If you thought Acxiom’s sale of its data warehousing business to InterPublic Group (IPG) indicated it was out of the advertising data game, think again.

Now named LiveRamp after its key remaining asset, the company says it plans to acquire Boston-based Data Plus Math, whose technology helps match up audience profiles and map ad exposure to conversion activities.

“Our main idea was that TV advertising works and the data would tell a good story if someone would go in and actually analyze it and show that television is driving real world outcomes for marketers,” Data Plus Math CEO & Founder John Hoctor said in this interview at the recent Beet Retreat 2018.

LiveRamp had sold its former Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS) division to IPG for $2.3 billion. It is buying Data + Math for $150 million, WSJ reports.

The deal is another illustration of the confluence of key advertising mega trends:

  • the importance of identity resolution in a cross-device world.
  • the growing appetite for delivering personalized TV ads through “addressable” and connected TV devices.

Data Plus Math works when marketers add its “TV Pixel” to their websites or apps. The company links tracked in-app or on-web activity to ad exposure data from millions of US homes, effectively supporting attributing ad views to website or checkout conversion.

“What really gets me excited is closing that loop and being able to not just measure whether something worked after it’s over, but measuring it in flight and providing back levers to help optimize for it while the campaign is still in flight”, CEO Hoctor had told Beet.TV.

In their announcement press release, LiveRamp and Data Plus Math presented a procession of executives from across the industry to support the deal, which is seen as another step to reducing friction in the trading of data-backed TV ads.

Wall Street Journal speculates that such marketing capabilities could be used in the 2020 US election cycle.