2024 is looming, and the cookie apocalypse has already begun (see Safari and Firefox). The time to find new solutions is nearing. How can publishers prepare themselves?
What Do We Actually Mean by “Cookieless”?
There’s a perception that first-party data is just login demographic data, but it’s so much more than that.
First-party data is all sorts of things, such as contextual and behavioral data. It also includes site navigation patterns and single session page views, time spent on the page, frequency and recency, not to mention multi-session interest topics, and ad placement analytics.
It’s rich data publishers can use because it’s more privacy-forward than third-party cookies. It’s more than contextual, as mentioned before, but it can also scale across all channels (i.e., tablet, CTV, mobile app, desktop) and browsers.
Lastly, first-party data can offer much more accuracy in terms of targeting than third-party cookies. And with them deprecating, now is the time to shift the focus to first-party data.
Some issues with third-party cookies regarding targeting tactics include:
- Fragmented media buying based on various solutions available across browsers and platforms.
- Campaign reach may be impacted given the likelihood of overlap in targeting strategy due to competition solutions.
The solution would be to consider first-party data, including the publisher’s proprietary IDs, analytical data, and audience segmentation, to run a more successful campaign. Tools powering first-party data matching will become valuable assets to campaign buyers. And lastly, publishers can define audiences based on first-party data to help shape first-party execution.
How Will Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Impact the Market?
Google Chrome has a ⅔ market share, so the impact will be monumental once they deprecate third-party cookies in 2024. The four most significant effects it’ll have are:
– Identity and Ad Targeting: One of the main reasons privacy regulations have come to the forefront is the way third-party cookies collect user data and transfer it to third parties. A proposed alternative is the Privacy Sandbox based on cohort analysis rather than individual user data. There are also universal IDs that can significantly expand the reach of advertising campaigns. This multi-channel and cross-platform offers more advanced and secure identifying and targeting features than third-party cookies. By using first-party data solutions, consumers can have better control over their privacy preferences. Not to mention contextual targeting, which emphasizes content and keywords over-relying on personal information.
– Ad Fraud: Many believe doing away with third-party cookies will increase ad fraud, which is simply not the case. Ad fraud is already rampant and underreported. For instance, bots can dump and get new cookies like users can when they clear cookies from their browsers. Bots can also pretend to be any audience segment an advertiser wants, hurting advertisers by paying for higher CPMs. They can also trick search and cart abandonment retargeting algorithms and way more. So with these practices and more being lost with third-party cookies, less money will be lost to fraud.
– Cost Savings and Better Outcomes: Advertisers can personalize their customer experience better, use CRM retargeting, make the most of first-party data, and use contextual advertising.
3 Must-Haves in Your Cookieless Arsenal:
Among other considerations, exploring and using tools from companies that have established a presence for the target audience is a great way to fill in the gaps while considering first-party data. It’s also worth taking the time to consider building partnerships to match data and stay privacy-forward.
As a result, consider these three must-haves for when third-party cookies finally deprecate:
Data collection optimization — Publishers define a data strategy and decide what data is valuable for targeting purposes.
Industry or first-party identity solutions — Publishers with a significant amount of login information and the right to use it should focus on adopting an industry identity solution or developing a first-party identity solution, enhancing user privacy controls.
Platform participation preparation — All publishers should prepare to participate in platform solutions, like Google’s Privacy Sandbox. They should work with their partners to understand and prepare for the changes.
If you want to learn more about addressability and how to unleash your first-party data, check out our Privacy and Identity Prepper Playbook for Publishers.