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How Can Marketers Prepare for a Privacy-First World?

Today’s stark reality is this: new privacy regulations are rocking the digital advertising ecosystem, which has become dependent on precise planning, hyper-personalized targeting and granular measurement.

For marketers, this will fundamentally affect every part of the campaign cycle, from planning to activation and measurement. In fact, our own recent client survey found that 78% of brands and agencies were concerned or very concerned about the disappearance of third-party cookies, while 61% were concerned or very concerned about the reduction of IDFAs.

But different doesn’t necessarily mean worse. This is an opportunity to innovate, to come together as an industry to adopt a new, more sustainable ecosystem. Being more consumer-friendly from a privacy perspective will ultimately be better for advertisers and the industry as a whole. It may look a little different, but in many ways it will be strengthened and improved.

So, what challenges do marketers face in the year ahead, and what do they need to know and do in order to prepare and navigate this new landscape?

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

There has been loads of talk about solutions, such as Universal IDs (UIDs), contextual targeting, Google’s FLoC and first-party data, that could provide the answer. Indeed, our survey revealed that 80% of those surveyed thought first-party data was the most viable option, followed by contextual at 72%, whilst 42% cited UIDs and only 24% cited FLoC. However, it’s unlikely that there’ll be one straightforward winner just yet and, ultimately,  all of these proposed solutions provide a somewhat limited, one-dimensional view of the consumer.

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Innovate, Don’t Imitate

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Several of the proposed solutions essentially imitate current offerings, and therefore may not fully address the real issue of consumer privacy. While these solutions will be utilized by most players to varying degrees, it’s important to also innovate to create a longer-term solution that won’t eventually meet the same fate as the cookie.

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Don’t Sacrifice Scale 

One of the biggest threats across these various solutions is scale – particularly, when it comes to universal IDs and first-party data.

For example with universal IDs, how many of us will actually want to share our details on sign-in and with how many publishers? Similarly, first-party data is incredibly limited in scale due to drop off when it’s converted to device IDs, as well as being unable to activate outside of the publisher it was collected on. It will therefore be crucial to work with partners who are focused on scale and actionable solutions. For example, at Blis, we can ingest that first-party data, use it as a seed data pool, model it out and then activate against it without relying on any personal data.

Make Sure It’s Made to Measure 

We already know that every part of the campaign cycle will be impacted, but measurement will arguably be the worst-hit part of the journey. As an industry, digital advertising will need to accept that attribution may become less 1:1 and more modeled, similar to how OOH and TV have always done it. To achieve this effectively, marketers will need a variety of future-proofed solutions.

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Ultimately, now is the time to act, rather than react. The changes we’re seeing provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to a new and improved digital ad ecosystem. Collectively, we have the chance to create innovative solutions that will benefit both businesses and consumers. Are you ready?

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