Brands and publishers must learn how to reach consumers in new ways due to increasing uncertainty surrounding traditional audience targeting. To meet this challenge, AdMonsters Editorial Director Gavin Dunaway, recently hosted a discussion on “The Present & Future of Audience Addressability,” with Andrew Baron, PubMatic’s Vice President of Marketplace.
Andrew spoke on alternatives to the disappearing cookie and presented several recommendations for publishers trying to navigate the changing environment.
He said that “identity management solutions must be at the center of a cookie-less world,” and recommends that the digital publishing and advertising industries take the following actions to adapt to this new reality:
- Experimentation. The phasing out of cookies and imposition of regulations around identity have spurred private investment in the creation of new IDs and workarounds. Investment in the future of identity management is critical for programmatic buying to remain effective.
- Exploration. Publishers and brands must explore how to leverage first-party data assets, such as lists of signed-in users with email addresses and phone numbers. Owners of first–party data should explore how these assets can be turned into valuable anonymized audience segments to increase addressability.
- Understanding. What are your buyers looking for in the ID space? Individual demand-side platforms (DSPs) are investing in their own IDs and competing against agencies that are also investing in their own IDs. No single ID will rule them all. As well, a publisher that wants access to multiple IDs to boost programmatic demand might pull in a supply-side platform (SSP) for help.
- Bridging the gap. Publishers, brands, agencies, and tech providers need to figure out how to effectively connect cookie environments and non-cookie environments. This issue is more about cross-channel needs, which have always existed, and solving for individual identifiers in these channels. In the short term, a lot of ID providers will use large cookie pools to help collect more information, whether it’s contextual or behavioral, to build the identity graph of the future.
All of these actions will place identity management at the center of a cookie-less landscape. The pace of change is rapid, partially driven by platforms (e.g. Apple and Google) but also partially driven by regulators. Many EU countries have implemented very consumer–focused privacy regulations, and in the U.S., California is following.
Andrew also thinks that the growth in content engagement, OTT and CTV and e-commerce following the start of the pandemic has changed the way audiences interact with publishers and advertisers. “The pandemic has actually increased the number of eyeballs and the number of addressable audiences, so, this is an exciting time to be thinking about how to reshape the way that we identify users through the highly trackable means of the internet.”