This article was originally published on ExchangeWire on August 2nd, 2022
Henry Shelley, Managing Director, APAC at TripleLift, outlines four steps advertisers can take to prepare for the post-cookie landscape.
While the deadline for Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies has been extended to 2024, the so-called ‘cookie-apocalypse’ is still on the horizon. And so too is the major industry rewiring that could lead to profound changes and expected consequences including fragmented media planning, siloed campaign measurement, ineffective targeting and reduced addressability.
The good news is that work is being done on a new iteration of digital advertising which addresses these challenges. Advertisers, on their part, can take steps to ensure they are prepared for the next stage of digital advertising’s evolution.
Step One: Harness the power of first-party data
First-party data is the clear successor of the third-party cookie and will play a crucial role in running successful campaigns. Publishers are in a strong position to collect consented first-party data – including user IDs, on-site activity, and sign up details – and create rich audience segments for targeting purposes.
Online campaigns typically focus on maximising reach and include a few limited targeting parameters such as age, gender, location, and device type. While third-party data is often used to refine these parameters, it still doesn’t offer precision targeting. In short, advertisers aren’t reaching who they think they’re reaching. First-party data can overcome this challenge; advertisers should embrace this data.
And with supply-side solutions helping publishers to take better control of their data to enhance audience segments, advertisers can continue to deliver their campaigns at scale and with good performance without relying on third-party cookies.
Step Two: Strike a balance between scale and performance
Facing the prospect of fragmented media planning, advertisers may feel their best bet is to completely restructure their buying strategies in favour of cookieless browsers. However, there are ways for advertisers to navigate the new landscape without compromising on scale and performance investments. By partnering with supply-side platforms (SSPs) and adopting a one-to-many (one advertiser to many publishers) approach, advertisers will be able to scale their digital campaigns across publishers, formats and browsers, while targeting audiences more precisely.
Step Three: Broaden your horizons through deal ID
The ability to scale and increase reach is invaluable for advertisers. It’s also something that is lacking in one-to-one (one publisher to one advertiser) deals due to inherently restricted definitions of publisher audience segments.
Advertisers should ensure that they have access to audience segments by leveraging a private marketplace, or deal ID. By working with a SSP that offers multi-publisher deals, advertisers have access to segmentation at scale – especially if the supply partner has first-party data activation capabilities. The benefits for advertisers are many: from accessing wider pools of trusted, premium inventory, to the ability to match their objectives with publishers’ offerings. Deals protect publisher data providing, in return, more reliable audience segmentation.
Step Four: Act now
While Google has delayed blocking third-party cookies until 2024, advertisers can and should use the additional time to prepare for the expected changes.
For any advertiser who follows the mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, it’s worth reconsidering your approach. Currently, almost half (47%) of all ad requests lack data from third-party cookies, so advertisers are likely losing more than half of their potential audience. While the buyer journey may look different without third-party cookies, it’s likely to be more fruitful. In fact, at TripleLift, we’ve found first-party alternatives deliver at least double these accuracy rates at 70% or higher.
What more do you need? It’s time to act. If you haven’t started testing solutions on browsers that no longer support third-party cookies, now is the time. Test, learn and reap the rewards.