Pubmatic looks at where publishers currently stand as the demise of third party cookies looms near.
As the due date for third party cookies looms near, digital advertising platform, Pubmatic, surveys publisher employees working in ad tech operations, ad business development and programmatic monetization roles, to see where they're currently standing. The need of the hour for publishers is a strategy that is privacy-compliant and is effective in managing and tracking unique identifiers, if they want to continue to reach people with relevant ads.
The insights from the survey puts a lens on how publishers and buyers can approach audience addressability in a post-cookie-less world — specifically, the challenges of tracking and managing IDs, mitigating cross-device redundancies and the outcomes of achieving cross-channel insights. In preparing for post-cookies audience addressability, publishers need to keep two challenges in mind: using first-party data to reach audiences at scale and the ability to create and measure targeting segments. This period gives an opportunity for publishers to take steps to protect their first party data and develop privacy-by design principles.
How publishers are responding
Currently, publishers are creating new addressability standards that will be sustainable and deliver additional value to consumers. Insights from the survey reveal that 41% of publishers have been working with solutions within the past year, and 36% have been working with solutions for a year or more.
Publishers are focusing on collecting rich first party data points such as e-mail address data, unique user IDs, browser data, IP address data and device data. Majority of survey respondents cited email address data as the most widely used addressability solution.
A unique user id is formed using deterministic data that publishers gather from user logins. 33% of respondents are pursuing user id's as a solution but according to the study, less than half are finding success with this solution. The study believes that the reason for this is because they're too early in the stage and are not yet reaping widespread results. 16% of respondents who responded 'other' believed it was too soon to make a definitive evaluation.
When it comes to ID management, many challenges lie await for publishers. One would be keeping up with the scale required to track and manage user IDs. The first step for achieving scale with ID management involves creating a value exchange between publishers and audiences. Once publishers are able to identify what's valuable to their audiences, they can build experiences that generate data within a privacy compliant framework — via logins, sign-ups and the like — for content, newsletters, recipes, tips,etc.
Another addressability challenge that will come down the road for publishers is being able to target users across multiple devices and sites. Publishers will have to focus on how to target audiences and specific devices, and then determine how those devices offer a more unified view of a single consumer. The challenge on top of that will be as tracking becomes more complex, costs such as tech costs, operational costs and legal costs will accrue in large numbers. The solution? Partnerships.
The future of audience addressability is complex but presents an opportunity to engage the right consumers with the right creative via privacy-compliant methods. Partnerships is definitely an ideal option many publishers should pursue. Publishers should focus on producing premium valued content along with strategic partnerships with omni-channel vendors in order to thrive in the post-cookie less world.