SAN FRANCISCO – While there’s little question that being able to identify and target individuals across devices and screens will play a huge role in future marketing, we should not think that everything will go one-to-one. This might seem unusual for those with their roots in digital media, but not to Matt Spiegel.

“I think we have to back up from that. What we’re really doing is talking about the integration of mass reach with sophistication of measurement, targeting and ultimately relevance,” says the Managing Director of strategic advisory firm MediaLink.

In this interview with Beet.TV at the RampUp 2018 conference, Spiegel talks about the “next wave” in identity resolution and why marketers should recognize the value of a blend of more granular targeting and pure scale.

“Identity is going to power the ad business and marketing, however you want to define it,” says Spiegel. “Identity is the underpinning of future success without any question.”

He observes that the gap between companies like Facebook and Google and big media companies in being able to more precisely target audiences is shrinking as the latter expand their digital footprints and seek better linear TV options. “You now have this whole more sophisticated level of targeting and measurement that the industry on the more traditional media side couldn’t have before.”

All the distribution points of content “built into that ecosystem is the power of identity, the potential of identity anyway, if they stitch it together the right data,” says Spiegel. That connected to “this massive world of linear television, which by the way is still really big and still a lot of money and still has a lot of value, those two things combined I think are huge.”

The trick, he adds, is understanding identity with sophistication. On-boarding data and employing device graphs is all well and good, but the hardest part is matching individuals to their households.

“We’ll keep talking about matching and on-boarding, and there’s value. But what we’ll really start to talk about is the applications built on top of a sophisticated identity resolution system. That’s what I think’s much more interesting.”

This video is part of a series produced in San Francisco at the RampUp 2018 conference. The series is sponsored by Alphonso. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.