Why Addressable Device Graphs Matter

by Ken Mallon "addressable device graph", "audience targeting", cross-screen, data, mobile
Why Addressable Device Graphs Matter

Device Graphs: Why addressability matters
A recent Ad Exchanger article sheds some light on the confusion related to device graphs and match rates. There are a number of issues associated with cross-identity match rates, not the least of which involve the absence of norms, standardized terminology, accepted ways to calculate such “rates” and even how one would evaluate accuracy.

There are other issues, either not addressed or only partly addressed by the article, such as 1) the distinction between an addressable device graph and a non-addressable device graph and 2) a discussion from the marketer’s point of view as to the ideal nested structure of a device graph. Let’s take on item #1 below.

First, what is an addressable device graph?
In an anonymous device graph, one associates devices together as a single person, persona or anonymous household. In an addressable device graph, devices are associated together based on a physical address. The distinction is important because only in the latter case, can a marketer execute advertising based on offline data attributes.

Why does it matter?
A retailer might have a database of customer home addresses and may want to use that database to deliver multiscreen communications, using direct mail, addressable TV, desktop digital advertising and in-app mobile advertising. This would only be possible with an addressable device graph.

In addition, post-campaign, the retailer may want to measure the impact the advertising had on purchases of the advertised product. With an addressable device graph, one can use exposure information in the form of digital identities (cookies and mobile ad IDs) to link to offline sales data such as merchant credit card information. Thus, although there are similarities between anonymous and addressable device graphs, for those interested in closed loop targeting and measurement based on offline data, the difference is clear.



Only an addressable device graph meets the needs of the modern marketer.  Next time:  we’ll address the required structure of a device graph from a marketer standpoint, looking into the concept of a “nested” device graph.


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