Q&A: Clean Rooms Aren't A Magic Solution For Addressability

There are a lot of opinions out there when it comes to mobile marketing challenges and solutions. This week, Mobile Insider asked Todd Rose, senior vice president of business development and GM, identity and addressability at multinational mobile advertising tech company InMobi, to share some of his thoughts.

Mobile Insider: What’s the most pressing need for marketers using mobile today?

Rose: I think the most important problem to solve for now in mobile is the same as with marketing in general: how to measure advertising effectiveness.

To use mobile effectively, you need to clearly define your desired end results, then work backward to determine what targeting solutions can be used to achieve those. It should be all about measurement and attribution.  

MI:  Given your title, you must have some pretty strong opinions about addressability. Given that addressability is the key to targeting, and ultimately to performance, how can marketers sort through the multiple potential options for tackling this challenge as cookies are phased out?  

Rose: There isn't going to be a one-size-fits-all solution for marketers in this new world. There are going to be different solutions, requiring a portfolio approach. We should use one-to-one targeting where it's available, and cohort-based solutions and contextual solutions in other scenarios.

Brands and marketers are going to have to take a “test and learn” approach to see what works best to achieve their ROAS goals for different campaigns and scenarios.  

In the end, it’s less about the tech stacks and data stacks and more about use cases. You back those use cases into the business and technical requirements, and then build out the solutions for that.   

MI:  How do clean rooms fit into this picture?

Rose: Pundits often talk about clean rooms as part of the toolkit for addressing the impending addressability crisis, without necessarily articulating how and why.

Clean rooms are an incomplete solution. They’re great for allowing brands to match their first-party data with publisher and third-party data in a privacy-friendly way, and so enabling more widespread use of first-party data. In that regard, they are a solution for data privacy and security.  

But clean rooms need a common denominator on which to match two or more datasets. They need record identifiers. If you don't have a critical mass of consented user identifiers on which to match data because of OS- and legislative-driven measures, a clean room in and of itself won't solve addressability.  

Clean rooms can't magically create first-party data and user identifiers or enhance match rates for non-consented users. To do that, you need synthetic IDs built on probabilistic signals, or alternative identifiers tied to personal IDs, like hashed emails.

The former can be built on signals present in the ecosystem today, while the latter rely on publishers and advertisers alike modifying their user experience flows to orchestrate a fair exchange of value — whether access to content, rewards, or other incentives — for more access to user identity data. 

Next story loading loading..