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LiveRamp’s ‘In Conversations With…’ Partner Series – Index Exchange

  • 5 min read

‘In Conversations With…’ is a LiveRamp series where we bring together leading voices in the industry and ask them to share their thoughts on identity, data transparency, addressability, and why they love working in this constantly evolving realm of marketing, advertising, media, and tech. 

In the latest edition of ‘In Conversations With…’, Christopher Blok, Enterprise Sales, ANZ at LiveRamp, and Janette Higginson, Head of Demand APAC at Index Exchange, one of the world’s largest independent ad exchanges, sat down to share their industry experience, passions, and discuss the role identity plays in creating a trusted value exchange with consumers.

With a combined 25 years of media, marketing, and digital experience between Chris and Janette, they are both well-established within the adtech community and have in-depth knowledge of the industry, particularly in the realm of programmatic advertising.

Outside the office, Chris devotes himself to the outdoors and spends time with his family’s newest member – Scout the Staffy. Beyond working with buyers to educate them on the ins and outs of programmatic, Janette brings her passion for working with people to life, forging strong partnerships with key industry players.

In this blog, Chris and Janette share how LiveRamp and Index Exchange are working together to bring people-based marketing solutions to the forefront of advertising, and discuss the importance of building a trusted ecosystem that prioritises consumer trust at every touchpoint. 


CB: How did the Index Exchange and LiveRamp partnership begin?

JH: We’ve been working alongside LiveRamp because both of our organisations share a unified mission to bring people-based marketing solutions to the forefront of the industry, and to restore consumer trust in digital advertising. In light of this, it was a natural progression for us to come together and collaborate on a solution that would solve the identity challenge that the industry is facing. The fact is, the deprecation of the third-party cookie is a chance for the digital advertising ecosystem to re-architect and build a framework that is based on people-based marketing solutions that are underpinned by consumer trust and privacy. 


CB: What challenges is the industry encountering in the current market?

JH: I would say the two biggest challenges the market is encountering, aside from the current economic impact, are the trust deficit that is affecting digital advertising, as well as the looming death of the third-party cookie and IDFA particularly how their deprecation is going to revolutionise marketing strategies when it comes to measurement.


CB: How has the introduction of LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure changed the work you are doing with demand-side partners (DSPs)?

JH: Though Index Exchange is a supply-side platform, which means our tech is code on a Publishers’ page, we’ve always focused very closely on our buy-side relationships and ensuring that we think of all players in the industry when building products and solutions. 

That being said, the introduction of LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure has several benefits for DSPs, such as the ability to offer real-time, matched, people-based audiences to their end clients.

This is done via Matched Audiences, which are buyer-specific audiences that are usually based on CRM style data such as email addresses or phone numbers. Buyers can now easily target these audiences on the open web with LiveRamp Identity Infrastructure and Index Exchange’s Real Time Identity (RTI) Framework.


CB: How can publishers, agencies and buyers implement people-based solutions from the LiveRamp and Index Exchange partnership?

JH: LiveRamp Identity Infrastructure is enabled through the IX Library, and works to enhance publisher inventory with authenticated, people-based addressability, increasing monetisation opportunities without the use of third-party cookies.

The partnership will enable DSPs that transact on LiveRamp’s identifier to implement cross-device media buying while also empowering marketers to activate their first-party data through IX’s Matched Audiences (e.g. buyer-specific audiences based on customer relationship management-style data). 

Agencies and marketers can work with a demand-side platform (DSP) that leverages transacting on the LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure in real-time, and supports CRM audience upload to LiveRamp. If a DSP is not integrated with LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure, Matched Audiences can still be activated through Deal ID buys.


CB: With data privacy a hot topic now more so than ever, what are your thoughts on consumer privacy sensitivities across the industry and the role of privacy regulation?

JH: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry shows us that governments are willing to put pressure on the walled gardens to create a more balanced ecosystem, and we won’t be surprised if there is more regulation yet to come across the board. We look to prioritise consumer trust no matter the solution we’re building, and we are encouraged with the approach and direction that regulators and tech platforms have shared.


CB: Do you believe consumers are ready or already embracing these privacy changes? And how important is it to educate businesses and customers on the role of consent in digital marketing? Is that the role of the industry to build this education?

JH: Consumers are more aware of their digital footprint than ever. The issue isn’t necessarily that they don’t want to share their data, it’s that they’re afraid of losing control over it. Maintaining consumer trust is of paramount importance to us and should be equally as important to all players in this ecosystem. We know that the future of the industry and the solutions we build are rooted entirely on the consumers’ perception of our industry. The  responsibility to create a trust-based value exchange is the responsibility of tech providers, publishers, buyers and marketers. 


CB: What questions should publishers and buyers be asking of their tech partners to prepare for a cookieless environment?

JH: Publishers and buyers should be asking the following questions:

  1. What cookie-less solutions are being recommended and how is the potential partner working towards them.
  2. How will these solutions be implemented and how will they work across the board between publisher, DSP and buyer. 
  3. Ask them for recommendations around how to build value exchanges with clients.

The ultimate goal at the end is to provide solutions that are centred around consumer trust, and bring more transparency and control into the digital advertising ecosystem.   


CB: What opportunities does Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies bring to the industry – especially from an addressability perspective?

JH: The opportunity lies in the ability for publishers and buyers to build a one-to-one relationship with the consumer. It’s no longer about messaging that targets a group or wider audience, but instead, individualised engagement. People-based marketing unlocks true addressability and value whilst keeping consumer privacy and trust at its core.


CB: How can the industry help support a sustainable programmatic ecosystem?

JH: From our perspective, we understand that consumer trust is tomorrow’s currency; the priority now, should be helping independent, premium brands and publishers navigate the new programmatic landscape — and boost monetisation opportunities while doing so. To achieve this, we need to lead the industry in a consumer-first stance around choice, transparency, privacy and control. Solutions like LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure is what will help build a trusted ecosystem.