The cookie seems to be crumbling.

Come 2022, Google Chrome plans to make third-party cookies obsolete on its browsers to enhance data privacy and transparency. While Safari and Firefox have already taken this momentous step, Google’s announcement will likely signal the death knell for cookies. Its browsers account for a whopping 48% of U.S. Internet browser market share.

So, what does this mean for advertisers? In short, they’ll be without many of the tools they’ve historically used to target customers and launch programmatic campaigns on the open web.

The good news is that—while there may be a learning curve for this transition—advertisers and publishers will be better off as they begin to assign more importance to their own first-party data. Still, they need to start planning now, so once 2022 comes along, they’ll be ready to deliver optimized campaigns and superior customer experiences.

Here’s what advertisers need to know about using first-party data for programmatic marketing.

What role will first-party data play?

First-party data provides context around audiences’ behaviors and interests, which will become even more important in a cookieless world. Publishers collect first-party data themselves, and have direct relationships with users, while third-party data tracks consumer behavior in general across the web. As a hard-coded partner to publishers, Taboola has both first-party and third-party data

So if a user visits a publisher’s site and continues to engage with that content, the publisher can capture all of those insights, building a comprehensive profile of the user. They can then take that data-rich profile to help advertisers most effectively reach target audiences on the publisher site.

Regarding programmatic advertising, first-party data also fuels supply path optimization, which can benefit brands. Since advertisers don’t have to pay an intermediary for access to ad space, they can enjoy a more transparent, high-quality, and customized bidding process.

Publishers aren’t the only ones with first-party data that matters though, yours does too.

How do I activate first-party data?

First, you’ll need to work with a platform that has direct access to publishers and algorithms that know how to process that data towards optimization, like Taboola. Then, you can use these best practices to activate your first-party data and make the most of contextual programmatic advertising.

Target users by keyword and site

With first-party data, you can target users by keyword and interest category across their favorite publisher sites. So if a reader on a tech news site is checking out an article about home security systems, you can reach them right there with an ad about your home security solutions.

Create unique audience segments

Use first-party data to build targeted audience segments based on different engagement levels, such as:

  • Frequent readers
  • Active email subscribers
  • Recent purchasers

Say a sports publisher delivers separate email newsletters for basketball, football, and baseball fans. Plus, you’re looking to reach football fans specifically. You can launch programmatic ads that reach those football email subscribers with relevant messaging when they’re on site.

Launch native programmatic ads

Native ads fit right into their surrounding context so they don’t interrupt the user experience or frustrate readers. You can use a platform like Taboola to launch native ads that take the form of recommended content at the end of an article. This way, you know you’re not disrupting their content experience—you’re just enhancing and extending it with new content that meets their interests.

Plus, you can use first-party data to buy ads based on outcome-based pricing, like a viewable CPM. By using this buying model, you can increase brand awareness and reach, and ensure your budget is only going towards the most effective and visible impressions.

Where do I find those direct publisher relationships?

The key to surviving the cookie-pocalypse is to participate in the publishing ecosystem, with editorial powerhouses and their partners who collect first-party data that you can use to target the right audiences.

Taboola connects advertisers with top publishers across the web, tapping into an engaged pool of over one billion relevant users. Our behavioral data and contextual targeting capabilities allow advertisers to launch programmatic campaigns that build awareness and generate leads. 

Ads also reach customers in-feed where they’re already engaging with their favorite content and looking for that next article or video to enjoy.

When you work with the right partners, the changes to the cookie space aren’t scary. It’s actually a blessing in disguise, providing an opportunity to embrace first-party data at scale and engage your target audiences with more personalized, high-quality ad experiences.


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