PAIR stands for Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation and refers to the data tech solution, available via Google’s DSP, which is aimed at enabling publishers and advertisers to connect their first-party data in a privacy-preserving environment for its further use for targeted advertising purposes. 

What is PAIR?

From a technical perspective, Google’s PAIR implies brands’ ability to activate their first-party data by pairing, then matching it against their direct Supply partners’ encrypted first-party data, in order to achieve better audience addressability and higher customer re-engagement via personalized digital ads, without the use of third-party cookies. 

Unlike other tech solutions of a similar nature, PAIR doesn’t imply pooling of data, which allows maintaining its security and preserves each party’s control of their first-party audience data segments. More importantly, the reconciled encrypted data is only meaningful (and readable) in the direct Publisher – Advertiser collaboration, hence no cross-site audience profiling capabilities are available via PAIR.

How it works

The so-called data reconciliation flow works like this: 

1. A publisher and an advertiser, who have an established direct partnership, upload their first-party data sets (e.g. email lists) to a selected data clean room (among the supported options) for their encryption and further pairing/matching.

2. Upon the multi-level data encryption process three unique keys are generated: (1) a publisher’s key, (2) an advertiser’s key, (3) a shared publisher-advertiser key. 

3. Upon data reconciliation via PAIR, each party obtains the match percentage of their audience lists, and the matched data (in the aggregated form) is available for further use for targeted advertising purposes via Google’s Marketing Platform or a third-party SSP.

Surprisingly enough, the first several data clean rooms, initially supported by PAIR, don’t include Google’s Ads Data Hub, even though its support is scheduled for adding further on, supposedly in 2023. 

Perspectives of PAIR Adoption

Even though the concept of data reconciliation isn’t really new, the PAIR tech itself is.

Quite predictably, since Google officially released it only in October 2022,  the solution hasn’t undergone much real-life testing by marketers yet, hence its scope of effective use and the  perspectives of its rapid adoption by the digital ad industry players are still vague.

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