Adobe's Cross-Device Co-op Takes Personalization to a New Level

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-03-23 Print this article Print

Hammond further noted the ways consumers interact with content are changing in the same way the devices they use are changing.

"AI and machine learning are important to delivering a more personalized experience, but so are new interaction methods like voice input and computer vision," he said. "The companies that do the best job of integrating all of these new technologies and make them easily consumable by developers will be the ones who prosper in the next decade."

Meanwhile, Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, a Gartner analyst, said, "The Device Co-op is an ambitious effort that, if successful, could enable brands to be the stewards of their customers' data. This may empower the creation of experiences that drive mutual customer-brand value without marketers being beholden to some of the ad-driven platforms who aggregate data today."

Jennifer Polk, another Gartner analyst in attendance at the summit, noted the Co-op "is still very new and there are only a small number of companies participating in the Co-op, yet it shows promise as a way for marketers to reconcile their audiences across a growing number of devices, get to more meaningful measures of marketing performance—i.e., people versus devices— and better align marketing to audience behavior."

A key goal of the Co-op is to enhance personalization for marketers to be able to treat consumers as individuals that brands "know," because, as Adobe says, "Devices don't buy products, people do."

A granular understanding of customer identity is becoming the defining feature of digital marketing and advertising, said Scott Denne, a research analyst at 451 Research, in a statement. "Without first knowing the links among devices, marketers will come up short in their attempts to understand their customers and measure the reach and impact of campaigns. The Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op will help marketers identify their consumers across digital touch points so they can deliver more personalized experiences across devices."

Yet, the privacy issue rears its head.

"While the benefits of our new solution to marketers were obvious, we were also very aware that cross-device marketing done badly has long been associated with being 'creepy' from a privacy perspective," Rasmussen said.

However, Rasmussen lists how Adobe addresses these concerns in a series of steps:

--All Co-op members must state in their privacy policies that they are participating in the Co-op and include a link to the Co-op privacy tool.

--The Co-op privacy tool displays the names and logos of all members so consumers can see who is participating in the Co-op.

--No personal or site visit data is shared among Co-op members.--Adobe will only share a device cluster for unknown people or households with Co-op members who have previously seen one of the devices in the cluster.

--The Co-op privacy tool will show all the devices that are linked with the device a consumer is currently using.

--Consumers may disconnect one or more (or all) of the devices listed from participating in the Co-op.

--If a consumer chooses to opt out by disconnecting all devices, Adobe will no longer associate the consumer's devices together, and Co-op members will no longer learn from Adobe (because it won't know) which devices are associated with a consumer.

"One of the key cross-device challenges regulators, privacy advocates and technology companies have been grappling with is the ability to provide consumers with transparency and meaningful choice in an ecosystem that is increasingly complex," Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, said in a statement. "By ensuring that a consumer's choice will be respected across devices and displaying information in a way the typical consumer can easily understand, Adobe is serving publishers and marketers while respecting consumer privacy."


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