Case Studies

Monetising Publishers' First Party Data, in a Cookieless World

The digital advertising landscape is changing, due to shifts in cookie usage by technology companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft (Bing), who are under pressure on privacy and data protection. They are phasing out the use of behavioural data derived from third-party websites and services, that use cookies to collect data. Such data is derived from tracked user interactions on other websites, within advertising partner networks, or within search. Google, for example, is phasing out third-party cookies in 2024, removing their use completely in Chrome Web Browser, which represents ~65% of the browser market. Google Advertising and Measurement tools are predominantly derived from third-party Cookies, including platforms like Google Ads (now including AdWords)

This radical change in the availability of preference and engagement data, derived from third-party cookies, has profound implications for Advertisers and Pay-per-Click (PPC) marketers. The diminishing reach of third-party cookie-based audiences directly impacts  their ability to reach engaged and interested target audiences. Publishers who enable themselves to create and manage their own first-party audiences will become very valuable in this space.

Challenges and Opportunities for PPC Marketers

PPC marketers have increasingly relied on third-party cookies for targeting, retargeting and measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns. The deprecation of third-party cookies is disrupting this. It is increasingly difficult to track user behaviour across the web and to deliver personalised and segmented advertising campaigns. As a result, PPC marketers are facing higher costs per acquisition and diminishing returns on their advertising spends, driving a need for alternative strategies and suppliers.

The Growing Value of First-Party Data to Publishers

In this new ‘cookieless’ digital landscape, the ‘first-party’ engagement data that publishers can collect, within niche audiences, is a crucial advantage. First-party data is data collected with a publisher’s own channels, via engagements tracked compliantly. Publishers with direct relationships with their audiences can gather detailed insights into content engagement, preferences, interests and behaviours, without infringing on privacy. This data is more relevant, accurate and compliant, making it more valuable for PPC marketers and  advertising campaign managers.

Consequently, ‘first-party data’ management, technologies like server-side data handling within Content Management (CMS) and Customer Experience (CXP) platforms and data handling in Data Management platforms (DMPs), will provide competitive advantage for publishers deploying these progressive technology stacks, like Blaze.

Strategic Implications for Advertisers, Marketers and Publishers

As targeting becomes more challenging, advertisers and sponsors will now become increasingly reliant on publishers to reach these niche audiences. Increasingly, PPC marketers and advertisers have targeted adverts and offers using engagement and search data derived from third-party cookies.

This presents a clear opportunity for publishers, especially those who have invested in a robust CMS, first-party data management and DMP tooling. In the Blaze technology stack, individual page component engagement and event data can be tracked. The Blaze front-end browser App shares the richest first-party data with platforms like Snowplow, Mapp or Segment. This enables a deep understanding of audiences, their engagement, segmentation and event data.

These insights enable publishers to offer advertisers and sponsors targeted advertising opportunities that are not reliant on third-party, cookie-led data. Content can then also be activated and micro-personalised on-site. When combined with social media or advertising platform’s user preference (demographic, professional or geographic) data, large targeted audiences can be reached.

Redirection of Budget to Publishers

Publishers using this approach will become critical for reaching niche audiences effectively and exclusively. The audience's trust in the publisher’s content and provenance translates to higher value marketing and advertising partnerships.

To tap into these niche audiences, advertisers and sponsors will need to forge stronger partnerships with publishers. These collaborations have the potential to go beyond traditional ad placements, involving rich-media content, woven into native content and promoted accurately across platforms, on behalf of sponsors and content partners.

This approach not only circumvents the limitations posed by the loss of third-party cookies but also enhances the user experience by providing opportunities that align with the publisher's trusted brand, with better value through relevance and engagement within higher value audiences.  WIn-win!

Future direction for PPC and Advertising Strategies

For Pay-per-Click marketers, leveraging this opportunity to remain competitive means reallocating budgets towards partnerships with publishers, who can deliver access to well-defined, engaged audiences. It involves leveraging the progressive technologies contained in the Blaze stack, enabling sophisticated and compliant first party-data handling, segmentation and targeting.

Investing in these publisher partnerships allows PPC marketers and advertisers to enhance audience reach within their desired audiences with precision and efficiency. By focusing on quality, relevance and privacy-compliance, advertisers can improve the effectiveness of their PPC campaigns, in a post third-party cookie world.

The decline of third-party cookies within the PPC and Advertising landscape is a pivotal moment, prompting PPC marketers and campaign managers to rethink their strategy. Blaze enables publishers to arm themselves with powerful, compliant first-party data management capabilities and progressive technology to take advantage of the opportunity.

Industry Statistics and Insights

  • A survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) revealed that 69% of advertisers are concerned about the loss of third-party cookies, indicating a significant shift towards first-party data strategies
  • In 2023  88% of marketers stated that collecting first-party data is a priority (source: eMarketer).
  • The global digital advertising market size is expected to grow, reaching an estimated $786.2 billion by 2026 (source: Statista).

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