alternative universal or common ID, the marketplace cannot assign a digital identity to enough people, households, or businesses with any scale or accuracy.   Options that forecast that your advertising spend is returning its investment remain probabilistic, opaque and largely indefensible.

Semcasting’s patented IP Matching technology uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to derive a common ID for every home, business and public venue.  The UDX system, which identifies online delivery points at a preferred time, in a preferred location, and on a preferred device, is what the next generation of audience targeting will look like.  It is also deterministic.

Semcasting links offline consumers and businesses across the United States and Canada to online delivery points using over 300 million U.S. and Canadian mobile and static IP and network devices that are updated daily. CRM files are linked to home and business networks and across devices to mobile, connected TVs, and IoT appliances.  Mobile devices are linked to IP addresses at precise locations that are tied back to the consumer and business profiles. Website visits, in-store purchases, or advertising impressions are connected to homes and campaigns maintaining the chain of custody necessary to build an end-to-end attribution model for each campaign.

Click here to learn more about unique user IDs and how they can be used to link campaigns to attribution.

About The Author

Ray Kingman | CEO

Ray has been at Semcasting, Inc. since its inception, leading the company in the development and commercialization of its automated targeting and data offerings. As an experienced innovator in content management, analytics and data visualization fields, Ray directs the day-to-day operations of Semcasting, Inc.