“Our industry sometimes behaves in the oddest ways when it comes to knowing our customers,” said Josh Blacksmith, SVP, Group Management Director at FCB Chicago. “We act as if the digital world and physical world are entirely different places.”

Not so, said Blacksmith.

“If I were to walk up to someone I’ve known and treat them like I’d never met them before, it’d be really strange,” he said. “And yet that’s what marketers do when we treat customers we lost as new customers when they return.”

Speaking at a recent DMA videocast on Cross-Device Identification, Blacksmith shared about a recent conversation on how to best run a win-back program, and you can’t treat that win-back as a brand new customer. “You have to reach out and recognize why a customer left and know what they purchased previously and re-engage the relationship from that moment in time. Consumers have come to expect that that’s how brands will interact with them.”

Blacksmith is one of several dozen industry executives that has joined DMA’s Cross-Device ID Advisory Council to help improve marketers’ ability to use cross-device technology. In a recent DMA video webcast, he and Jeff Smith, CMO of LiveRamp joined forces to share how they are each overcoming these challenges in cross-device identification in the coming year.

Breaking Down Cross-Device Barriers

“Three out of four DMA members tell us that buying cross-device identification capabilities remains of their top challenge heading into 2017,” said David Kohl, DMA’s Cross-Device ID (XDID) Structured Innovation Program Leader, as he kicked off the webcast. “We’re hearing it’s really hard to get this right and to make this buy.”

The hurdle for marketers looking to buy cross-device technology is often a language barrier. “When I sat in on the first 45 minutes of the task force, with other people more technical than I was, I was having a problem following the conversation,” said Jeff Smith, CMO of LiveRamp. “If someone who works on the tech side can’t keep up with the terminology, you know you might have a problem. We speak ‘adtech’ fluently, but we speak ‘brand’ very poorly.”

This language barrier is a key piece of why DMA formed XDID Structured Innovation Program, which just released a Cross-Device ID RFI template available to DMA members to download and use. The template includes simple terms and definitions everyone in the identity-based marketing and media ecosystem needs to understand.

“This initiative ensures that there will be less confusion in the services we’re receiving, and less confusion for the buyers,” said Blacksmith. “It could be a huge mistake, and it could really impact your expected results at the end of the day if you think you’re reaching a certain individual an expected number of times and you’re actually reaching them more times.”

Putting Cross-Device Into Action

Near the close of the webcast, the participants shared some of the use-cases for how cross-device technology could be effectively used.

When comparing deterministic and probabilistic matching, Smith observed that choosing between the two can be dependent on the offer. “There’s this concept of accuracy versus reach,” he explained. “There’s an inherent trade off that you have to make between the two. How important is it that I absolutely know it’s David before I present this marketing message? Or it is okay if only I’m fairly certain it’s David or someone like David?”

Additional cross-device use-cases are laid out in the Cross-Device ID RFI template, in addition to recommended disclosures buyers can share with sellers to better align cross-device needs and solutions.


Do you have input after taking DMA’s Cross-Device RFI template for a test-drive? Use this form to share your feedback! Tell us how it worked out for you, if there is room for improvement and any other suggestions that we may use to better this template for everyone in the cross-device ecosystem.

Want to listen to the audio of the FCB and LiveRamp webcast from last week? It has been uploaded onto YouTube here:

More Cross-Device Marketing Resources: