Time to embrace a data-driven ideation culture

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on April 09, 2020

How the ad industry can thrive after the demise of third-party cookies

As Google announces plans to banish support for third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022, the ensuing change has shaken up the online advertising industry, which has long relied upon cookies to target and track advertising. With challenges bound to grow, an ad industry veteran says the death of the cookie will increase reliance on first-party data environments, which are not only more accurate for audience targeting, but also help prevent wasted ad spends on bot traffic or bad inventory.

Advertisers tend to use cookies to track website visitors, improve user experience, and collect data to direct ads to the right audiences. Sometimes cookies are also used to learn what visitors are checking online when they are not on the advertiser’swebsite.

Amid heightened concern over data privacy, Google’s curbing of third-party cookies is an effort to bolster privacy on the web. This is good news for consumers, giving individuals increased control and transparency on how their personal information and actions are used on the web. It could also be good news for advertisers, especially those who embrace a data-driven culture.

"The challenges may temporarily increase with the death of third-party cookies and other data privacy norms coming into effect. However, the ad industry will quickly develop new technology and approaches to deal with the new-age data landscape effectively," says Atrayee Chakraborty, Vice-President, Media Planning, India, Essence.

Data signals

At Essence, a data and measurement-driven media agency and part of GroupM, has helped push the envelope using relevant data signals and data-driven thinking.

"We focus on finding data signals and turning them into predictions. We do not wait for the most perfect data to start, because we accept that our predictions will get better over time as we learn more about the business," the official adds.

And as the outcome approaches, the agency applies "advanced technology, statistics, machine learning and decision science to create industry specific models towards an effective marketing solution."

While data-driven marketing allows brands to create customised campaigns that are built on deeper understanding of the audience profile, it is necessary to "look at retargeting, personalised messaging, contextual advertising, moments marketing or other tactics to make advertising more engaging," points out the official.

It is also essential to select the most suitable consumer touch-points. "Use tools backed by consumer panel data and media-market factors to prioritise the most suitable touch-points in terms of addressing communications tasks at hand, reach and efficiency," says the official adding, brands should leverage benchmarks and advanced post-campaign analysis to decide on media weights and campaign phasing to yield results.

Optimising media in real time is another critical tool. The Media Planning official says in-flight campaign optimisation is crucial to get the best value for money, as is the need to track and measure campaign dynamics.

"Gone are the days when brand marketers asked media agencies for just efficiency. Today, advertisers are partnering with agencies who can unlock business growth opportunities by planning their communications approach right," adds Chakraborty.

To help grow the business, Chakraborty says it is necessary to partner with clients "early in the journey to identify key sources of business, analyse the headroom for growth, deconstruct the conversion funnel and prioritise the budget focus to drive the core business metric."

It is also necessary to spark ideas for better consumer engagement. "Companies should spend time understanding cultural, consumer and brand codes in order to draft media principles in a data-driven way. It is critical to convey the right message to the right audience at the right time," adds the official.

The demise of third-party cookies creates an opportunity to build a better ecosystem. And as individuals engage with trusted first parties, such as brands and publishers, a value exchange can occur - an authentication in exchange for valuable content and services.

Published on April 09, 2020

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