Data firms in demand as brands look to replace cookies

tech_2The death of the third-party cookie is likely to trigger a major boom in the data industry, with both marketers and publishers looking to partner with companies who can help them knock their first-party data into shape, as well provide consumer identity and data privacy solutions.

So says the Lotame “Beyond the Cookie: The Future of Advertising for Marketers and Publishers” study, conducted in January 2021 among more than 200 UK senior digital marketing and publishing decision-makers.

It details how organisations are planning for the phase-out of third-party cookies and whether brands are making the most out of their data.

The report findings reveal there is a strong interest in identity solutions. Despite relatively modest current adoption rates – averaging at 19% across both marketers and publishers – over half (51%) are actively searching for an identity partner. And those looking for a partner hope to find the right fit soon; with almost a third (28%) aiming to find one within the next six months and almost a quarter (23%) planning to use an ID solution in the next year.

Moreover, almost all marketers have at least some concerns over their first-party data assets, with accuracy the key issue, while an overwhelming 95% of publishers reported using supplemental data to enrich their first-party data assets. One in four publishers are also looking for help in finding quality data to enrich their first-party data, while 49% are currently using survey and panel data.

Additionally, the report identifies that, for both marketers and publishers, a “context alone” targeting strategy is not enough. Three-quarters (75%) of marketers believe that while contextual targeting is a useful tactic to ensure advertising relevance without relying on third-party cookies, it cannot replace audience targeting – including one in eight (12%) having zero confidence.

Similarly, although two-thirds (66%) of publishers are confident that contextual targeting can offer an effective cookie alternative, almost half (49%) are looking for a further solution to cover the potential loss of third-party tracking – with 15% using more contextual and intent data while they search for a longer-term solution.

Despite the lean towards contextual targeting, an overwhelming 95% of publishers reported using supplemental data to enrich their first-party data assets.

At present, publishers plan to tap into a variety of information to achieve this, including survey and panel data (49%), marketer data (41%), third-party data from reputable vendors (24%), and second-party data from other publishers (20%); almost a quarter (24%) say they are looking for help in finding quality data partners to augment their first-party data offering.

Lotame managing director EMEA Chris Hogg said: “As the deadline to retire third-party cookies edges closer, marketers and publishers need to collaborate to enable advertising that is relevant, responsible, and resilient.

“These findings also challenge the narrative that third-party data enrichment is dead and indicate second-party and third-party data still hold considerable clout, especially as first-party alone does not scale or capture the complete story of ever-changing consumer habits.

“Marketers and publishers are also in critical need of privacy tools and partnership solutions to engage audiences at scale.”

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