Ad tech purchase heralds the rise of email in a post-cookie world

LiveIntent's purchase of AVARI Recommendation Engine marks its further European expansion, and underlines the importance of email on a cross-screen media plan.

LiveIntent has announced the purchase of AVARI Recommendation Engine from Germany-based RetentionGrid Limited, as the US-based email advertising outfit continues to push its 'people-centred marketing' messaging to the global market.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed publicly, but the deal marks LiveIntent's first significant purchase since it announced a $32.5m investment round in May this year - funds it pledged to significantly enhance its global footprint at the time.

LiveIntent will use the purchase of AVARI Recommendation Engine to springboard into the German market - a year after its entry to the UK - with selected members of RetentionGrid Limited joining the outfit to ensure the best possible integration into its technology stack.

Additionally, LiveIntent has claimed it will use AVARI Recommendation Engine to make sure its email advertisements are more dynamic and relevant to its 110 million monthly users.

LiveIntent has been dubbed the 'second-fastest growing outfit in New York' and also claimed the integration will also improve its content recommendation, and prediction technologies. It will also improve its retargeting capabilities by allowing advertisers using its tech stack to include their social engagement data to improve their email optimisation.

Matt Keiser, LiveIntent, CEO, said: “Our platform presently empowers over 500 brands and advertisers to deliver marketing messages and advertisements to 110 million unique people through over 750 top brands and publishers but there’s a hunger out there to bring our people-based marketing to new markets, and opening our Berlin office is a great next step.”

The rise of email

LiveIntent's sizeable funding round earlier this year saw it promise brands 'people-centred marketing', with messaging similar to Facebook's own whenever it unveiled its overhauled Atlas ad tech stack a little over a year ago.

The common thread both companies have in common is stressing the role of email in verifying the effectiveness of an ad through using audiences' email addresses to both target, then assessing how that ad played a role in driving sales.

Using an email address to verify the efficacy of an ad is becoming increasingly popular, especially in an era when cookies (the de facto method of online ad targeting in the desktop world) are becoming increasingly redundant.

Viant the - the company which owns Specific Media and former social networking giant MySpace - adds to this chorus. Tim and Chris Vanderhook - the twin brothers that head up Viant - recently took to the European ad tech conference circuit heralding the 'Death of the cookie', adding that email is now key to targeted advertising.

Viant's platform offers identity management, which provides brands with analytics services, so they can manage their relationship with registered customers, as opposed to targeting "anonymous cookies".

The service works by allowing marketers to cross-reference their email database with Viant's platform, then drill-down into specific audience segments , such as gender, age, etc. This offers advertisers three services: customer acquisition; ongoing customer retention; plus customer retargeting for "lapsed customers", according to Viant.

In addition, both Vanderhooks claim the use of their service can protect users from buying fraudulent traffic, as verifying the media buys against the authenticated email database reduces the risk of purchasing non-human traffic (NHT).

Of course, the decline of the cookie as an effective means of online ad targeting has been spurred by consumers' shift to mobile devices, where cookies don't work as effectively compared to their performance on desktop.

MediaMath's chief commercial officer Michael Lamb, echoes this point, adding that the use of email is the most common behaviour on mobile devices and desktop.

He adds: "Email is the single-most important glue, but not the direct replacement of the cookie. If you look at what is used most commonly on desktop and mobile, then email is the dominant linkage.

"However, it's not the only answer for targeting mobile users. For instance there is the device ID, as well as the carrier ID. And thank god, otherwise we'd all be reliant upon Apple [for the device ID]."

A recent article published by research firm eMarketer cited research from Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints pointed towards email as be best way for multi-channel retailers to personalise their customers’ experiences.

It reads: “More than half of internet users said that information shared with them should be relevant to what they’re currently interested in or looking to buy, as well as pertinent to their personal taste, style, age group or location.”

See chart below for details.

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