AdTech Exception: The end of the cookie age

Google, Mozilla, Apple - all camouflaged their new tightened third-party tracking policies as an initiative for greater customer satisfaction in an age that has been prominently committed to privacy. But what does this change ultimately mean for the profiteers of Third Party Tracking?

20th Sep 2019
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Will advertisers and technology providers from this segment go blank in the future or will there be a post-cookie age?


In fact, those companies that currently rely heavily on the use of third-party data need to rethink in the near future. The fact that private users can disable the setting of cookies in all major browsers themselves, it is no longer possible to understand their behavior and their movements in the network so that you could draw meaningful conclusions from it. 


Sooner or later, new, privacy-compliant ways have to be found to program advertising pro-grammatically. Technology providers have a grace period: advertisers and publishers understand why just a few specific profiles are available in DMPs. However, this understanding will never be there forever. So we have to ask ourselves which data types and measures will last for a long time and restructure our services accordingly.

Zero party data

The crux of First, Second and Third Party data is that they are collected indirectly without the user's intervention. Zero party data is the direct information of users about preferences and interests (eg through opt-ins or surveys). 


This has the advantage that misunderstandings, frustration and rejection on the part of the user are prevented and the probability of misinterpreting the data goes to zero. It is to be expected that the use and collection of zero-party data in particular tends to increase for companies that have a good direct connection to their customers. The data should not be underestimated either for the external impact ("We let our customers listen to us decide for themselves") as well as for cost optimization and efficiency.

First party dates

The data that companies collect themselves about their customers remains one of the most important pillars for controlling advertising. Whether generated from CRM or logins, first-party data almost always provide a very good quality and form the basis for large-scale projections of the target groups in order to build additional reach beyond existing customers. In addition, the data helps marketers to understand who they are actually communicating with and thus better align their creation and strategy to the target group.

Second party data

Second-party data is experiencing its second spring with data alliances such as Verimi and Net.ID. This data type is a selectively and structurally agreed transfer to partners - which, in contrast to third-party data, allows better control of quality and origin. 


This data also reflects the future of the industry: as companies from all sectors control their data pools and share them under strict guidelines, use by individuals becomes more transparent, accountable, and ultimately more controllable than third-party data, which is source X. has raised a point in time Y from them and now ghosting on various platforms. In addition, new measures have been established to compensate for the lower availability of third-party data.

Unified ID / ID matching

In recent months and years, various initiatives have been taken to standardize cookies and user IDs - the most prominent of which are the Advertising ID Consortium and the Digitrust of the IAB Tech Lab. But also technology providers like The Trade Desk have their own solutions, such as the Unified ID launched. The goal is to find as many partners as possible, who feed their cookies and identifiers into the existing system in order to increase the reach of the individual members.

People-based targeting

People-based targeting follows the principle of generally addressing the person, not the device, on which he is traveling. This requires quite detailed data - in the best case from offline and online sources, so the CRM or Loyalty Database. Instead of defining target groups and building up reach (for which purpose cookies are primarily intended), the anonymous information for each user is used here to tailor the offer as perfectly as possible to him.


Contextual targeting / Keyword targeting

Reaches can be further increased by adding "hard" demographic data, contextual additions. In addition to the target group "male" and "between 35 and 50" (for which only a few declared data points are available), audiences can also be added to all profiles that are for example interested in winter sports, electric mobility and environmental protection. 


All solutions have in common that they are based on the fact that the actors must first deal with who they really want to interact with. To a certain extent, the "low-hanging fruit" of Third Party data is gone, forcing the industry to be more strategically positioned. 


The industry is agile and naturally quick to find answers to changes. Cookies are a leftover from a time In which the control of online advertising was even more rudimentary than it is today, so it's time to pave the way for the post-cookie era. Advertising, if anything, can only become better and more appealing through changes in data usage.


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