Identity and Audience Addressability in a Post-Cookie World: Key Takeaways From Virtual PubAcademy EMEA

Post on September 10, 2020 by PubMatic


We recently hosted our second virtual PubAcademy EMEA with a focus on helping resolve the challenges of a new identity landscape. For this discussion, Emma Newman, PubMatic’s CRO, EMEA, was joined by: Ben Humphry, Technical Lead, Post Third-Party Cookie Task Force, IAB Europe; Dominic Joseph, CEO & Co-Founder, Captify; Harmony Murphy, Head of UK Advertising Sales, eBay; Joanna Burton, Chief Strategy Officer, ID5; and Liz Rutgersson, SVP Head of Media and Planning – Europe, Merkle.

Humphry kicked off the event with a presentation focused on the major changes to privacy practices that have been planned by Apple and Firefox, and walked through Google’s upcoming plans for its Privacy Sandbox. Currently, publishers, brands, and collectives such as the IAB Europe Post Third-Party Cookie Task Force are working to understand the options that will be available. The main focus was on the advantages and disadvantages of the planned browser-based cohort audiences and Turtledove, which enables publishers to add audiences to cohorts based on their first-party audience data.

Next came a lively panel discussion during which our guest speakers shared their perspectives on addressing the challenges of implementing solutions to counter Google’s upcoming ‘hard block’ on third-party cookies and on harnessing the power of partnerships to balance quality and scale ahead of the 2022 deadline. Throughout the discussion three themes emerged:

  1. We need a single source of truth
    A level playing field is vital to ensuring that all publishers and advertisers have the best chance of success. Walled gardens are always going to have the most data, but they are also the least transparent about the timeliness of data collection, how the data is collected, and what is being done to the data before it’s available to others. For publishers, the biggest threat from the walled gardens and their large data pools is that it makes it very easy for brands to spend with them. Advertisers on the other hand are concerned about addressability and the quality of the data used to target their ads.
  2. Direct relationships are key
    When publishers and advertisers work together, they create a feedback loop centered around the consumer experience. Advertisers know who they want to reach and what they want to say, and publishers know their audience and how they engage. Furthermore, the majority of publishers and brands can identify individual users through email addresses. By sharing CRM data, bespoke audiences can be created for brands, resulting in higher yield for the publisher and better ROI for advertisers without compromising the end users experience.
  3. Now is the time to test
    Over the coming months, many different solutions and strategies will come to the forefront. Publishers and brands need to join forces and experiment in Firefox and Safari well ahead of the Chrome changes in January 2022. Both sides need to collect first-party data and test different ways of matching consumers to a common identifier and then spend time understanding how different approaches affect engagement and, ultimately, sales. Identifying the best approach — which will differ for each brand/publisher partnership — is key to being able to optimize and drive incremental performance and yield. If publishers and brands neglect this experimental stage its inevitable that performance and yield will suffer as a direct result of shrinking addressable audiences size.

In order to not just survive, but thrive, brands and publishers should follow these five steps:

  1. Decide what you need to measure in order to be able to optimize to business goals
  2. Assess whether your first-party data can be measured against these KPIs; if it can’t be, adjust your data collection strategy
  3. Gather insights into how your current set up performs against clear KPIs
  4. Make decisions based on these insights; depending on the current level of success and resources you may want to bring in a consultant, invest in new technologies, or explore new partnerships.
  5. Whatever you do, share learnings, optimize, and evolve

To see the full presentation and panel discussion click here.