Microsoft’s search engine Bing has launched the data on boarder’s identify resolution provider IdentityLink. This means that it lets Bing’s advertisers target existing customers with relevant ads in the search results.
This will bring the search engine up-to-date with market leader Google, whose Customer Match tool is what IdentityLink was initially created for. It intended to allow brands to match their existing banks of customer data, for example, email address, phone number, and physical address, with the company’s data which is acquired through login to its services.
For example, to match a relevant ad, Bing will first look up at the search query. For example, a search for, “hiking trails” may result in links to hiking trails, which will be supplemented by search ads that would include ads for hiking boots.
However, if someone is logged into a Microsoft, Yahoo, or AOL account, LiveRamp’s Identity link might be able to match the email address with its other features like the fact that the individual purchased a pair of hiking boots at a physical store a month ago. And if the individual isn’t logged in with a Microsoft, Yahoo or AOL email account, the probable match may be made involving a cookie on the user’s device and a cookie in the IdentityLink Profile.
So, although the first criterion for a targeted ad is the search engine query, the second criteria is against the person’s history. Simply put, it would mean that the individual searching for “hiking trails” that purchased boots recently would have an accompanying ad that would say hiking poles instead of boots.
LiveRamp CMO Jeff Smith said that IdentityLink usually has three to four email addresses for every profile, besides matching offline data like buying in a physical store.
According to Smith, advertisers frequently find that a quarter of their targeted customers can be matched with their profiles on IdentityLink. Whereas other data providers can offer similar matching profiles to the cookies or email addresses of Bing searchers, he said IdentityLink’s difference “is the strength of our identity graph.”
It’s “more likely we know something about you, and more likely we have an identifier for you,” he said.