To Win In The New ID Economy, Publishers Must Offer One-to-One – And One-to-Some – Targeting

The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Nicole Perrin, VP of Business Intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions

Advertisers are using this year to build out not one but many possible alternatives to the third-party cookie. Already we’re seeing a slow erosion of cookies, well ahead of Google’s sunset date.

In December, we found that 88% of advertisers say they’re still using cookies, down from 97% In May 2021. And they are pushing ahead with new solutions from a variety of tech and platform partners to keep their media strategies moving in the face of coming changes.

So far, there are no clear identity resolution winners. Trusted partners across the ecosystem need to provide some value, or some solution, to be considered. But no one partner has a significant edge.

Advertisers are judging partners on the ability to adapt and maintain performance using cookie alternatives. Half of brands indicated they would change their DSP partners if they saw performance decrease by more than 20%.

Like with many elements of programmatic advertising, big brands, agencies and platforms will dictate how the ID market evolves. Most publishers will need to compete by taking a buyer’s data and returning performance, transparency and measurement.

Adopt a one-to-one and one-to-some strategy

Ultimately, brands and agencies will come to media sellers with clear goals – performance, scale, price – and sellers will need to use a full toolbox to compete. Specifically, that means three things:

  • Provide a mix of one-to-one and one-to-some targeting offerings 

Advertisers will be looking for one-to-one alternatives as well as contextual or cohort-based alternatives, depending on their goals. Publishers and media partners that can cater to both – and make it easy to do so – will have the edge.

  • Offer interoperability with a variety of ID graphs 

Advertisers want an open, transparent setup that works with a host of different technology companies. And they want data and insights in their method of choice, such as a specific data clean room. This requires developing multiple relationships and integrations.

  • Double-down on first-party data

Providing unique insights that help buyers augment their own data sets will become a competitive advantage. The more publishers can curate a differentiated and scaled data offering, the more in-demand they will be.

Support the new economy

All of these new IDs, ways of sharing data, and forms of measurement need to be streamlined, compared and quantified in a way that provides some level of consistency for buyers and sellers. This will require work across the industry.

Even if DSPs help brands and agencies and SSPs help publishers, there will be a tangle of different approaches that need to work together seamlessly.

For example, brands will find that their view of the customer ends up being fragmented across identity solutions, walled gardens and data clean room solutions. They will likely put pressure on partners to create a taxonomy of targeting types and identity capabilities. This consistency will allow brands to tap into one-to-one and one-to-some audiences at scale, then benchmark efforts across their growing portfolios of media and tactics.

The work everyone is doing to survive cookie deprecation will create a new economy. While all of this infrastructure work is happening this year, we can use the time to make sense of it – building taxonomies, standards and guidelines.

Follow Advertiser Perceptions (@AdPerceptions) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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