Meet Our Partners:
Q&A with Merkle’s Chief Strategy Officer of Merkury, Gerry Bavaro 

 BLOG POST 10/21/2021

TruAudience® solutions enable the marketing ecosystem to leverage data and identity with trust. In this series, we will introduce the partners who are critical to our success.

Can you tell me about Merkle and what your role is there?
Merkle is a leading, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company specializing in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios.

At Merkle, I am the Chief Strategy Officer of Merkury — our enterprise identity solution. Merkury is the industry’s only identity resolution platform that enables brands to take ownership and control of first-party identity data and turn it into a competitive advantage across the enterprise.

How Does Merkury work with TransUnion’s solutions?
Merkury leverages TransUnion’s TruAudience® Data Marketplace to enable marketers and publishers faster and easier access to Merkury’s people-based audiences for activation in connected TV (CTV).
As streaming services gain more momentum, CTV has become a highly sought-after channel by marketers because it can scale addressable audiences. The integration of Merkury with TruAudience Data Marketplace empowers brands to leverage first- and third-party data to reach advanced audiences across CTV campaigns. Audiences built using Merkury’s person-based ID and appended first- and third-party data can now be seamlessly pushed to leading publishers and platforms leveraging the TruAudience Data Marketplace.

What trends are you seeing with the usage of CTV?
There are two main factors at play here. The first is that the COVID-19 pandemic massively increased CTV and over-the-top (OTT) consumption along with the expectation for personalized marketing efforts from the brands that viewers interact with. That spans to all channels — including CTV and beyond. The second is the third-party cookie going away, which forces advertisers to fuel marketing and customer experience efforts by: thinking out of the box; collecting more first-party data; enhancing owned data with high-quality offline data versus traditional cookie and device ID-based sources.

How should advertisers address viewer engagement?
Advertisers should strive for the maximum level of fidelity of audience and viewer engagement data given the anticipated deprecation of third-party cookies and device identifiers. They should be aware of what engagement data is saying — the true source of data, its level of granularity, and its ability to be utilized for measurement and audience targeting. With the right identity solution, advertisers can better collect and leverage data from prospects and customers, as well as publishers and platforms directly integrated with the identity solution. This will inform the right messages, target at an addressable level and close the loop of measurement to prove ROI.

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