Home Content Studio Putting Ads Without Third-Party Cookies To The Test: A Roadmap To Advertising Durability

Putting Ads Without Third-Party Cookies To The Test: A Roadmap To Advertising Durability


Remember that car you had in college? You took it everywhere and used it for everything. You loved it. Sadly, you eventually outgrew it. You needed more room, some basic safety features, and it had a faulty transmission that wasn’t worth replacing.

Our industry is facing a similar reality now. We’ve outgrown cookies. Despite the recent deprecation deadline extension, the impact remains the same: Half of US consumer interactions with content are already third-party cookieless.

That’s not to say we’re ready to rely on a new mix of first-party, third-party and real-time bidding signals. On the contrary, 75% of marketers still rely heavily on third-party cookies. As an industry, we find ourselves slightly off course.

There is hope, however. With proactive and rigorous testing, we can navigate the forthcoming changes more confidently.

The importance of rigorous testing

Testing is a critical first step. Advertisers should test their existing reach and measurement capabilities across different browsers and devices, and monitor variations in reach and performance. This simulates environments both with and without cookies for comparison.

Any testing must also come with access to results and analysis that clearly lay out the methods for making ads relevant and the outcomes delivered from serving these ads. A comprehensive analysis will not only enhance advertisers’ understanding of what strategies are most durable for their brands, but will also further clarify the decision-making behind ad placements and reveal the balance between different delivery strategies.

This evaluation will enable advertisers to understand the road worthiness of the vehicle(s) they currently drive and decide if an upgrade is warranted. Ideally, understanding an advertiser’s own risk and refining the media mix will enhance engagement and drive future business growth. The goal should be to shift the focus toward new ways of ad serving that mitigate the risks associated with an overreliance on third-party cookie-dependent environments.

Initiate your strategy

As advertisers embrace new, durable approaches, they should look to partners for help. Partners that have done the hard work of innovating their technologies should spare advertisers from having to learn a new language or trust a new currency, freeing them to stay focused on achieving their primary campaign objectives.


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With our DSP, we’ve focused on providing testing capabilities and comprehensive reporting to pilot advertisers who want to see the detours in the road ahead. That includes real-world testing that integrates seamlessly with existing campaign strategies and creative assets. Our improvements also measure the impact of relevancy and extending reach. What would have been anonymous opportunities in previously underserved environments can turn into qualified ones with detailed custom reporting.

Eliminating reliance on third-party cookies

By examining the direct relationships we have with our Amazon Ads customers and premium publishers globally, we can better understand how to use the remaining first-party and third-party signals and insights to serve relevant ads. We’re making use of those insights by introducing AI into our DSP. We now make predictive decisions based on how relevant we can make each message against each opportunity.

By adding these signals and using AI, we’ve seen proof that we are decreasing the reliance on third-party cookies. We see 20%-30% additional delivery to devices and browsers without cookies. Customers see a 25% increase in impression delivery and 12% more efficient CPMs with comparable performance.

For publishers, we’re enhancing addressability of previously untapped inventory sources by reducing the dependence on third-party cookies. This shift increases opportunities to deliver relevant ads into inventory sources that were previously underutilized.

Plus, early results indicate we are maintaining key delivery and performance KPIs on third-party-cookie-deprecated environments, thanks to a combination of modeling, contextual targeting, first-party signals and third-party cookies. Amazon DSP reaches over 70% of anonymous traffic in relevant ways using these methods.

The top of your to-do list

The future of digital advertising is unfolding. Advertisers have an opportunity to act now and get ahead of it. The journey may seem daunting, but with the right partnerships and a commitment to innovation, advertisers can seamlessly navigate this shift, ensuring their strategies remain robust and their audience reach undiminished.

The time is now to begin testing in third-party-cookie-deprecated environments and upgrade your car for a more advanced journey. The immediate action plan involves gearing up by reallocating your budget, setting clear objectives and choosing a partner adept in conducting insightful tests through proven best practices. With this approach, you’ll be equipped with the right vehicle to drive you to a future that transcends the limitations of cookies.

For more articles featuring Brian Tomasette, click here.

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