Consultant Matt Prohaska has been into digital media from its cookie roots to the modern day quest to track consumer identities across platforms. A frequent Beet.TV contributor, Prohaska also was a key participant in the recent
leadership forum titled Identity in Focus: Understanding the Cross-Screen Consumer in a Fragmented World.

In this event recap, Prohaska, CEO and Principal of Prohaska Consulting, talks about identity as it currently stands, the rise of companies seeking to help track it and the industry’s progress to date.

On identity: “It was impressive to see that in an industry where there are, let’s say some headwinds around data privacy, and if you read broad business and consumer press there are a lot of landmines and a lot of places where people would think ‘oh my god I can’t do this, I can’t do that. I don’t want even think about targeting in anyway possible.’”

Players in the space: “There were at least fifty companies represented today in this room that are on offense and recognizing there is a proper path to do it, if you have proper transparency, if you have consumer opt out, if you have consumer opt in before the entire engagement begins, whether it’s through hardware or software. To be able to identify folks not just even at the household level but to the unique individual. We all know the pitfalls that can happen when creative goes to the wrong place.”

On determining identity: “It was encouraging to see that processes are getting a little more cleaned up. I heard people talk positively about second-party data for the first time in six months, that was a great sign to see. And the individual buying leaders that are either taking over entirely new organizations and coming from a data practice where they’ve run it, creative and media. To be able to tie that all together.”

Where the industry stands: “We now are getting closer. Most folks talked about maybe three of four on scale of one to ten and getting there. Optimistic for sure because we were in the ones and twos maybe even six months ago. Whole lot of promise and a lot of upside for the industry.”

This video was produced in New York City at Identity in Focus: Understanding the Cross-Screen Consumer in a Fragmented World, a Beet.TV Leadership Forum, presented by 4INFO and hosted by Viacom. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.