Replacing the cookie: fingerprint techology

Several startups are experimenting with technologies that could completely overhaul the way connected devices are targeted and tracked.

Using new products from companies like BlueCava and Ringleader Digital, advertisers will be able to link and track individual consumers on their mobile phones, desktop PCs, tablet devices, games consoles, TVs – even their cars – and serve them ads based on activity across those devices.

fingerprintingThey will do so using a process often referred to as device fingerprinting, an emerging device identification technique which could eventually replace the cornerstone of online measurement and data collection, the cookie.

When a connected device accesses content or services, it transmits bits of information about its properties and settings. For example, a smartphone might communicate details of which operating system and browser versions it’s running, its time zone, and which carrier network it’s using, to name but a few.
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Wrestling with cross-channel attribution


Marketers (and many publishers) are wrestling with the problem of cross-channel attribution:  understanding what each channel adds to the entire process.

Producing a breadcrumb trail of user paths is too simplistic. The real key is understanding the incremental effect of each unit of media.

“Why do birds suddenly appear,” mused songstress Karen Carpenter, “every time you are near?”

Her hypothesis: that they, like her, wanted to be close to you, is a pretty decent description of the way most online marketing is tracked.

Last click tracking, for a publisher or a media manager, means having your channel as close as possible to the final conversion. There have been winners in this method, notably search and some affiliates, and losers, such as display.

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