Wednesday May 12, 2021

The Cookieless Diet: Bridging the Gap Between Consumer Consent, Data, and Measurement

It’s been widely covered — third-party cookies are out, and consumer consent is in. Safari and Firefox have already done away with third-party cookies, and Chrome will soon be following suit.

The increasing importance of first-party data in the anonymized internet internet urges brands and advertisers to rethink their techniques of targeting customers. 

Cookies have been part of the advertising sphere since the 1990s, and although they are common practice in most online advertising campaigns, they are not bulletproof. It has been noted that a majority of third-party cookie data is lost in measurement, which means that optimization techniques are based on incomplete reports, and hence may be rendered useless. If the majority of third-party cookie data remains unknown, marketers are working on assumptions. This may result in missed sales opportunities and wasted ad spend. 

Cookies — in the form of first- and second-party — continue to be an essential part of online advertising. With the move away from third-party data, anonymized cookies and universal IDs have been gaining ground. Existing solutions build on bridging the gap between consumer data and complete measurement in this new advertising era.

Contextual Targeting 

The industry-old favorite is making a comeback. As it doesn’t require consent and works across all channels on the basis of context, contextual targeting is a known, cookieless solution. Using real-time data, contextual ads target consumers based on the type of media they consume digitally, as opposed to their data. New techniques allow for this solution to create anonymized yet personalized ads based on weather, time, location, domain, and device ID. This privacy-compliant solution will continue to expand availability on more devices as real-time data and knowledge over audience behaviors improve on a local and global scale.

Alternative Channels

One exciting avenue to look out for is high-impact digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. Using contextual targeting, brands can reach consumers based on the location of the screen and employ mobile advertising. A recent article by Platform161’s DOOH specialist Alp Ayhan pointed out that DOOH campaigns can be structured to include dynamic creative capabilities, “through which brands can show mobile, display, and video ads to users in the vicinity of DOOH billboards”. Advertisers can adapt their creatives to incorporate time of day, road conditions, and other contextual factors, providing consumers with a personalized experience without relying on cookies or consumer consent.

First-Party Data

First-party data continues to be more relevant than ever. Solutions such as consented first-party data based on email marketing — stored in data marketplaces and single sign-on (SSO) logins — along with loyalty programs, have been introduced to accelerate consumer consent and engagement, and to provide consented personalization and retargeting. Relying on the emotional connection between a consumer and a brand, loyalty programs help strengthen a brand’s affinity.

The Future Is Cookieless

Demand-side platforms such as Platform161 now offer future-proof cookieless solutions to track campaign success without the use of first- and third-party cookies. Technologies such as these detect when browsers block cookies, automatically activating cookieless tracking. This means brands have an automatic alternative to continue tracking impressions and campaign success. For example, Platform161’s research has shown that its solution tracks up to 70% of post-view and 50% of post-click conversions that would otherwise have not been measured. With the ability to precisely measure and optimize in real time, this solves the problem of missed sales opportunities and wasted ad spend — and will result in a higher return on ad spend. In addition, cookieless solutions protect brands from current and future privacy regulations. Without the need to rely on consented data, cookieless tracking is compatible with industry standards and is not impacted by decisions made by industry giants.


Explaining the cookieless solution Platform161 offers


Building on and improving existing solutions, and working towards universal and cookieless opportunities, the ban on third-party cookies has inspired a new wave in advertising.

With mergers and integrations amongst data providers and tech vendors, one thing is clear. We’re all working together towards ensuring a privacy-compliant, open internet in which consumers have control over their data. Adding Platform161’s cookieless solutions to your digital strategy is as easy as one, two, three. Reach out to our team today to learn more about this industry-first solution.

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