We're already in a cookieless present - here's how marketers can capitalize
By Narendra Kumar Chandrapati (director - customer success operations, EMEA), PubMatic
For years we have been talking about the ‘cookieless future’, the reality is that today we’re in the ‘cookieless present’, which means that publishers and brands must reconsider how they address audiences. Privacy compliant, shared user IDs offer the digital advertising supply chain a scalable solution but many publishers and brands are yet to embrace this opportunity fully. As an industry, we have a collective responsibility to enable publishers and brands to capitalize on the cookieless present by providing flexible solutions that can be easily rolled out across the open web.
The role of identity solutions
In the cookieless present, identity solutions provide marketers with a way to maximize addressability by providing the supply chain with a stable and reliable consumer identifier that advertisers may use to measure online consumer behavior and serve targeted advertising.
The challenge faced by publishers and advertisers is navigating the plethora of identity solutions available on the market and understanding what they are, how they work, and how they can drive specific advertising outcomes.
Interoperability and scale are key
Today’s marketers leverage a variety of technology platforms to activate and measure advertising campaigns meaning that any new solution, such as identifiers, must be able to integrate seamlessly into their existing technology stack. One of the ways that publishers and advertisers can easily avoid interoperability issues is to work with a supply-side platform (SSP) that offers access to multiple identity providers removing the need for complex integrations and maintenance.
Creating solutions that work with the wider ecosystem is accelerating adoption and continuing the drive towards making the open web a viable alternative to the walled gardens. As we move further into the cookieless present we must keep in mind that marketers’ requirements will remain the same. They need solutions that are addressable, accountable, and measurable.
As we continue to build identity capabilities, we must minimize any further impact on the ecosystem and create solutions that enable advertisers to continue to spend and achieve results with publishers on the open web.
How to get started with identity solutions
For marketers that have not yet worked with identity solutions, there is a real risk that advertising performance will decline. However, many have delayed the adoption of identity solutions - often driven by Google delaying the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome. However, early adopters have paved the way for mass adoption by proving the benefits of using identity solutions to increase addressability and ad spend has followed.
The good news is that due to the popularity and success of identity solutions, there is a wealth of knowledge across the digital advertising industry as well as plenty of choice. Once one has established a short list of providers that meet its needs, assign a portion of inventory or ad spend and conduct A/B tests using the same measurement criteria that are applied to existing setups.
This test-and-learn approach will enable publishers and advertisers alike to discover the approach - or approaches - that best meet their requirements. It’s worth remembering that a single publisher or brand will likely find that working with multiple identity solutions delivers the best results. This is not something to be concerned about as there are many solutions available that enable publishers and advertisers to work with multiple identifiers from a single platform.
While it’s too early to say if and when identification will disappear completely, a progressive digital advertising ecosystem calls for innovative technologies that will bridge the gap between privacy requirements and ad tech vendors. Marketers can no longer ignore the fact that third-party cookies are on their way out and must embrace identity solutions to preserve addressability and performance. The future of digital advertising won’t revolve around individual targeting and re-targeting as it has done for years it will be done in a privacy-friendly way where individuals are not identified.