By: Michelle Samaan, Product Manager, MiQ
Cookieless measurement is one of the most challenging aspects facing advertisers as we move toward the privacy-forward future. Effective measurement is critical in marketing, and measurement serves as a bellwether to broader data and privacy discussions as it is helpful to know what is, and is not, working now.
First, let’s get the whole Google story out of the way. Yes, we know Google postponed third-party cookie removal from Chrome to 2024. Cookieless is bigger than a single browser; it’s a response to overwhelming consumer demand. Besides, third-party cookies are already irrelevant on several platforms, including Chrome, Safari, mobile apps and CTV. In fact, only about 30% of internet browsing in the US is estimated to be cookie-based.
So, why wait? One answer advertisers may be slow to adapt is measurement capabilities. Many advertisers are just beginning to test their ability to deliver cookieless activations, and the thought of measuring performance and cross-channel attribution for those activations is beyond daunting.
At MiQ, our future-forward philosophy and technology-agnostic approach empowers us to confront some of these challenges and dispel the ambiguity around cookieless measurement. Let’s dig in.
KPIs across every channel will be impacted
Virtually every channel marketers utilize today will be impacted by the deprecation of cookies, including the measurement data. Household reach, IP-based conversions, footfall, incremental lift, ROAS and CPA all currently rely on cookie-based attribution for measurement for the interlocking key between channels..
For every challenge, there are multiple solutions. Take conversions, one of the most common and most critical data sets that marketers measure. Where currently a cookie is used to link an impression on a publisher site to a conversion on the brand’s page, without cookies we can push Google Floodlight conversions into Google Ads Data Hub for privacy compliant reporting. We can also model conversions using Google’s DV360, predicting conversions based on similar patterns–so in a cookieless environment conversions are attributed via machine learning. Finally, we can record conversions through closed-loop measurement of authenticated IDs.
But what if you aren’t on Google, have other partners on your plan or don’t have access to authenticated IDs? How are you going to connect all of the disparate strategies to really know what’s working?
The important thing to remember when talking about cookieless measurement is that there is no magic bullet. Every measurement marketers are tracking today will be impacted, and there will be new solutions to address each of the challenges those channel-specific measurements present.
What’s the solution? There is no one solution.
A single solution to cookieless measurement isn’t likely. There will be too many identifiers, anonymous and authenticated, scattered across too many channels.
Authenticated IDs, clean rooms, in-app measurement, attention, brand surveys, and TV measurement–it’s important to explore multi-solutions that solve for multiple identifiers and to continue to push innovation in measurement through strategic and collaborative partnerships. Solutions will emerge, evolve and complement each other, as there will always be some form of fragmentation that needs to be resolved.
At MiQ, we leverage data from our myriad data partners to create the Identity Spine, which connects multiple data signals into a single profile, so brands can achieve connected and accurate measurement across channels. We have 150+ data connections, 8B bids analyzed daily, 300+ data experts, and manage billions of IDs–simplified into one connected solution for better connected marketing.
Preparing for the cookieless future starts with measurement
Fragmented measurement in a cookieless environment requires advertisers to be more clever in their planning strategy. First, advertisers should work with their partners to identify how their current campaigns and strategies will be impacted by the removal of third-party cookies. Partners will need to complement each other’s efforts, and not duplicate, to avoid wastage.
Take this (extra) time to grow existing alternatives that are right for your brand, while also prioritizing consumer privacy and choice. Evaluate alternative strategies side-by-side, while cookies exist–be sure to check the impact by channel and goal/kpi.
The cookieless journey is an opportunity to unlock new KPIs and identify other metrics that may have an impact. Set clear and actionable goals to narrow the gaps. With the right data science and partners, we have found that reach, relevancy and ROI can actually improve with the removal of cookies.
Looking for a partner to help you future-proof your programmatic without losing your ability to measure performance? Let’s talk.