Neena Dasgupta
Guest Article

Adopting automation in the cookie-less world is a need for marketers

The demand for privacy has been on the rise for several years, posing a massive challenge in examining consumer characteristics, their behaviour as well as their mindsets.

The demand for privacy has been on the rise for several years, posing a massive challenge in examining consumer characteristics, behaviours and mindsets.

Placing cookies to understand these aspects, has been a common practice, which is being challenged due to privacy needs. Across the globe, 91 per cent of consumers are concerned about the amount of data that companies collect about them.

Additionally, governments are recognising threats to privacy and enacting privacy legislation around the world, leading to significant and long-term changes in digital marketing ecosystem.

We are moving towards a cookie-less world

The inability to place cookies will reduce opportunities to provide meaningful experiences to audiences, and generate revenues outside of host or native environment.

To address this challenge, marketers and other stakeholders need to recognise the importance of nurturing first-party sources (brands, publishers, platforms, agencies), who collect data directly from the customer or users. The first-party data, with its derivatives (such as mindset cohorts), can form an important foundation, on which the overall technological infrastructure can be built for executing digital campaigns.

Mindset cohorts reflect on the fundamental reasons for the sets of online behaviour witnessed on digital platforms/publishers. Mindsets, here, comprise orientation towards environment, life stage, social behaviour, product ownership and content accessed across media vehicles.

Adopting automation in the cookie-less world is a need for marketers

Tech collaboration

Collaboration among different type of stakeholders is a direction towards addressing this multifaceted challenge enabled by technologies and spanning various dimensions:

● Data provenance

o Data can be exchanged among stakeholders maintaining the sanctity of ownership

o Further, sharing will be based on a condition that the owners of the data will continue to control the flow (i.e., the data will not leave the host destination)

o Since the targeting will be done based on mindset cohorts, there will be no need for exchange of personally identifiable information (PII)

● Execution

o All the stakeholders will undertake responsibility of executing campaigns on media vehicles

o Aggregators will facilitate matching of audience and augment enriching of profiles (in terms of mindset cohorts)

● Feedback

o Feedback of targeting and campaign execution will be shared among all the members of the consortium

o Such feedbacks will have to be continuous so that the insights delivery is fine-tuned for better targeting of profiles

Benefits of collaborative ecosystem

● Audience profiles: Stakeholders supercharge the audience profiles with:

o Existing data from brands, publishers and measurement services

o Augmented data, through aggregators by formulating mindset cohorts

● Revenues: Increased revenues for data providers and agencies

● Costs: Cost control due to efficient campaign management and performance

● Performance: Improved performance of campaign due to accurate targeting and ad performance analytics

● Time: Share and augment data in relatively shorter time, as there is continuous feedback

● Privacy compliant: Appropriate privacy regulations adhered to, since provenance and PII are maintained


Adopting automation in the cookie-less world is a need for marketers

Nuts and bolts

The crux of any long-term marketing activity is to clearly identify consumer profiles (in terms of mindset, media consumption behaviour), and how they can be the focus of communication. One of the primary deliveries of the collaboration is to deliver audience profiles, their behaviour and the distribution of the profiles across publishers/platforms.

Mindset-based cohorts established by using data shared by first-party sources (agencies, media, or brands), and made tradeable by the aggregators, serve as a bridge for data and technological integration. Further, this integration could be supported through a dashboard designed for brands and publishers.

Brands remain the primary recipient of the augmented data. Publishers or platforms play an important role by enabling a script or SDK to be incorporated into their website or app. This integration allows advertisers or brands to analyse the distribution of cohorts across publishers/platforms to conduct effective campaign execution targeting.

The collaboration is guided by the stakeholders, as they are enablers and are expected to deliver value. The value that needs to be demonstrated will be based on substantive metrics that brands and publishers use to measure their campaign or media spends.

While the standard metrics will always be maintained, the most critical aspect will be, how to get more by spending less. That is, in terms of decreasing the costs based on performance (transactions, intent: leads or interests: click-throughs) so that the digital spends increase.

Another promise of the collaborative engagement is to provide an advertiser or a brand, the knowledge of the audience profile that are a better target for them. In addition, extending this knowledge to identify the publisher/platform that can be most efficient based on the audience profiles.

For publishers or platforms, the main benefit is that they will be able to target the audience groups better, which, in turn, will be reflected in lesser leakage in targeting and spends.

In sum, a tech collaboration, like the one described above, enables stakeholders to work together and address the challenges that a cookie-less world presents. If stakeholders don’t find solutions for sharing data and monetising it, based on trust and transparency, we are set to face a bleak future of reduced revenues.

The author is is director & CEO, Zirca Digital Solutions.

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