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BizReport : Advertising : April 13, 2020

Brands grappling with same site cookie updates

Earlier this year, Google announced a change to how cookies are used, requiring that sites explicitly label third-party cookies and how they are used site-to-site. How are brands and publishers adjusting to the changes? We asked an expert for input.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Since the 'same site' cookie rollout, what has most surprised you?

Brian Silver, President, LiveIntent: The most notable theme we've observed post-update is that brands and publishers are finally coming to grips with the reality of the future: the third party cookie era will end. This is clearer than ever now, and can no longer be denied. Somehow this was a shot of reality.

Kristina: What has the reaction been, from both the consumer and the business standpoint?

Brian: Brands and publishers, pushed by the reality of the situation, have started racing to fully understand and appreciate all that first-party data represents. We're seeing brands and publishers understand that the ones who have amassed a ton of it through goodwill (and by that, I mean getting people to sign up for email, tagging their own site, etc.) are in a good position. Now, they're just wondering how to bridge that first-party data to the ecosystem so they can capitalize on their success in a new era. On the consumer side, consumers have welcomed the change, as they associate loss of cookies with increased privacy, but they don't really understand what a SameSite cookie is. 

Kristina: Has it been easier or harder than you thought for businesses to begin phasing out the use of 3rd party cookies?

Brian: We're still in the early days, but it's hard for the industry to say goodbye to the third-party cookie. They've grown reliant on it even when it wasn't perfect. Larger adtech entities are just beginning to realize what it may take to reconfigure their systems to a new First Party reality.  Publishers and brands are adapting to these cookie changes as well as consumer compliance at the same time. This is a lot in a very short period of time. 

It will take longer than expected for Brands and Publishers to really give themselves over to adopting First Party Identity Solutions that won't rely on the third-party cookie, but we are seeing momentum now in the marketplace. Brands, Publishers, SSPs, major data providers...In recent weeks, our schedules and calendars have been flooded with marketers trying to prepare for a new era by leveraging the first party data assets they've built up.

Kristina: Are you seeing more brands go with higher grade identification solutions?

Brian: Before, brands had trouble differentiating between identity solutions that were simply device graphs, or solely deterministic, versus holistic solutions that spoke to identity, rather than devices. Brands are now seeing the nuance and pursuing solutions that holistically solve their identity questions.  

Kristina: Are identification solutions something businesses should be looking at now?

Brian: Now's the time for businesses to aggressively pursue identification solutions. Identification solutions allow publishers to rise above, and take advantage of the audiences they've built as well as help to identify new audiences coming to ingest their content. Additionally, now that people are isolating themselves and practicing social distancing, they are consistently in front of their screens and eager for communication. In fact, we've recently seen a 5% increase in email opens on our platform. The best opportunity for brands and publishers to build up their first-party assets and investigate how to connect them with the rest of the ecosystem is now. 

Tags: advertising, advertising cookies, advertising data, consumer data, data cookies, Google cookies, LiveIntent, same site cookies, same-site cookies

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