Interactive Advertising Bureau
27 April 2022

Member Guest Post with Novatiq -Analysing McKinsey’s Post Third-Party Cookie Strategies - Going Beyond Owned Intelligence

In this week's member-guest post we hear from Tanya Field, Co-Founder, and CPO of Novatiq, as she analyses McKinsey's recent report on post third-party cookie strategies and provides key recommendations on how to go beyond owned intelligence in order to succeed in a post third-party cookie world. 

McKinsey’s recent report into the post third-party cookie advertising ecosystem recommends three strategies for brands to take: 1) leverage owned touchpoints to generate first-party data, 2) partner with second-party data vendors for additional insights, and 3) leverage contextual strategies.

While this is welcome insight from a company outside the core adtech ecosystem, the recommendations do little to move the debate on. Moreover, while the steps outlined by the consultant will have a significant positive impact on brands’ marketing efforts, they still fail to meet the core requirement that will follow the loss of third-party cookies: verifying audiences at scale across the anonymous web.

Our view is that McKinsey’s analysis provides only part of the answer. First-party data will undoubtedly take on added importance for brands and publishers alike, and there is of course a convincing argument to be made for augmenting this data with that of second-party organisations. McKinsey is suggesting an approach where universal IDs are leveraged as first-party cookies to activate and enrich consented information across marketing channels, adtech providers, and publishers.

However, while universal IDs will clearly play a role in the emerging programmatic ecosystem, they cannot be the only solution. This is because universal IDs are not capable of providing a joined-up view of web users across the anonymous web, nor are they able to recognise users across devices.

Going further than McKinsey, we would therefore also recommend the use of an interoperable pseudonymous verification ID. This ID would enable advertisers and publishers to leverage telco intelligence to verify users behind the telco firewall.

The benefits of using telco intelligence are clear: telcos have full visibility of subscribers across devices and are trusted by consumers, which will be important for managing consent. Moreover, using the pseudonymous verification ID removes the need to transact personally identifiable information, making this a privacy-first design.

McKinsey rightly notes the importance of data partners to solving the post third-party cookie challenge. To reach users on both the authenticated and anonymous web, telcos must be one of these partners, and interoperable pseudonymous verification IDs a core enabler of programmatic transactions.

Our proposed approach will mean that advertisers can retain all the current benefits of verified audiences at scale and will therefore not need to rely on contextual to fill the gap (the third of McKinsey’s strategies). While there’s a role for contextual advertising, it does not currently have what it takes to reach the right audiences every time.

McKinsey has provided useful, objective insights for advertisers and there is much of value in its analysis. However, first-party data is only the beginning of a solution, not the solution itself. By combining brands’ owned data with that of publishers and verifying it with the help of telcos, advertisers can build complete, 360-degree profiles of their customers that are as rich, if not richer, than anything available today through third-party cookies.

For more information on the ID ecosystem, and strategies for responding to the withdrawal of third-party cookies, read IAB Europe’s updated Guide to the Post Third-Party Cookie Era. Here you can learn more about interoperable pseudonymous verification IDs and how they will interact with universal IDs and other solutions to help create the privacy-first programmatic ecosystem of tomorrow.


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