Preparations for a cookieless future

Our latest webinar in conjunction with Campaign provided us with a fantastic opportunity to better understand how the industry is reacting to the demise of the third-party cookie.

Despite the delays in their phase out, it’s clear that by 2022, using third party cookies in both digital ad planning and measurement will be no more. In fact, marketers are currently predicting a 10 to 25 percent revenue decrease from the loss of user-tracking tools1. The webinar titled – Cookies are Baked, Will Brand Building take the biscuit, confirmed that the reality of a post third party cookie world isn’t that simple. It highlighted that actually brand advertising has a significant role within performance advertising and therefore the two are far from mutually exclusive.

It may be that once third-party cookies are extinct, we rely more on modelling in the future. But there’s no denying that if you’re a performance-based advertiser in a cookieless world, things are going to get more difficult and look very different. Isabelle Baas, Managing Partner at Starcom stated that as an industry, we’ve become quite hooked on this constant trackability and instantaneous data in a lot of campaigns. This, of course, will have to change.

Cookies are baked: Preparations for a cookieless future

What other changes are we already seeing?

All of our panellists agreed there has been an increased pressure on campaign accountability, alongside more proactivity in ensuring quicker transformation in line with industry changes. Leo Malagoni, Head of Market Research at Sky stated that accountability is now central to their campaign planning and at On Device Research, that’s exactly how we believe it should be to ensure the most successful campaigns. Adapting the cycle of plan, activate and measure helps increase campaign success every time. Brand measurement used to be a ‘nice to have’ for many but now it’s business as usual to have it included all of the time.

So where are we heading next?

Our poll question at the webinar “Are planners already preparing for the demise of the third-party cookie?” was actually still quite mixed. 20% stated they already had plans in place, but a further 50% said they didn’t have plans in place yet, but were planning to start soon. Followed by 30% not intending to make plans at all this year.

However, there is evidence right now of brands already adapting to a cookieless world and doing so successfully too. Sabrina Francis, Strategy Director at the 7 Stars mentioned a great campaign with a finance brand tapping into 1st party relationships and developing new media owner opportunities to start learning and adapting to our new world now, not in 2022.

Clearly parts of the industry are already engaging in planning and preparing but others don’t have it on their agenda yet. Posing a potentially manic period of change once they do disappear.

From a measurement perspective, we’re pleased to state the demise of the third-party cookie doesn’t change our research offerings, as our relationship with our panel is purely 1st party, and through our use of 1st party cookies, our research techniques remain unchanged.

Over the continued course of the webinar, all panellists agreed that a key relationship the industry needs to continue to understand is what effect brand building is having on activation. We also need to continue to effectively identify exactly which metrics need to be shifted in order to achieve specific objectives. There are of course, links between all stages but it’s about better interrogating the relationship between these links. Getting the right blend between short term and long term is also really key. And in today’s fast paced world, we need the answers and we need them quickly.

In Summary, the one most important thing we can all do in preparation for a cookieless future is adopting a test and learn approach now. Campaign effectiveness does not stop at the analysis report, but going beyond this and adjusting campaigns based on those learnings. Gareth Rees, Communications Planning Director at M/Six also stated that perhaps there is also an opportunity to get some of the traditional research techniques back on the table and adapting them for the modern era. The digital advertising industry is about to enter a big period of change and here at On Device Research, we look forward to working with clients to help navigate this.

Watch the webinar on demand:

For further information on how On Device Research can help provide your brands with accountability in a cookieless future, please contact us today



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