The death of cookie-based targeting is the biggest change to programmatic advertising within the last decade.
Not only is the world moving toward a post-cookie, high-privacy format, but new European laws are making it so that organizations must expose their algorithms regarding what users do or don't see. Together, this will create a H1 tremendous shift in both paid and unpaid online advertising.
CoLab Media Consulting and Beeler.Tech have produced a comprehensive RevOps barometer report for 2022. The report is based on the fourth wave of surveys started in 2019, and is part of the largest continuous survey of advertising and revenue operations specialists.
The report data suggests many ad operations teams have put the cookie targeting issues on the back burner this past year.
Less Than 50% of Ad Ops Teams Ready
According to the 2022 H1 RevOps barometer report, fewer than 50% of AdOps teams believe they're prepared for the death of a third-party cookie.
Companies have centered their marketing campaigns around third-party, targeted advertising for years. Advertising operations are not only based on the ability to intelligently target audiences but significant time and investment has been put into fine-tuning cookie-based ad targeting. The death of third-party cookie technology may create new winners and losers in ad operations for online publishers.
Publishers will need to take action to prepare for a post-cookie world and to build their post-cookie strategies and processes.
Management Buy-In a Key Factor in Confidence
There is a significant correlation between those teams that report high management buy-in, and their confidence going forward on issues of privacy, targeting, identity and rev ops. For example, confidence in ID solutions for teams with high management buy-in is at 83%, vs a meager 17% for teams with low management buy in.
The pure-play digital teams were overall more prepared and confident than those publishers with a print or tv heritage. The confidence varied across roles as well; 69% of rev ops roles felt there was strong management buy-in, vs 54% of ad operations roles.
Collecting and Monetizing 1st-Party Data
Without third-party cookies, companies should be collecting and monetizing first-party data. Most organizations won't be able to collect first-party data on their own, at least not the comprehensive data they need to support their advertising and revenue operations. Instead, they will need to rely upon new tools and approaches. (See: How to build a first-party data strategy).
Highly programmatic businesses, of course, will have the most work to do, whereas 52% of low-programmatic businesses already feel "ready." The more an organization relies upon programmatic advertising, the more likely it is to experience ill effects.
The reality is, however, that all organizations, regardless of how programmatic they are, will need to adjust to the new world and the new paradigms.
Building Confidence in a Post-Cookie World
As of yet, programmatic advertising and third-party targeting are as effective as they have been in the past. This has led many organizations to "kick the can down the road" and fail to ready themselves for what is yet to come.
Revenue teams appear to be focused on “controlling the controllable” for now. From H2 2021 to H1 2022, campaign optimization rose in priority, while a solution for cookie replacement declined in priority.
Organizations need to move toward first-party data, but many are waiting and watching for signals from the demand side. Consequently, organizations are using "wait and see" strategies to make the switch at the last possible moment—and to reap the benefits of third-party advertising as much as they can.
In reality, organizations should use both strategies in tandem as the death of the third-party cookie approaches. Using both methods at once will build an organization's first-party data tools, while also giving them a chance to seamlessly transition once third-party cookies become a thing of the past. Many mobile devices have already been weaned from this type of targeted technology.
Get your copy of the Rev Ops Barometer H1 2022 report .
Organizations concerned about post-cookie readiness should start bolstering their first-party data collection processes and usage now with tools like Admiral’s VRM platform. Admiral’s publisher revenue solution automates revenue diversification via personalized journeys and options to engage visitors.
Automating the collection of first- and zero-party data has never been easier with Admiral’s one-tag solution, and it simultaneously increases net ad revenue, grows subscriptions if desired, and increases your understanding and engagement for each visitor.
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