Data is an essential factor in decision-making. Companies leverage third-party software to access vital information and use them to improve their business practices. But what about identity? How do companies understand its role?
Bill Michels, a GM at Trade Desk, introduces Unified ID 2.0, a “cookie sync” solution that helps different parties understand the identity of who’s on their webpage. Cory and Bill discuss the vital importance of identity and how companies should leverage it to offer their content and improve their advertising practices.
In this episode of the Identity Revolution podcast, Bill Michels will reveal exciting features of the UID 2.0 project and the importance of industry collaboration in its realization. Furthermore, Bill reveals predictions for the future of companies in MarTech, AdTech, and data space. Do they have a bright future ahead of them?
- Name: Bill Michels
- What he does: Bill is a GM, Product at The Trade Desk. He is a former Chief Data Officer at Foursquare and a COO and Co-founding Team at Factual Inc.
- Company: The Trade Desk
- Key Quote: “The Trade Desk is an omnichannel global media buying platform. Agencies and brands leverage our software to purchase media across the entire open Internet. And we described the Internet as basically everything outside of a walled garden.”
- Where to find Bill: LinkedIn
- The Trade Desk is an omnichannel global media buying platform. Bill Michels describes the company he works for as an “omnichannel global media buying platform,” and he further explains, “Agencies and brands leverage our software to purchase media across the entire open Internet. One of the really great things The Trade Desk did early on is that we are omnichannel. Everything we will buy on and in every country. So, it’s been a mantra, and I think that’s a lot about how we think around, how we build products, including identity, and how we go to market.”
- We need to understand the importance of identity. According to Bill, unified ID helps different parties sync third-party cookies to reduce the load when web websites are loaded. He also talks about the offline syncing that happens when trying to understand the identity of who’s on that browser page. “We want to enable publishers to have sort of a value exchange so they can explain to a user why identity is important and why I’m going to treat it in a safe and transparent way.”
- MarTech is a great promising space with a lot of growth. Bill’s predictions for companies similar to The Trade Desk are quite optimistic. He claims that “There’ll be more and more companies applying smart technologies to solve problems for customers. And hopefully, now we’ve seen a great run, especially in the past three to six months of equity valuations of marketing and advertising technology companies. That’s fantastic.”
Foursquare, Factual, and The Trade Desk – A Great Combination of Different Skills
“We had two companies that had fantastic Places dataset, and that wound up being very complimentary. We were the best in the industry. We had some good mutual customers, including Apple, Facebook, Snapchat, Microsoft, and Uber. But also, the strengths and weaknesses there were a little different. Foursquare had a consumer app, and they were great with freshness and some of the other social signals. Factual was fantastic. I had data extraction, knowledge extraction, which gave us a lot of breadth, which gave us good, deeper attributes in a couple of places. So, together, they now have the best Places datasets in the world. So it was a great combination. […] There are different subtleties in how we built our products and where we’re good and strong, and those fit together fantastically.”
Everything We Do is Approached with a Global Mindset
“Our platform will be growing, and we’ll be adding headcount around the world this year. I think the four continents are right. We’re very much a global company that happens to be headquartered in the US, but everything we do, from the products we build to the go-to-market, is definitely approached with a global mindset.
And it’s nice now to be here on the inside, just watching how the platform itself is growing, and how we’re tackling really broad, exciting industry levels and problems like identity.”
Unified ID Project – An Industry Solution That Tackles the Identity Problems
“Unified ID 1.0 is what we call cookie sync. That’s something that will continue. It helps different parties sync third-party cookies to reduce a load when web websites are loaded and the offline syncing that happens to try to understand the identity of who’s on that browser page.”
UID 2.0 is What Comes When Cookies Go Away
“Third-party cookies are in the process of going away. We don’t know exactly when, and I guess there’s always a chance that they don’t go away, but Chrome is the last browser that allows for third-party cookies. So, what that means is that on a given webpage, a third-party is no longer able to track and doesn’t have a sense of who you are based on a piece of code they put on there.
What we want with Unified ID is to provide the ability for consumers to be able to log in to authenticate who they are to a website. We want to enable publishers to have sort of a value exchange so they can explain to a user why identity is important and why I’m going to treat it in a safe and transparent way. But it also allows me to offer content and services for free.”
The Open-Source Framework Allows People to Access the Code and Make Suggestions
“The codebase itself will be managed in an open-source framework so that the others will be able to see it and get access to transparency into the code to ensure that it’s doing what we say it’s doing. And they’ll also be able to suggest commandments and adjustments to the system. And there’ll be a form of a committed group that weighs those.”
Companies in MarTech, AdTech, and Data Area are a Promising Space with a Lot of Growth
“There’s still a lot of innovation and work that needs to get done. It’s a great promising space with a lot of growth. Advertising is ultimately a trillion-dollar market. There are not many of those in the world. And that brings with it lots of room for innovation, growth, and solving problems to help consumers. I think the job is never done. There’ll be more and more companies applying smart technologies to solve problems for customers.
It’s sort of a nice validation that these are great businesses. They can run great margins, and they can have really nice growth rates.”
[6:33] “It’s nice now to be here on the inside and watching how the platform itself is growing.”
[7:30] “The Internet is basically everything outside of a walled garden.””
[10:57] “By getting your identity, I’m able to offer you this content for free.”
[18:17] “There’ll be more and more companies applying smart technologies to solve problems for customers.”