3rd party data is dying. Safari and Firefox have phased out 3rd party cookies and Chrome will follow suit in 2022, Apple has made IDFA optional, making everyone expect nobody to allow it, and link decoration won’t be able to attribute purchases to affiliates. Now what?
From a consumer point of view I am happy, as this means that my personal information will no longer be spread across hundreds of technologies and data marketplaces where the highest bidder gets to use them. But data isn’t dead, it will just change, and this is the advertising industry’s chance to create new mechanisms that are both effective and respectful of privacy.
From our talks with ad buyers and sellers around the world, there are three strategies that are repeatedly discussed; contextual information, publisher first party data, and customer matching. Are you ready for them?
Publisher First Party Data
Blocking 3rd party data means that marketers can no longer use their own data in targeting. If they cannot use their data, then the alternative is using the publisher’s data. What’s New In Publishing said it well: “First-party data is the new currency; publishers can benefit by focusing on this advantage and seeking out collaboration with buyers wherever possible.”
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, activating publisher data is now an important key to differentiate. This represents a change from the way many are using to think quoting again What’s New in Publishing: “The market for third-party data hasn’t historically set up publishers for success. In fact, it’s left publishers at a significant disadvantage, unable to drive real revenue from their own data as third parties make it widely available across the web.” This however changes with these privacy-driven restrictions.
AdExchanger rightly points out that significant investment is needed to unlock the potential of publisher first-party data, and among other describes an industry that lacks clear standards of how segments can be built. However, here we in Adnuntius will pat ourselves on the back: Adnuntius Data supports not just data collection and the opportunity for publishers to build segments on standards they themselves define; publishers can also open access for buyers to join their network, and create segments based on the publishing data. This removes much of the transparency problem where buyers do not know what they’re buying.
Here is a very simple example: a publisher could create a segment of users who have read 3 or more travel articles, and call it the “travel enthusiasts” segment. The problem is that there is no industry standard that determines what determines that a user is indeed interested in travel. But as an alternative to publishers building segments, buyers can with Adnuntius Data be given access to do it themselves, which means that there is no question about what a buyer is actually getting. The buyers will not have access to any sensitive information, but just be given the opportunity to build a segment based on the anonymous signals collected by publishers.
We’re still talking about publishers’ data, but with a good old fashioned twist: simply matching an ad to the content that the user is consuming before throwing away the information (rather than storing it to a user’s profile for later use). If a user reads about vacation destinations then show an ad by an airline. It’s in principle simple, yet effective.
Contextual advertising has seen a revival as more and more publishers become more weary of stricter privacy legislation. After the EU started requiring active consent before being allowed to store information, its popularity is also likely to grow further as fewer consumers agree to share their information. Adnuntius allows you to collect contextual information from a page in multiple ways.
I’ve heard a few different names for this; CRM matching and customer matching to name a couple. But the idea is; once third party cookies are gone, can other identifiers take their place and still enable cross-domain user identification in a manner more respectful to consumers’ right to privacy?
You have perhaps tried this using Facebook’s Custom Audiences or Google’s Customer Match, but here’s a general example: an consumer purchases a pair of loudspeakers at a hi-fi ecommerce store, leaves an email address as part of the purchase process, and consents to allow the ecommerce store to use this information in marketing. That consumer has also at some point registered with a news site, left his email address (perhaps to receive newsletters?), and also here consented to receiving personalized ads. Now that the user has agreed with both parties, and both parties recognize the user (not through a 3rd party cookie, but through an email address or other personally identifiable information), then the advertiser can get its amplifiers in front of that consumer. After all, once you buy better loudspeakers you need a better amplifier.
Adnuntius Data is made for this purpose: both buyers and publishers can have access and safely activate their customer data, and then organize and share data one-to-one given consumers’ consent. These segments can then be activated in Adnuntius Marketplace, so that they can effectively and seamlessly be used in advertising.
Lastly it’s important to point out that this will of course not work at the same scale as 3rd party cookies, simply because not as many consumers provide the necessary information.
So, are you ready for what is about to come? Let us know if you want to talk. Reach out any time.