Do you feel confused, overwhelmed, and maybe even helpless about what the cookieless future means for your business? You’re not alone. Fortunately, the smart folks over at m/SIX and PMG have shared their experiences with the shift to cookieless environments and why it’s an opportunity for innovation and growth. 

For a deep dive into the topic, watch the recent virtual event “The Cookie is Crumbling. Are You Ready?,” which highlights the impact of Google’s impending deprecation of the third-party cookie, and the opportunity it presents for brands, agencies, and publishers to invest in new approaches to understand audiences, value advertising, and measure results.

The event featured Justin Scarborough, Senior Director of Programmatic at PMG, who was joined by Taylor Bentley, Senior Programmatic Media Manager at PMG, and Joseph McKenna, Head of Programmatic (UK and global) at m/SIX. The panelists explored innovative solutions which operate in cookieless environments today and shared how advertisers can get a competitive advantage by accessing new audiences, more inventory, and more scaled results.

Here’s a brief recap of their salient points.

Educating clients is the first step

As an agency, m/SIX are preparing themselves and their clients as well as they possibly can for a future without third-party cookies. According to Joseph McKenna, m/SIX spent the last half of the year educating clients to make sure they had a really strong foundation on the cookieless topic. “There are a lot of nuances towards what the future of identity really means. But what we try to do is ensure that every stakeholder that we speak to has a foundational understanding of this topic. Then, we can start to have more action-led conversations about what this means, particularly for their business,” Joseph elaborated. m/SIX is no longer only having conversations with marketing members: “You also need to bring in stakeholders when it comes to things like legal, CRM, and marcom…bringing them into the conversation meant that we could fast-track some of the testing that we needed to do.” PMG’s Justin Scarborough agrees with educating their clients. “We’re definitely advancing our conversations around the first-party element.”

Actively test solutions for the cookieless future

Joseph acknowledged that the “delay from Google has obviously provided us with a bit more time to get ready. We’re encouraged to see, over the next 12 months, how solutions can start to develop and grow to offer more scale.” Gaining an understanding of what cookieless solutions are available in the market is important, so that when their clients come to them with a challenge, they can identify the most optimal solution to fit those needs. 

A solution that m/SIX has been successfully using with several of their clients is from Quantcast, whose one-click cookieless activation and measurement capabilities are live today. Quantcast uses its expansive first-party data and AI/ML to reach new and existing audiences on cookieless inventory. “If you’re using a solution which is only cookie-based, you’re pretty much excluding 50% of your potential audience,” explains Joseph. For m/SIX, it was critical to compare performance between environments with and without cookies. Using Quantcast’s cookieless measurement capabilities, m/SIX can show their clients the value they can get from activating cookieless, such as uniques, conversions, and CPMs in cookieless environments.

m/SIX recently completed a cookieless campaign with a luxury car manufacturer. The client was able to double the conversions in cookieless environments with Quantcast’s solution, and 51% of converters came from cookieless environments. They also achieved 7x cost efficiency in cookieless environments compared to cookie-based environments on the Quantcast Platform, thanks to a significantly lower cost per thousand (CPM).

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Taylor Bentley from PMG offers four fundamental pieces of advice in order to be ready for the cookieless future: test, test, test, and test. “We do know what we have today. And all we can do is plan and prepare as much as we can. Obviously, the time to start testing these solutions is now—definitely don’t wait. You want to have a solid foundation in place by the time cookies do deprecate in 2023,” advised Taylor. Taylor mentioned that PMG has been leveraging Quantcast for the past several years, and  “when the opportunity arose to test Quantcast’s cookieless solution, we jumped at it—and it was fantastic!” 

Initially, PMG launched a campaign with their client that used both cookie-based and cookieless environments. As the campaign progressed, PMG switched to a cookieless-only environment. By doing so, PMG could see what kind of penetration they could actually achieve in such an environment. “We discovered amazing results the first few months,” Taylor said. She went on to explain that Quantcast enabled PMG to activate audiences without third-party cookies: “With Quantast’s cookieless solution, we’re finally hitting audiences that we weren’t necessarily able to prior. We’re also beginning to see CPAs decrease as well. We’re able to compare that to our campaign that does target cookie environments.”

First-party data is key to a future-proof strategy

How will clients be able to use first-party data in cookieless environments? PMG’s Taylor Bentley believes that “first-party data will be the foundation of a future-proof strategy.” Since cookies are deprecating in 2023, PMG is taking this time to fine-tune their first-party data strategy by assessing the lifetime value of various audience segments and testing different marketing strategies accordingly.

Joseph underscored the value of using first-party data, along with prioritizing solutions that will enable clients to utilize that data for look-alike modeling, reaching audience cohorts, and measurement. A first-party data set, from a client’s and advertiser’s perspective, is probably the richest and obviously the most accurate data source that you can use on behalf of your advertising, he emphasized. Joseph predicted that the use of first-party data will represent a greater part of a client’s overall programmatic media approach, compared to the current reliance on third-party data. 

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Take the time to find the right partners for your cookieless journey
Justin Scarborough emphasizes that in addition to walled gardens, it’s important for PMG to have independent players on the open web who represent the publisher side of the audience. “It’s important for us to find partners like Quantcast who represent a larger part of the ecosystem,” continued Justin. “It’s really critical for us to be a steward for identifying the right partners and solutions that are grounded in the fundamentals of where the programmatic industry is heading.”  

Quantcast has developed strong partnerships with a wide range of publishers, which means that advertisers can discover and buy high-quality audience and content segments curated by our publisher partners that index highly for their desired audience. We bring marketers and publishers together with Quantcast Connect, our integrated solution that seamlessly matches marketer demand to publisher supply. By verifying publishers’ first-party data, adding additional data insights, and helping publishers measure their audiences, Quantcast creates a bridge between publishers and marketers.

The way consumers interact with media is constantly evolving

Justin recommends that organizations ”think about the way in which humans and consumers interact with media, content, and technology as an evolution. For us, that means keeping an open mind about where that evolution is heading, and keeping it grounded in both human terms and real terms, as opposed to focusing on the short term as it relates to pricing and performance…if we ground ourselves at a macro level, it also allows us to make some pretty good bets on a day-to-day basis with our partners and customers.”

Testing and first-party data are the foundations for success 

Testing is the foundation of what you need to focus on when it comes to being prepared for a cookieless world. The more you know now, the better prepared you will be for 2023. First-party data is more valuable than ever. Now is the time to test cookieless environments on the open road, given that there is less competition. Quantcast’s cookieless solution is ready today, and is successfully reaching new and existing audiences at lower CPM with PMG and m/SIX clients, among others. Why not try it yourself and see? 

About m/SIX

m/SIX is a boutique full-service media agency with over 40 offices worldwide. They use data, technology, and analytics to integrate media and creative and drive best-in-class connection planning, strategy, and activation. 

About PMG

PMG is a global independent company that provides omnichannel strategy, media, insights, and creative for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Their team is made up of over 475 employees across six cities globally.

Learn more

You can watch this event, or learn more about preparing for a cookieless future here. To dive into even more cookieless information, watch our on-demand webinar Unlock Cookieless Environments with the Quantcast Platform, and to learn how to get started with cookieless campaign testing, click here. You can also contact us to learn more.