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The Trade Desk Logo
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Illustration by Nick DeSantis / Getty / The Current

Adobe has plans to integrate its Real-Time Customer Data Platform with The Trade Desk in a deal that may prove key to brands’ ability to unlock first-party data in service of relevant advertising, while protecting consumer privacy.

“Having a CDP and DSP adtech partner integrated with one another means that marketers can activate data across multi-channel campaigns, including CTV, with updated, centralized data on the customers that mean most to them,” reported Chris Wood of MarTech. “The campaigns can also be more personalized due to the advanced segmentation powered by the CDP.”

While CDPs have been around for years, their recent surge in popularity is directly tied to evolving regulation around consumer privacy, as well as the inevitable phase out of third-party cookies. CDPs give marketers the ability to securely store and access first-party data identifiers — such as emails, phone numbers, and addresses — that can then be leveraged in areas such as media buying or bolstering customer loyalty programs. And CDPs work towards compliance with applicable government regulations and cookie policies, which is likely why brands and agencies have been so quick to adopt them.

The partnership between Adobe and The Trade Desk will be part of a broader industry movement with identity. Email data is paramount for media activation for marketers who are increasingly moving away from third-party identifiers, Ben Sylvan, general manager of retail data partnerships at The Trade Desk, tells The Current. “Many of the leading alternatives — whether it’s Unified ID 2.0, RampID or CORE ID — are all predicated on consent emails that are pulled from a brand’s CRM data,” he says. 

Integrating a CDP into a DSP such as The Trade Desk is significant because it will allow advertisers, for the first time, to directly activate their first-party data when transacting programmatically across multiple channels, including CTV. “First-party data is an advertiser's most important asset,” Sylvan says. “Today, that’s typically stored in a CDP. And it’s historically been difficult moving that first-party data directly into a DSP.” 

Advertisers often use an onboarder, a middleman, when porting their first-party data into an omnichannel DSP. “But now they have a direct pipe leading their first-party data into The Trade Desk’s platform,” says Sylvan. 

Future-proofing identity 
The partnership will equip advertisers using Adobe’s CDP with the ability to convert any first-party email data into other identifiers, such as Unified ID 2.0, says Sylvan. That should help future-proof advertisers who are currently leveraging CDPs, as email is widely regarded as the primary currency for those platforms. The direct integration with The Trade Desk, meanwhile, will provide a scaled identity alternative to third-party cookies.

In other words, the integration between Adobe’s CDP and The Trade Desk’s platform enables the sought-after convergence of martech and ad tech technology, says Sylvan. “We historically haven’t seen that happen because the technology hasn’t been there to enable it,” he says. “Typically, advertisers must use a different technology stack for email, for loyalty, and so on. You couldn’t create a closed-loop system.” 

That’s now no longer the case, says Sylvan, as advertisers could take loyalty email data, which is typically confined to a brand’s martech stack, and directly send it to The Trade Desk where it could be used to execute a multi-channel campaign. “Advertisers could then go back into Adobe and run really sophisticated analytics, where they could combine advertising exposure with marketing exposure to create even more sophisticated segments that they could bring back and activate on The Trade Desk,” adds Sylvan. “That creates a really nice virtuous cycle of the convergence between martech and ad tech.”


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