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Adobe Announces Cross-Device Co-op to Enable People-Based Marketing

Devices don’t buy products – people do. Yet marketing to people as they migrate from one device to another – from a desktop platform at the office, to a smartphone on the train, to a tablet in their home – has been a tremendous challenge facing brands for years. Marketing to the device rather than the consumer has been the norm.

At Adobe Summit, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) is unveiling the Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op, a network that will enable the world’s biggest brands to work together to better identify consumers across digital touch points while ensuring the highest level of privacy and transparency. The Co-op will empower participating brands to recognize their consumers so they can deliver more personalized experiences across devices and apps at massive scale. Early measurements indicate that the Adobe Co-op could link up to 1.2 billion devices seen by Co-op members worldwide.

Today’s digital marketing efforts focus on IP addresses and Internet cookies and have failed to establish authentic and intelligent connections with every consumer. According to the “Get Personal” report published today by Adobe, nearly eight in ten consumers (79 percent) and 90 percent of millennials report switching devices some of the time when engaged in an activity. Two-thirds (66 percent) of device owners find it frustrating when content is not synchronized across devices.* Through the Co-op, marketing to people, not devices, will become a reality. Currently, only brands like Google and Facebook, which have huge numbers of users logged into their ecosystems regularly, have been able to keep track of consumers as they move from one device to another.

The Co-op will enable member brands to provide their consumers with a better, more consistent content experience as they migrate across devices by establishing links between a group of devices used by unknown consumers or households. With this new capability, marketers will be able to better understand and respond to consumer behaviors across devices. The result will be more accurate website engagement metrics, more personalized content, and more targeted advertising experiences across search, display and social.

“The Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op will enable brands to intelligently engage with their customers across all the different devices they are using,” said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing at Adobe. “By harnessing the power of the Co-op network, members can benefit from a truly open ecosystem and a massive pool of devices enabling them to turn yesterday’s device-based marketing into people-based marketing,”

“A granular understanding of customer identity is becoming the defining feature of digital marketing and advertising,” said Scott Denne, Research Analyst, 451 Research. “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.”

How it Works
Co-op members will give Adobe access to cryptographically hashed login IDs and HTTP header data, which fully hides a consumer’s identity. Adobe processes this data to create groups of devices (“device clusters”) used by an unknown person or household. Adobe will then surface these groups of devices through its digital marketing solutions, so Co-op members can measure, segment, target and advertise directly to individuals across all of their devices.

Consumers will benefit from truly personalized experiences with a member brand across all their digital touch points. Imagine this scenario: “Sam” is in the process of booking a vacation to San Francisco from Acme travel. She searches for hotels on the Acme app on her tablet, arrival date May 1. Later that day she books a non-refundable room on her laptop via the Acme website. Currently, most brands would continue to serve Sam ads for hotel rooms, not realizing that she’d already booked a room, and Sam would find these annoying. With participation in the Device Co-op, however, Acme can immediately stop advertising hotel rooms to Sam, and start giving her offers for hotel spa treatments, room upgrades, dinner discounts and tickets to local attractions such as Alcatraz.

All of this will be possible without disclosing the user’s identity. The Co-op will not share any personal data, such as name, email or phone number, or site visit data among its members, addressing a key privacy concern commonly associated with cross-device technologies. Consumers will have privacy controls that exceed industry standards. The Co-op will provide unprecedented transparency by giving consumers insights into participating brands, as well as all devices the Co-op associates with the device currently being used. The Co-op will initially be released in the United States and Canada only. 

“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,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO, Future of Privacy Forum. “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.”

“As the digital landscape has evolved toward a multi-device environment, the NAI has been closely examining new advertising technologies, and the privacy and self-regulatory challenges presented by them,” said Leigh Freund, president and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative. “Adobe has found a way to address the cross-device challenge in a privacy-friendly way that will benefit both advertisers and consumers. We commend Adobe’s successful combination of a strong commitment to consumer privacy and business innovation.”

“Adobe is taking a thoughtful approach in its Device Co-op that follows the DAA's cross-industry standards,” said Stuart Ingis, counsel to the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). “Adobe is also providing an additional thoughtful approach that individually identifies for consumer those businesses that are working with Adobe, allowing a uniform choice to disconnect any device from its offering."

Helpful Links

  • Adobe Blog Post: Privacy by Design Exemplified—Adobe Announces the Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op
  • Adobe Blog Post: Learning From Consumer Trends – Marketing to Customers Across Digital Devices
  • Adobe “Get Personal” Research Report

About Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe Marketing Cloud empowers companies to use big data to effectively reach and engage customers and prospects with highly personalized marketing content across devices and digital touch points. Eight tightly integrated Solutions offer marketers a complete set of marketing technologies focusing on analytics, web and app experience management, testing and targeting, advertising, audience management, video, social engagement and campaign orchestration. The tie-in with Adobe Creative Cloud makes it easy to quickly activate creative assets across all marketing channels. Thousands of brands worldwide including two thirds of Fortune 50 companies rely on Adobe Marketing Cloud.

About Adobe
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit

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