The deprecation of the third-party cookie is keeping the advertising industry on its toes. 

How will marketers identify and address their online audiences in the future? And, equally as important, how will they measure if they’ve succeeded?

Quantcast and UK furniture retailer DFS addressed these challenges during a recent presentation at the Festival of Marketing.

As Quantcast’s Head of Platform Business Development in Europe I pointed out that third-party cookies have been insufficient for effective measurement for a while now. With the full removal of third-party cookies underway, advertisers will need to change focus if they want to access audiences to deliver relevant and tailored messages. Using a combination of first-party data, which continues to rely on consumer consent, and probabilistic identifiers will be essential to achieve the needed scale.

DFS’s senior digital marketing manager, Catherine Woodward, believes most brands’ online advertising strategies will have to change. The one factor that will remain unchanged is the need for meaningful campaign measurement in order for marketers to continue to optimise activity according to performance. 

The importance of measurement extends past digital channels. Data and insights from online campaigns is often used to fuel TV buying and fed back to commercial teams to inform strategies, e.g. in product development. 

Catherine outlines three key steps DFS has taken to kick off preparation for the changes ahead: 

  • The organisation has set up a reliable, International Advertising Bureau (IAB) certified consent management platform to be able to collect consumer consent in a way that is GDPR compliant.
  • It is building out its own customer data platform to improve data quality and quantity and systematically ingesting it into its advertising activities. 
  • It is building out internal working groups, including internal stakeholders, but also maintaining an open dialogue with agency and supply partners to ensure alignment and to stay ahead of latest developments. 

A sustainable solution will have to be universal and benefit the entire value exchange chain, without favouring individual players or creating disadvantages for others. In order to achieve this, he believes it is vital for the advertising industry to come together and collaborate, as facilitated by trade bodies such as the IAB or the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA). 

“If we want the free and open internet to continue to work and thrive as a great 

environments for advertisers publishers and consumer alike, we must find a long-term solution that allows an ID with consent to work in a way that is agnostic of the environment,” concludes Allan Tinkler.

The full recording of the session is available on demand for pass holders on the Festival of Marketing website.

If you would like to learn more about the post-cookie future, check out our latest Webinar on the subject, featuring our CTO and tech guru, Dr Peter Day.