With so much going on around the Signal deprecation in the past two years — the endless looming demise of third-party cookies, Apple’s privacy initiatives leaving its walled-garden rivals in the lurch — this is a moment in the history of marketing, publishers Can the bigger social platform competition finally gain a foothold in their market?
Advertiser Perceptions, an independent research firm that surveys marketers, media companies and agencies on issues affecting the brand marketing ecosystem, has been asking this question.
Nicole Perrin, vice president of business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions, explained that even with the looming change, the company has been digging deep into respondents’ questions about the future of identifiers and the imminent demise of cookies.
“We asked buyers and sellers whether they agreed with statements about the changes, including third-party cookie deprecation and MAID changes [mobile advertising IDs] would put publishers on a more level playing field with walled gardens,” she said. “Most people agree with that statement. “
Perrin spoke with Digiday and discussed Advertiser Perceptions’ other findings on privacy legislation, as well as the advantages publishers find in walled gardens.
The following conversation has been edited for clarity.
Your research shows that publishers have the potential to gain ground in walled gardens if they make better use of first-party data collection. Why?
I think it’s really interesting for people to think along these lines – I was surprised at first. Because walled gardens are huge, right? This won’t necessarily change. Not every publisher is going to have the same user base as Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. But respondents believe that in the future these platforms will have less data than they do today because they cannot absorb data from all channels. They will only have what people really give them. This section puts them in the same position as all other publishers. So other publishers will be smaller, but they may also have deeper and potentially more valuable data.
If we’re talking about a publisher that has a certain category of content, like cooking or sports. People really like content that isn’t inherently generic. These publishers will know their audience very well. In many cases, the viewer will be a check-in, possibly a paying viewer.So you may also have many [personally identifiable information], you might have payment processing data, you might have addresses, and so on. This is very valuable. But even without that — even with just behavioral data — you gain insight into audience interests that might not be apparent on Facebook, which can be very generic. They won’t be on the same scale, but the depth and value may still be there.
How does pricing affect things? If publishers start charging higher CPMs because they claim to build deeper relationships, will the cost per eyeball become prohibitive?
Many advertisers are being adversely affected by inflation, supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates, and more. However, there’s a lot of focus on ROI and effectiveness, and the ability to prove that what you’re still investing in is paying off. That means channels that are more challenging to measure—harder to attribute sales to advertising—are more likely to struggle to capture budget. Even in these times, you can invest in pipelines that can lead directly to ROI. Now, from a measurement standpoint, the fact that publishers do have a lot of information helps. They also have the opportunity to work with retailers, for example, to help demonstrate that attribution and investment are working. Therefore, the investment in and use of first-party data not only for targeting, but also for measuring attribution is critical.
How does the prospect of national data privacy legislation affect this thinking? Isn’t everyone affected?
i tend to say that [not everyone will] Adversely impacted, especially when we’re talking about the big advertisers. Because they’re already dealing with compliance with California privacy laws and GDPR. From the standpoint of the big advertisers and the big publishers, I think federal law might make compliance easier and more straightforward. Smaller advertisers and smaller publishers may find themselves more likely to have to change course if something similar happens.
Do advances in other forms of measurement like attention help lift all the proverbial ships?
it depends. If you take a modeling based approach such as MMM [marketing mix modeling], it really depends on which model you are using – how it was developed, what are the assumptions in the model. I continue to talk to people who feel their models aren’t fairly credited to the X channel, so that might be a problem. If we’re talking about partnerships with retailers that allow cleanroom-based access to deterministic shopping data, that’s not going to lift all boats. This only lifts the boats of those involved in these partnerships, and their advertising is actually working pretty well. It does need both.