3 Takeaways on Third-Party Cookie Deprecation from InfoSum

We recently announced new addressability partnerships with industry leaders in identity, collaborative data solutions and consent as we enhance our First-Party Data Acquisition solution, which integrates its data management, identity and customer journey orchestration capabilities. Back in March as part of Piano Academy, we spoke with one of these partners, InfoSum, to understand how publishers and brands can prepare for third-party cookie deprecation. Read three takeaways of the chat between Brian Lesser, CEO of InfoSum, and Joanna Catalano, Chief Growth Officer at Piano.

#1 The third-party cookie lasted too long and shouldn’t be replaced 

Google's decision to get out of the business of third-party persistent IDs came as no surprise, but did send a ripple amongst industry players who had hoped the tech giant would replace the third-party cookie with...something like a third-party cookie. This sentiment makes sense given there are hundreds of companies designed to recognize a cookie or something like a cookie. 

“It doesn't shock me that Google said, ‘You know what, that's sort of the wrong thinking,’” Lesser said. “If an advertiser and publisher want to transact that way, fine. But for a big marketplace, like the one we run, it's not fine. And we're going to walk away from it, because we have a responsibility to our customers.”

Instead of wondering about Google’s true motivations in deprecating third-party cookies, Lesser advises both buy and sell sides to be practical about deciding how to move forward.

#2 Businesses are being forced to rethink their relationships with their customers 

Publishers are in the business of permission and trust, Lesser said. Before they can collect as much data as possible, they need to share why they are collecting it and what they're going to do with it. 

“I think lots of businesses are going to rethink their relationship with their customers, and how they use data, not just privacy policies, which is sort of the letter of the law,” Lesser said. “But ethically, how do we use this data? And what is our responsibility to customers with respect to notifying them of the uses of the data, giving them ways of, you know, opting out of those uses, and really making this better for them — better products, better advertising, better content.”

On the last point, Lesser thinks publishers aren’t always so explicit about the fact that they are collecting more data to deliver better value and to fund quality journalism or content creation.

#3 Publishers should think like retailers when it comes to mastering value exchange 

Noting how large retailers realized that they were sitting on a treasure trove of data, and that they could use it to drive new revenue streams, Lesser said publishers can learn from the value exchange they have struck with consumers. 

“I do think these businesses and the technology behind them have gotten really good at understanding consumer preferences at retail, in store and also ecommerce,” he said. “And that they've created a really nice value exchange with brands where brands can now better understand how their products perform in a retail environment, and are getting some of that data back. And of course, that should be a virtuous circle where the brand wants to spend more with the retail media network.”

Similarly for publishers, the more data they can collect, the better. But first, they should design a range of products valuable enough to compel consumers to volunteer their data. For media publishers, that could be video products, podcasting or any sort of retail component that can be incorporated into the business, and then using the data collected to produce analytics that inform better and more relevant content on any of those channels. 

“So I think that is the publisher equivalent of the retail media network, which is, ‘Expand your product set as much as possible in order to make your business more relevant and collect more data, which can then fuel not only better outcomes, but also fuel new products.’”