As you all know by now, third-party cookies, as a way of observing activity and monetizing web users, are on their way out. Third-party cookies have seen a slow demise since Apple introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari. Google announced that it will stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser at the end of 2023, signaling the end of using third-party cookies as a vehicle for measuring audiences and providing relevant advertising for segmented groups of consumers.

Reasons include two driving factors:

  1. A greater focus on stronger data privacy laws regarding third-party cookies will have a substantial impact on business, both domestically and worldwide. Companies that have an international presence must now adapt to a wide range of regulations, with different rules depending on what country they’re operating or advertising in. 
  1. Consumers are expecting greater transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used. This evolution has companies revising their marketing and adtech solutions that rely on third-party cookies. Clearly, serving relevant ads and personalized content to prospective consumers is going to be a challenge in a cookieless environment without a solid plan for capturing first-party data.

Fortunately, the deprecation of third-party cookies does not mean the end of audience-based advertising. The sweeping changes mentioned above create a unique opportunity for publishers to re-focus on the value of both their first-party data and contextual signals.

A successful omnichannel strategy should be centered around creating an integrated, seamless experience across multiple devices and touchpoints. In this new blog series, we’ll showcase different ways to leverage measurement and planning solutions that can be used to develop the omnichannel strategy for digital, print, podcast, and audio, which can then inform the development of unified messaging, cohesive visuals, and consistent collateral across all channels. This post tackles how publishers can use first-party data to future-proof their digital advertising efforts on the web.

Cultivating trust through first-party data 

In this evolving digital landscape, brands want to be able to trust that a publisher’s first-party data is validated. This is an opportunity for publishers to adopt a new approach with their clients that is focused on the value of both the publisher’s first-party data and contextual signals.

As a reminder, first-party cookies are placed by the domain users visit directly. First-party data comes from consumer behaviors, interests, or actions observed on a publisher’s website. It could also include social data, subscription data, customer feedback, surveys, and other types of information stored in their CRM. 

In contrast, third-party data is collected by other entities and companies that do not have a direct relationship with the consumer. Keep in mind that the source of third-party data is often unknown–someone collects it, classifies it, packages it, and then passes it on to one or more third parties. These stale third-party segments are prone to inaccurate labeling and loose classification, which makes it difficult for marketers to trust third-party data. For example, suppose that a major auto brand wants to advertise on a top media publisher’s website and reach auto intenders that are in the market to buy a car. How can the auto company trust the data if it was collected 6+ months ago? This challenge is driving advertisers to look for trusted, relevant, and validated first-party data.

In response to these challenges, publishers are turning to the Quantcast Platform, which helps  publishers validate their data and measure their audiences. By verifying publishers’ first-party data, adding additional data insights, and helping publishers measure their audiences, Quantcast creates a valuable bridge between publishers and marketers. Since Quantcast works in partnership with the publishers to gather data via first-party cookies, the source of the data is known and can therefore be trusted.

All this data is great, but without sophisticated technology to understand the data and patterns within it, the data is worthless to publishers. This is where the power of AI comes into play. The AI and machine learning capabilities provided by Ara® classify the data much more accurately and provide granular audience and content insights. Ara uses machine learning to transform unique, real-time data from over 100M+ online destinations into behavioral patterns. Our predictive models react to the most recent events across the internet and are deeply integrated with highly expressive contextual signals from the Ara TopicMap. The models are scored a million times per second for an up-to-sec understanding of audience behavior.

What sets Quantcast apart from other publisher tools? Quantcast:

  • Provides real-time signals that capture constantly evolving consumer behavior
  • Processes data by AI and machine learning to enable user-defined custom segments
  • Uses a future-proofed data set, with first-party tags
  • Provides custom keyword audiences, browsing interests, demographic audiences, and other behavioral-based insights
  • Offers the capability to see which sites and contextual content are indexing the highest for an audience
Timeline  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Quantcast Measure is a free, cooperative audience measurement solution that allows publishers to securely share their first-party data, such that aggregate audience models can be built for each of them uniquely. Publisher data is protected by design, never repackaged or resold. It is contributed to a collective data set and is never separately reported on to anyone other than the publisher who contributed it. This massive data set, when processed by Ara, provides publishers with detailed audience insights that are comparable to the walled gardens in terms of scale and diversity. Today, Quantcast Measure is deployed across 100M+ web and mobile destinations.

Quantcast Connect, a key part of the Quantcast Platform, bridges both sides of the advertising marketplace, bringing marketers and publishers together in an audience-centric and transparent way to enhance deal and audience discovery, simplify the buying process, and measure and validate supply deals. The beauty of Quantcast Connect is that it makes it possible to match demand to publisher supply with granular audience and inventory insights. In addition, Quantcast allows publishers to showcase their inventory and drive non-endemic leads by highlighting diverse content and audience segments.

Talk on the street: publishers love Quantcast!

BuzzFeed and BDG are just a few of our publisher customers that use Quantcast to understand things such as:

  • Is my audience data accurate?
  • Can I view granular audience data at an individual post/URL level?
  • Can I easily and quickly build out an audience that an advertiser wants to reach?
  • Can I show my advertiser how well we reached the audience they were looking for?
  • Can I get real-time insights so that I can understand the audience and turn around an RFP request quickly?
  • Can I show my advertiser how our content is resonating and being engaged with across all of our sites? 

To prepare for the cookieless world, publishers will need to assess the effectiveness of their content in new and innovative ways and to think more critically about their omnichannel marketing through the lens of their advertising clients. By using Quantcast’s cookieless capabilities, which use our expansive first-party data and AI/ML to reach new and existing audiences, publishers will be well on their way to future-proofing their digital measurement for the post-cookie era while successfully executing their omnichannel strategy.

The new, evolving digital advertising landscape is an opportunity for publishers to re-focus on the value of both their first-party data and contextual signals. We’re here to help! To learn how cookieless activations and measurement are possible today, watch our recent webinar, or sign up to get a demo. To get started with free access to real-time audience insights, fill out the form here