TrustPid: A new digital identification aimed at streamlining targeted advertising
The digital world is undergoing a major transformation, as the traditional way of tracking and targeting users online — through third-party cookies — is coming to an end. Third-party cookies are small pieces of data that websites store on users’ browsers to follow them across the web and deliver personalized ads based on their online behavior. However, third-party cookies have also raised serious privacy issues, as users often have no control or knowledge over how their data is used by third parties. This is why four leading European telecom operators — Telefónica, Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom — have launched TrustPid, a new digital identification solution that uses mobile phone numbers as unique identifiers, to support the digital marketing activities of publishers and brands. TrustPid is a privacy-led platform that aims to provide users with more transparency and choice over their online identity, while enabling advertisers to deliver more relevant and effective ads without relying on third-party cookies.
TrustPid is not the only platform that uses mobile phone numbers as unique identifiers. In fact, in 2015, an African data and marketing technology company called Terragon introduced its own mobile advertising platform called Adrenaline, which also leveraged telco data to enable targeted messaging to consumers both online and offline.
Adrenaline is a platform that connects advertisers (businesses) with data providers (publishers and telcos) to enable personalized and relevant advertising campaigns. Adrenaline uses mobile phone numbers as the main identifier for consumers, and processes telco data in a privacy-compliant way to enable data monetization for telcos, accurate reach for publishers, and measurement for advertisers. Adrenaline also allows advertisers to access both offline telco-native channels (such as end of call notification, flash message, USSD etc) and online ad exchanges (display ads via browsers and in-app notifications) to reach their target audience.
According to Terragon’s CEO and Co-founder, Elo Umeh, Adrenaline was launched as a ‘global first’ that shows that innovation can indeed come out of Africa. He also predicted that mobile phone numbers would become unique identifiers for consumers in the near future. Today, the launch of TrustPid and the impending extinction of third-party cookies confirm Elo’s vision and the innovative value of Adrenaline.
Both Adrenaline and TrustPid share a common approach to UID (unique identifiers) — using telco networks as a major source of consumer data. According to Terragon’s CTO and Co-founder, Ayodeji Balogun, ‘by leveraging telco-data, Adrenaline empowers advertisers with near real-time customer insights needed to deliver more relevant, targeted, and effective advertising campaigns, and make effective business decisions.’
Telcos have emerged as reliable data sources in today’s world where customers generate multiple data traces. Telco data provides advertisers with rich insights into consumer behavior, preferences, location, device type, network quality, spending power, and more. Telco data also offers a high level of accuracy and reliability, as mobile phone numbers are verified by telcos and rarely change over time.
By using mobile phone numbers as unique identifiers, Adrenaline and TrustPid offer a viable alternative to third-party cookies that respects user privacy and consent, while enhancing user experience and engagement. They also offer a win-win solution for all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem: telcos can monetize their data assets and diversify their revenue streams; publishers can increase their ad inventory and reach; advertisers can optimize their ad performance and ROI; and users can enjoy more relevant and personalized content and services.