How can you create a winning data strategy that enables effective personalised messaging in a cookieless world? This was the core question posed at the Programmatic Pioneers Summit in a virtual fireside chat.
Permutive’s Aurélien Dubot, Senior Director of Product Marketing sat on a panel alongside Roxanne Harley, Director Client Strategy at Azerion UK; Magda Legosz, Senior Performance Marketing Manager at KFC and Giulia Bergamaschi, Digital and Programmatic Manager at Bayer. The session was moderated by Lauran Allen, Editorial Director of PPS Connect.
Discussion topics included the lack of urgency around third-party cookie deprecation, the opportunities arising for first-party data owners, and protecting user privacy in the new era of programmatic advertising. Here are the highlights from the panel session.
Every minute counts in planning for a cookieless world
The panel opened with a discussion around whether publishers and advertisers were ready for a cookieless world. All of the panellists agreed that there is confusion around this, partly due to delays in Google phasing out third-party cookies completely — currently, Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period, finishing in late 2023.
A recent Adobe survey found that only 37% of companies believe they’re “very prepared” for the cookie changes ahead, and this — according to the panel — needs urgent addressing. Dubot at Permutive believes “there is a fundamental shift happening with the removal of the whole chain of third-party data.” He said: “We need a new infrastructure to be ready for this. Safari and Firefox have already stopped third-party cookies, meaning 30-40% of audience data is not addressable today. Advertisers should be thinking about what happens if anyone who has an iPhone is engaging and not being targeted as a potential customer.”
Legosz at KFC added: “Third-party cookies have historically been the backbone of advertising and we now need to make sure that we are ready for the next era. Every minute counts and the time is right to build new first-party models and leverage new solutions.”
First-party data is establishing itself as a goldmine
Publishers are increasingly seeing the value of their first-party data. The likes of Immediate Media have seen audience identification grow by four times by using its own data sources and a 132% increase in click-through rates. At BuzzFeed, 65% of its advertisers now target on first-party data. This privacy-safe data has a key role to play in the next generation of programmatic advertising as it’s a goldmine of untapped insights.
Harley at Azerion UK said “first-party data will be key” as brands shift to a more private buying model, which “will be more effective for advertising and personalisation.” She said: “Incorporating publisher data will also enable advertisers to analyse campaign performance and feedback for optimisation.”
Permutive’s Dubot highlighted the importance of data collaboration between publishers and advertisers, he said: “Direct relationships are the gold standard. Placing a pixel and tracking in blind hope is nefarious and it’s going away — brands are now more thoughtful and think about which publishers to trust, based on who has their audience.”
For Legosz at KFC, the priority was being smart with handling first-party data. She said: “When you have organised data, you can create single-customer views, attributes and actions and use them to arrange more accurate segments and identifiers across devices. Working in this way makes it easier to harness and provides scope for smarter use of first-party data.”
Permutive’s Dubot agreed: “It’s vital to make your data useful but not at the expense of the user and their user experience — you have to be discerning about what you use. Build stronger relationships with your users, get to know audiences more and leverage this information in a privacy-safe way.”
Bergamaschi at Bayer urged advertisers to take a ‘test and refine’ approach to programmatic. “This is a moment to go deeper and take time to better understand our own consumers and how their online journey is evolving. It’s the time to test, test and test,” she said. “In our future we see different strategies emerging. First-party data will be built from the main signals that come from our customers, alongside data from walled gardens, which will help to better refine our campaigns and targeting.”
User privacy and relevancy must be the top priority
Consumer privacy is a key priority for all. Forrester research shows that 42% of publishers are prioritising improving customer satisfaction and trust ahead of increasing subscriptions and more than a third of brands state a priority to improve customer trust (36%) and satisfaction (33%).
KFC’s Legosz echoed the research findings: “The new world will be built on trust with consumers — a consumer-first mindset, recognising that there are consumers behind the cookies. Advertisers will be able to get a better understanding of customers and provide better and more personalised advertising.” She added that brands should “deploy a diversified approach to targeting, measurement and all the analytics and data capabilities – to truly understand what customers want to see.”
Harley at Azerion UK agreed, she said: “It’s vital you don’t forget the consumer. [The] strategy should be about gaining those relevant insights to inform creative messaging and using real-time intelligence to understand audiences.”
For Permutive’s Dubot, this all comes down to timeliness. He said: “Don’t be late with your messaging, be timely and ensure a better user experience. On-device processing of audience data enables you to do a lot of processing without having to build infrastructure to support it. Keep it privacy-safe but still real-time and insightful.”
Harley at Azerion UK urged advertisers to future-proof through discovery, she said: “Walled gardens are able to choose the information to present to marketers and they mark their own homework — growth for brands will only be achieved by discovering and reaching new audiences.
Watch the full fireside chat below.