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Your blueprint for navigating the programmatic privacy shift

Published: 08 Oct 2021

The Adtech industry has always been fast-moving – and with concerns around privacy shifting and new regulation emerging, the industry is evolving once again. Today, our focus must be on ensuring that consumer privacy is front of mind, while still creating a relevant advertising experience for the end user.

A new study from Integral Ad Science shows that while 94% of consumers remain concerned about their data privacy, 81% prefer the ads that they see to be contextually relevant. So how can we strike the right balance as an industry between privacy and relevance once third-party cookies are gone?

First-party data - and how publishers can maintain relevance

As the dust settles post-cookie, publishers are going to find themselves in a privileged position; publisher first-party data will be critical in helping advertisers achieve relevance. Advertisers will need to lean heavily into the trusted relationship between the publisher and their audience to ensure their campaigns reach their target market.

But what solutions can publishers use to recognise a user over multiple sessions?

First-party cookies have the benefit of scale, given that the identifier can be dropped on to any user that has cookies enables. However, they have a limited shelf life, lasting only until a user deletes their cookies. Or alternatively, log-ins can be used to tie identity to email addresses – but where the shelf life increases, the scale is drastically reduced.

A publisher’s responsibility

Whether publishers choose to go it alone or to participate in industry-wide solutions, it’s important for publishers to work closely with their tech partners to understand the pros and cons of various solutions. As gatekeepers of user identity, the top concern for publishers should be around how their tech partners store identifiers, which partners have access to them, and what identifiers are being mapped to others.

Maintaining user privacy is vital, and granular controls must be put in place which allow publishers to limit the transmission of identifiers. Future success will rely on identifiers being sent only to trusted partners and not being broadcast out at every bid request. And if your tech partners don’t have those robust – and well-defined – solutions ready, then maybe it’s time for you to rethink which platforms you trust to handle one of your most valuable assets.

Preparing for the future

While privacy concerns are obviously at the forefront, publishers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to understand how they can work with advertisers to monetise their wealth of first-party data. Xandr is leading the charge with innovation in this space, working to create a publisher first-party data marketplace which allows publishers to price up their data segments and apply these directly in the DSP form an ‘a la carte’ menu. As this will not be applicable cross-domain given the reliance on first-party data, it allows publishers to maintain the high standard of data protection their users expect of them.

It’s time for our industry to embrace the next stage of our evolution. While Google has extended the lease of life for third-party cookies for the moment, the reality is that most browser environments have already deposed of third-party cookies. Establishing a first-party data strategy tied to identifiers provided by publishers are already seeing a revenue uplift because of it. So don’t delay the inevitable. Join the programmatic privacy shift today.