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BizReport : Internet : February 19, 2020


What Chrome's 'SameSite Cookie' update means for marketers

This week, Google announced an update for SameSite Cookies. In brief, this update will require sites to explicitly label the third-party cookies that can be used on other sites. Cookies without the proper labelling won't work in the Chrome browser.

by Kristina Knight

As part of the update, Chrome will stop labeling third party cookies as "SameSite=None" to "SameSite=Lax" as the default. According to Google the change is an attempt to better protect consumer data, which can be accessed by fraudsters and others through weak third-party security, for example, when a consumers clicks onto an email link they believe is from their bank but is actually from a phisher.

"[These] moves are great for consumers and ultimately good for the industry. 3rd-party cookies have never been completely accurate and it's time for a better tracking option for both consumers and advertisers. But let's be honest -- the cookie changes, which seem to be occurring in a vacuum, will have a dramatic impact on the ad ecosystem. Advertisers will soon need new solutions to targeting as personalization is only getting more important. This is a huge opportunity for a new industry heavyweight to be created," said Charmagne Jacobs, Vice President, Adslot. "This change could potentially spark an increase in the reliance on publisher 1st-party data -- at least that's the hope for some of the larger publishers who are putting huge resources into more sophisticated data offerings with the goal of it become the new media currency."

First party data, according to Jacobs, may begin getting more attention from marketers and brands as they try to better protect - and still target - consumer bases. The IAB has proposed an new identifier for consumer tracking that would build out a consumers' email address or phone number as part of an identifying marker as they surf the web. But that iteration hasn't been launched yet. In the meantime, there are some concerns about how marketers can activate first-party data without third-party cookies.

"Advertiser 1st-party data segments is being heralded by some as a solution to the loss of 3rd-party cookies. But this is wrong for one simple reason -- 1st-party data has historically been activated using 3rd-party cookies. 3rd-party cookies have been that ID bridge. Without them, how will marketers activate 1st-party data? Or frequency cap? If there are no 3rd-party cookies and no new ID solution, then the only type of data that for certain can be used is publisher 1st-party data or publisher contextual data," said Jacobs. "This is where an identity solutions player like LiveRamp could bring tremendous value. We're also likely to see a new interest in media-buying platforms that can integrate directly with a publisher's ad server. A one-to-one connection would allow buyers to push 1st-party data right to preferred publishers, without 3rd-party cookies, making it possible to see the forward availability of their data across publisher inventory."

Jacobs also notes that publishers are unsure what to expect from a cookie-less infrastructure and haven't gotten on-board with cookie-less alternatives to consumer tracking. For this reason, Jacobs believes Google's update could bring a resurgence in the use of contextual targeting in the digital space.

"Publishers are typically still not monetizing much of their inventory. If we want to keep great content that brings great audiences, we need to make sure we're helping the premium content creators keep generating revenue," said Jacobs. "One of the solutions discussed at ALM was a return to contextual targeting -- ads independent of cookie-tracking that run alongside relevant content. In a breakout session about 'Making Content King again', the big question was if contextual data can be used as a proxy for audience data in a cookie-less world. I don't think we're going to see a complete shift but rather that we'll see a mix of audience and context - either through targeting those segments, or simply moving more dollars into more premium executions that allow buyers to work with publishers directly."

By advertisers and publishers working together directly, rather than through a middle-man, Jacobs believes each entity can improve the quality of advertising at scale.

"When wanting to simply reach a certain audience, as opposed to retargeting them based on behavior, we've previously thought of scale as going broad. However, a better way to get quality and quantity is to work directly with the publishers to see if they have a high affinity with your desired 1st-party audience, then go deeper into their inventory. Buyers can do this with tech partners who are connected directly into the publisher's ad server and access inventory that is not available in other platforms," said Jacobs. 






Tags: Adslot, advertising, advertising data, Charmagne Jacobs, cookie less advertising, cookies, data collection, ecommerce data, Google, mobile data, third party data trends








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