Over the past few years, consumers have started holding advertisers’ feet over the fire, forcing them to be more conscious about ethics in advertising and intentional about the content they use, the teams behind the campaigns, and overall investments in media. Our newly launched podcast, What the AdTech: Let’s Talk Responsible Advertising, will feature thought-provoking, honest, and raw conversations with some of today’s top marketing minds about the future of ethics in advertising and what it means for marketers, publishers, and consumers today. Read about the first episode here.
Our second podcast episode tackles the topics of identity, privacy, and what you need to consider for life after the third-party cookie is finally crumbled by the browsers. Host Somer Simpson talks with Dr. Peter Day, Chief Technology Officer at Quantcast, and Isha Chhatwal, Senior Product Manager, Identity and Privacy at Quantcast, about the adtech industry’s response to the impending ‘cookiepocalypse.’
Despite having plenty of advanced notice about the third-party cookie deprecation date—and even getting an extension until 2023—the industry as a whole has been procrastinating, instead of preparing. As Peter put it, “I’m seeing a little bit of panic, a lot of noise, and a little bit of action.” There’s been more of a “‘wait and see’ approach,” Isha added, as people wait for a “gold standard solution.” However, most marketers now recognize that there is not going to be a single solution, and there is a new urgency to find a cookieless solution that will fit their specific needs.
As dependent as the ad industry has become on them, Peter points out that “cookies were not invented for anything related to advertising, measurement, [and] activation.” They were never designed to support adtech; we simply used them to build solutions to specific problems at the time. Consumers became uncomfortable with this system that was not built for that purpose and increasingly tech giants wanted more control, and raised the height of their walled gardens.
Moving forward, we need to reconstruct adtech’s underlying infrastructure. Basically, third-party cookies serve three distinct purposes: 1) measuring, ideally at an impression level, if advertising is working; 2) maximizing the value of an impression by making sure it’s relevant; 3) enabling the various pieces of technology that make up the adtech lumascape to communicate with each other. Without third-party cookies, we need to separate out these challenges and solve for them individually.
Instead of panicking over the loss of third-party cookies, we should recognize, as Peter states, that “cookies aren’t nearly the kind of panacea that the adtech world thinks they are today: they don’t hang around very long; they’re not very sticky; we can only see about half of the internet traffic with any cookies on them today, so they’re not that powerful.”
Listen to the entire second episode to hear more about:
- Why consumers need to be educated about the value exchange of the open web, in which they get to read free content in exchange for seeing advertisements, supporting the internet’s three-sided ecosystem for consumers, advertisers, and publishers.
- Why this economic system needs checks and balances that protect consumer data and privacy.
- The increasing importance of first-party data, and how publishers are looking to adapt and change the way they monetize their inventory.
- The range of cookieless identity solutions proposed (and already available), along with rules and regulations, and why contextual approaches are getting a lot of buzz.
- Predictions for what will happen over the next 6-12 months in adtech.
Grab your headphones and join us for Season 1. You can listen to the full second episode here and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Stitcher. Tune in on June 9 for the third episode, “AI, Sounds Like a Takeover…,” which unpacks the role of ethics in AI and technology.