LOS ANGELES — Trying to target an individual consumer when people’s breadcrumb trails are scattered across a plethora of devices feels like a headache for many marketers today – but those data trails can be united to piece people back together.

Started seven years ago, Tapad was one of the first of what is now a rash of vendors claiming to do just that – it has even trademarked the term “the device graph” to describe this cross-device consumer profile.

Speaking in this video interview with Beet.TV, Tapad media business SVP and GM Kate O’Loughlin explains the concept and the necessity behind the approach.

“If you were to only know the audience of a person from just their other TV, digital TV consumption behaviour, you would have an incomplete view of the consumer’s audience,” she says.

“If you know better that this person has these interests, these actions, these behaviours on their phone, and … from their computer, next to what they’re consuming on television, you have a much more clear understanding of who this human is, a more well-rounded understanding of the audience, so you can be much more precise when you do make these (advertising) buys.

Tapad became one of the many ad-tech players to be acquired by a telecom operator in 2016 when it was bought out by Scandinavian Telenor.

The company just released a white paper explaining the Viewable Exposure Time, a new metric it invented last year.

This video is part of series produced in Los Angeles at the 4A’s Transformation ’17. The series is sponsored by Extreme Reach. For more videos from the conference, please visit this page.