Tactics to Adopt Immediately to Prepare for Third-Party Deprecation

We recently released a whitepaper with Ad Age on How to Win the Post-Third-Party Future. In this blog post, we’re sharing practical tips from the paper that publishers can start planning to implement today ahead of third-party cookie deprecation. 

Reinvest in first-party data 

Know your audience. Even though you keep tabs on what kind of content performs well or which users return most often, you need to actively get to know who they are and what they want. “It’s a good exercise to be forced into, to have that level of introspection and to do this kind of exhaustive site audit,” says Jake Sullivan, director of programmatic operations at U.S. News & World Report. “What are all of the firstparty data signals we’re not capturing right now that we should be? We need to wire up all of those pathways so that we have a holistic view of our audience [and that] has paid off in dividends.” 

Approach user authentication as a stepping-stone venture 

Marie Fenner, global accounts managing director at Piano, recommends you first collect any and all anonymous data, then move toward permission, and finally ask for authenticated data. “With permission data, we can create detailed segments and have zeroed-in personalization, but once you have authenticated data—logins, IDs, etc.—you can begin orchestrating the customer journey,” Fenner says. Not only will your advertising be smarter using this trustworthy data, but it’s also an organic first step to nudge the user toward a subscription or membership model without alienating them. 

Create an internal compliance review program

Just as you would bring in a benefits representative to walk employees through a new healthcare insurance plan, you’ll need to make sure your entire team understands the new regulations and the ways your company will adapt the business to service its customers and deliver its strategy. Such changes mean “retraining our sales teams and our account management teams,” among others across the organization, says Ken Blom, senior VP of ad strategy and partnerships at BuzzFeed. 

You’ll also want to establish a set of metrics—such as the number and classification of privacy incidents or complaints—that continually monitor any instances that do not comply with privacy regulations. This will help everyone from your operations team to your shareholders understand what is working and what needs improvement. Regular formal audits of this system will also help you tweak and polish your methodology while reinforcing the importance of compliance to your team. 

Don’t confuse identity with data

Because publishers and advertisers are so dependent on each other, Mathieu Roche, the co-founder and CEO of ID5, emphasizes that whatever solution is chosen needs to take both sides into account. “Identity is the currency that enables trading of assets,” he explains. “Brands have these assets—they have customer knowledge, they know about transactions, they have the intelligence.” 

The key is being able to connect that intelligence to an individual consumer. That’s the virtual currency exchange. 

“What we need is a global currency to power digital advertising—that is what identity is,” Roche adds. “We have to fundamentally rethink product strategy with different levels of engagement, and it’s important to understand that identification is the foundation of a lot of stuff that is invaluable to brands.” 

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