A consortium of ad-tech companies that plan to make people-based targeting available through wider channels to compete with Google, Microsoft and Facebook have begun to put together a timeline to quickly accomplish the task.
"We're not the first set of companies to announce a consortium to tackle an industry challenge," said Jeff Smith, CMO at LiveRamp. "The next steps will make this real or not real."
Late last week, consortium members — AppNexus, MediaMath and LiveRamp, which provide the ability to match the data, along with Index Exchange, Rocket Fuel, LiveIntent, and OpenX — agreed on those next steps.
While there are seven member companies to date, Smith expects other companies will join.
The group will have its first meeting at a CEO gathering scheduled to take place later this month in New York to talk about all the requirements. One key step requires putting together the technical specs that will allow publishers, brands, agencies, and other tech platforms to use the people-based identifier.
With the deadline to complete the technical specs within the next two months, the group has put the universal identify framework project on an aggressive timeline that should allow others to start testing the technology within the next two to three months.
The specs will include a combination of the LiveRamp identity link, the link between the person and device, and an open cookie as the key identifier used in programmatic ad serving.
The Digital Marketing Association was probably one of the first associations to take an interest in identity resolution, launching an identity council earlier this year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau also plans to "dig" into the top, Smith said.
"I think Facebook coined the term 'people-based marketing' at Advertising Week in 2014, but a lot of marketers since then have been asking me how to get started," he said. "The first thing I tell them is to get started with Facebook and Google because the returns you see there are wonderful."
When marketers decide to move past marketing and advertising in Google and Facebook this consortium will benefit them, he said.
These new data sets from things like connected refrigerators will flow through mobile devices, Smith said.