Nora Schwab, Director, Publisher Development UK, LiveRamp
Although Google recently decided to delay the deprecation of third-party cookies until 2024, it would be a mistake to regard the “cookieless future” as an issue for tomorrow. In fact, the era of cookieless marketing is already well under way.
Advertisers have been targeting addressable audiences on cookieless browsers such as Safari, Firefox and Edge for several years now. Likewise, emerging digital channels such as mobile in-app ads, podcasts and CTV ads can be leveraged without the use of third-party cookies or an IP address.
Now is the time to test solutions, set expectations with customers and promote a transparent dialogue about the collection and use of first-party data. However, in 2022, uptake and progress are being hampered by a variety of myths surrounding the impact of cookieless marketing and what it means for the digital media industry.
Let’s consider four of the most popular misconceptions.
2024? Relax, There’s Plenty of Time…
Rather than focus on Google’s ever-moving deadline for the demise of cookies, the digital marketing industry should accept that the cookieless future is already here and move toward “people-based” and privacy-compliant addressability.
Authenticated inventory already far outperforms cookies, providing improved revenues, more accurate measurement, and the potential to scale targeted people-based audiences.
To provide a recent example, Danone recently adopted LiveRamp’s identifier as part of its phase out of third-party cookies. The results for the food multinational were that 34% of all its buyers became addressable, enabling a 17% lift in eCommerce sales, as well as an almost 25% increase of total sales measured across Facebook and Google.
Whether you’re a brand or a publisher, by engaging with cookieless solutions now, businesses can set expectations with their customers and promote a more transparent dialogue about first-party data and how they’re using it. This, in turn, will deliver better consumer relationships and improved business outcomes in the long run.
I’m Backing “Contextual” Solutions, so I Don’t Need an ID Solution
While it’s true that contextual advertising solutions can add nuance to how marketers activate their campaigns, it would be wrong to regard “contextual” as a cookie alternative by itself.
By their very nature, contextual solutions are imprecise, almost impossible to measure and are based solely on the context of the browser session at that point in time. While the contextual approach will certainly have a place in the post-cookie world, it’s important to recognise its limitations.
Publishers, in particular, should be aware that the walled gardens will be leveraging the power of both people-based addressability paired with contextual, not simply contextual on its own.
For marketers who want to maximize reach and return, and for publishers who want to maximize yields, authenticated people-based addressability should be at the very top of the marketing tactic list. This can then be supplemented with cohort-based or contextual advertising for unauthenticated inventory.
ID Solutions Aren’t Privacy Safe or Futureproofed
As we know, in the past, the digital marketing industry has been rightly scrutinized for compromising consumer privacy to gain and retain personal data. However, since the passing of the data privacy laws, identity solutions now need to be built with consumer privacy at their core, or they face massive issues.
These privacy requirements naturally lead to a more direct relationship between publisher and advertiser, reducing the opportunity for data leakage via numerous third-parties.
Publishers are also creating a clearer value exchange with their users, taking steps to ensure that users are fully aware what personal data the publisher holds and how it will be used. These are positive steps in the right direction.
Remember that contemporary ID solutions were specifically designed to help rebuild and restore consumer trust. As a result, transparency and user-control are prioritized. This means that leading modern identity solutions don’t withhold information for longer than is necessary, and automatically remove identifiable information they don’t need to achieve their objective.
Brands Aren’t Buying Into ID Solutions
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen that brands want to have more direct contact with publishers, and are really leaning into the various ID solutions.
For example, a 2021 survey (PDF download) of 251 UK-based senior marketing professionals was commissioned to find out how UK brands are preparing for the cookieless changes taking place. Of that number, 45% and 43.4% said they were looking at first-party authentication solutions and identity solutions respectively. Furthermore, 63.4% said they would be more willing to pay for authenticated data.
Rather than the industry dragging its heels on ID solutions, it’s clear then there is a tangible hunger for enabling identity solutions that can solve the issue of “post-cookie” addressability right now, whether Google is ready or not.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions and ideas expressed in this post belong to the author/s and do not necessarily reflect those held by State of Digital Publishing.