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    ‘Do you take measurement into your own hands?’ Kinesso on third-party cookie deprecation

    Kinesso has released a whitepaper for marketers, explaining everything the industry needs to know about the end of third-party cookies and impending privacy changes. 

    In April, Google announced it was delaying the end of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser for the third time due to regulatory oversight in the UK. 

    Sam Thompson, agency business partner and Natalie Hatch, audience and partnerships lead at Kinesso Australia both spoke to Mediaweek about what they see as important in the measurement conversation, as well as what solutions to third-party cookie deprecation on Chrome are standing out to them.

    What do you see as the most important arguments in the measurement conversation?

    On the topic of measurement, first, we need to be clear on what measurement approaches we are talking about. Modelled measurement, such as econometrics and media mix, remain largely intact. Whereas the deterministic world of last touch, first touch, or data-driven attribution used across digital advertising for path-to-purchase tracking across multiple touch points and on-site action or sale will be impacted.

    The most important point related to deterministic measurement is the impact on ad-serving. Ad-serving has been the bedrock of deterministic measurement for the vast majority of digital advertisers for the last 15 years. While dependency has eroded over time – Safari and Firefox began phasing out cookies back in 2013 and have already completed the total deprecation of 3rd party cookies – it is still the dominant tool for cross-publisher source of truth for digital media measurement.

    Brands have been dependent on digital signals to understand the impact of media on business outcomes. Ad servers played a key role of stitching those signals together to make sense of the digital ecosystem. They are heavily third party cookie-based, therefore what will replace this method is one of the biggest conversations being had from a measurement perspective.

    Alternative measurement solutions in the market have been developed or are in development and brands should begin considering these solutions and testing them to understand what works. Some solutions are a little more narrow, fairly simple to implement, and cost-efficient (eg CAPI), while others are more holistic on measurement and take time, resource, and investment to deliver (eg MMM, clean rooms, or CDP integrations).

    So as the digital ecosystem becomes more fragmented, the consideration for brands becomes: Are you comfortable trusting fragmented media owners or media buying technology such as ad servers, Google, Meta, or any DSP as your source of measurement truth, or do you take measurement into your own hands via a more holistic and modelled approach?

    Upon the emergence of solutions to third-party cookie deprecation, is there one or some predicted to be widely used?

    Perhaps the ones that will be most widely adopted are focused on how brands can remain addressable or targeted in digital media into the future.

    If you had asked us two years ago, we would have told you that identity solutions such as the Trade Desk’s UID2 were going to dominate the ecosystem from an addressability perspective, especially considering it was being created to be interoperable with most media buying technology, and without bias of ownership by any one platform. The real aim here is to combat walled-garden fragmentation and provide scalable, cross platform addressability for brands and agencies to leverage.

    However, while we have been waiting for the deprecation of the third party cookie and increased adoption of identity solutions, we have also seen some early adopters who have backed clean rooms, CDP integrations, and alternative identity solutions to future proof their targeting, as well as the laggards who are waiting until the final hour to see where the chips fall.

    While this doesn’t necessarily help to solve the fragmentation conundrum, we also don’t think you can discount the Google API solutions. While they are being watched closely by industry bodies and governments, it is likely their solutions will be widely used, especially by agencies and clients that are Google dominant.

    The industry has been saying this for some time, but contextual solutions or relying on publishers first party consumer data and broader data partnerships will also likely be more adopted at scale as cookie signals decrease.

    What will happen to brands that don’t adequately prepare for third-party cookie deprecation? 

    It will vary widely based on the media plan and the strategies dependant on 3P.

    Brands will see some of their core targeting strategies and tried and true audience tactics simply fall away and not deliver, that means sales dropping, attribution falling off, and a reduction in understanding who is purchasing your products and agencies dependent on third party solutions from mass reach publishers that do have a strong first party spine. While agencies are future proofing their own data spines, a brand’s first party data plan can be a game changing competitive advantage.

    For media owners without a first party data solution, it’s likely they will see a reduction in ad spend when they are no longer able to offer addressable targeting across their sites as they may have been used to, and when advertisers concentrate their spend into publishers where this is offered at scale. It is clear that media owners have been working hard in this space to build out their first party data to ensure that they can secure advertising revenue post-cookie.

    If a brand hasn’t adequately prepared, you still have time. Use the time wisely to best set yourself up for success. Advertisers will have less signals available to them to addressably target their most high value consumers which has the potential to lead to lower return on investment.

    When assessing impact, utilising solutions like MMM for holistic and modelled measurement, alongside the likes of GA4 and CAPI for understanding digital specific, and platform specific, impact can positively support conversion reporting and budget optimisations.

    Agencies are often the point of centralised information and knowledge for brands, so ensuring they are across the potential impact, have alternative solutions, and have testing frameworks in place to guide their brands through the change is imperative.

    For those that don’t have a plan for how to evaluate their existing client activity and roadmap the solutions, they may face some challenges and tough questions from their advertisers as their ROI is impacted.

    The full whitepaper can be found below.

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    Google said it remains committed to engaging closely with the UK Competition and Markets Authority and ICO and hopes to conclude that process this year.

    “Assuming we can reach an agreement, we envision proceeding with third-party cookie deprecation starting early next year.”

    See also: Google delays end of third-party cookies for third time

    The post ‘Do you take measurement into your own hands?’ Kinesso on third-party cookie deprecation appeared first on Mediaweek.

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