Industry Insider: Can Persistent IDs Solve Our Cookie Problem?

By Aqilliz, featuring David J. Moore, CEO of BritePool  

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Industry Insider: Can Persistent IDs Solve Our Cookie Problem?

Welcome to our new segment Industry Insider! In the upcoming months, we’ll be inviting our partners and friends across the advertising and marketing industry to share their views and insights on a spotlight issue or emerging trend in the space today. Looking to hear from someone in particular? Let us know!

It’s no secret: privacy is becoming increasingly important to consumers and as data protection frameworks proliferate, brands need to be guided by a comprehensive, compliant approach to collecting consent-driven data. As the industry moves towards a ‘first-party identity resolution’ method of tracking users across the array of digital touchpoints, could a persistent, comprehensive ID be a solution to this new reality?

This week, Aqilliz interviewed David J. Moore, the CEO of BritePool, a leading identity resolution company that provides targeting solutions to publishers and advertisers without the need for third-party cookies. Through our partnership, the integration of the BritePool ID (BPID) with Aqilliz’s proprietary tech stack will offer a privacy-compliant, third-party, cookieless ad targeting solution paired with blockchain-enabled supply chain optimisation.

We’re getting closer to the reality of a cookie-less world. Where do we go from here in terms of delivering personalised ads and refining behavioural targeting?

Apple’s Safari Browser and Mozilla’s Firefox no longer support third-party cookies. Google has announced that Chrome will similarly sunset support for third-party cookies by the end of this year. Since the early days of web advertising, third-party cookies have served as the central technology that powers targeted, identity-based advertising. For the digital advertising industry, the end of third-party cookies is a seismic shift. Since the dawn of web advertising, third-party cookies have served as the central technology that powers targeted, identity-based advertising. For example, a few weeks ago, when Google provided details associated with its plans for the cookieless future, the announcement merited a Wall Street Journal front-page story.

Radical change is never easy. The cookie is a 1990’s technology that was never intended to power a multibillion-dollar global industry. At the core of today’s highly sophisticated, real-time bidding programmatic ad delivery system is antiquated 25-year-old technology.

The browser companies are ending support for third-party cookies for all the right reasons. This technology, which has now survived well-after its useful life, leads to massive inaccuracies in identity targeting, creating huge errors in reach and frequency for ad campaigns, inadequate means of protecting consumer privacy, and lack of ability to track user consent.

At BritePool, we have focused on replacing the cookie with an identifier that offers an accurate 1;1 match with user identities for targeting, is privacy-friendly, and together with Aqilliz’s distributed ledger technology, can track consent and other information associated with each identity. In sum, I think the end of the cookie is the gateway to a superior programmatic ad ecosystem.

What are the advantages of a comprehensive, persistent ID solution, and what are the pitfalls?

In effect, I summarised the advantage in describing the emerging ad ecosystem. A comprehensive persistent ID provides accurate identity tracking for targeting, reach, frequency capping, and subsequent attribution measurement. It can be associated with the information contained in distributed ledger technology, such as the provenance of consent. Today, Safari and Firefox users are inaccessible in programmatic campaigns, as third-party cookies are blocked. In the cookieless future, these high-value consumers are once again potentially available to marketers. All of these benefits are not possible with third-party cookies.

The primary downside of persistent IDs is the flip side of these virtues. To ensure accuracy, they can only be assigned to users at sites where users log-in. As a consequence, websites with few logged-in users will have trouble building meaningful scale with IDs.

How can marketers leverage these attribution solutions, orchestrated targeting, and more?

Recently, eMarketer ran an article on the cookieless future. This analysis, titled Programmatic digital display advertising is having an identity crisis, concluded by saying, “It’s critical for advertisers to start testing approaches to targeting these types of users and measuring results now.”

At this moment, it is important for marketers to recognise that dramatic change is approaching and start pilot programs to begin the process of essential learning. Most marketers have developed set mechanisms for managing campaigns, effective frequency caps, cost per impression, and ultimately cost per action (attribution). As eMarketer recognised, all of these metrics will change in the cookieless world. As marketers run pilot campaigns targeting IDs, they will begin to develop the essential new models and metrics to power effective marketing in the cookieless future.

Also, the process of cookieless identity targeting may require changes in how some marketers manage and operate campaigns. By working with pilot programs now, marketers also ensure a smooth transition to the new era.

With the dominance of walled gardens like Google and Facebook wanes, how can identity solutions enable a more open and collaborative ecosystem?

Last year, I wrote an article that proved surprisingly popular, titled Identity Crisis: Why Google and Facebook Dominate Digital Advertising. The available evidence indicates Google and Facebook generate almost double the advertising they merit based on the time consumers spend on these services. I wrote that these services receive an outsize share of all digital ad spending because they have near-perfect identity knowledge. They know who uses their services and what specific users do on their services. In contrast, cookies are highly inaccurate.

With comprehensive persistent identities, Open Web publications will, for the first time, match the accurate identity knowledge of Google and Facebook. As a result, I believe that comprehensive persistent identities will enable Open Web publications to take back a share of the online spending that has migrated to these services. I am optimistic that the seemingly ever-increasing share of online advertising captured by Google and Facebook is about to end and reverse course.

What are your thoughts on some of the data privacy efforts being embarked upon today throughout the industry, and what does that say about the direction we’re headed in?

An essential component of privacy is the ability to put the consumer in control of their information. It’s one of the reasons we are so excited about our partnership with Aqilliz. Your unique distributed ledger technology means that consumer consent and other instructions are always associated with a persistent ID, along with the provenance of the information. It’s a giant step forward for managing the unique privacy wishes of every consumer.

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