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Ushering in the New Age of Data Sovereignty

Have you ever thought about integrating your advertising roadmap with new-age Data Sovereignty benchmarks? Check out the latest article on Data Sovereignty by the CEO of Optable.

As the pandemic recedes, marketers face a landscape that has been reshaped by two tectonic forces: the fade-out of global identifiers like third-party cookies and mobile IDFA, and the concurrent rise of privacy laws.

This has resulted in a paradigm shift for targeted advertising away from the two main, previous ways of finding users to target for ads and analytics:

  • Centralized entities with large identity graphs from leading adtech players have acted as matching houses. If a brand wanted to compare overlaps and other relationships between their customers/visitors and others’ visitors and customers (such as publishers or other brands), or with anonymized users across the web, they often shared their data with a central entity.

  • And global identifiers, such as third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs (MAIDs), made it possible to find targeted audiences across sites and apps.

The first approach – matching a brand’s first-party data to external user data – now must be built on a foundation of data privacy and security. Any sharing of data, even when hashed or encrypted, is a risk. The smarter route: discrete nodes that share overlaps and insights, not actual data.

And the disappearance of third-party cookies and various MAIDs as global identifiers means that targeting audiences by their online behavior and devices, anonymously and across the entire online environment, is fading fast. The emerging paradigm: creating targetable cohorts by matching first-party data on a peer-to-peer basis with complementary brands or publishers.

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The new age of data sovereignty

The impact of these two factors – the paramount importance of user privacy and the decline of global identifiers – incentivizes every holder of first-party data to become its own walled garden.

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For publishers, the ball is now in their court.

In the soon-ending era of programmatic real-time bidding directed by global IDs, where the ad ran was secondary to the audience that might show up across sites or apps.

But, in this emerging age after global identifiers, publishers are no longer commoditized way stations for roving audiences targeted through third-party cookies. They are now the valued agents of selected and authenticated audiences.

For brand advertisers, smart targeting – via cohorts assembled by data matching or by better understanding your visitors and customers – is now built around a confederation of first-party data identity graphs.

New cross-publisher identity efforts from established adtech players – who BTW also constructed on first-party data – are creating limited identifiers that won’t scale like third-party cookies. But they do verify the central importance of data about one’s own customers and visitors, for both publishers and brands.

Like in nature, environmental changes drive rapid evolution. As a result, the industry is ready for a new data infrastructure that respects consumer privacy, delivers the same level of measurement & targeting, and accounts for proprietary technology partners (aka walled gardens).

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