We're in the post-cookie era

The recent cookie changes were a major conversation point at DMEXCO. Everyone from brands to vendors and publishers need to adapt accordingly. But the question is how?

At its core, this is a connectivity issue. Third-party cookies play a critical role in the onboarding of offline data into web environments and are also the best connectors to sync such data with activation platforms, like DSPs, ad servers or even attribution tools.

Historically, third-party cookies have been the ID plumbing of choice for connecting and activating first-party data. Without robust ID connectivity via third-party cookies, marketers and their technology and media partners have to rely on a hodgepodge of different ID types and inefficient connection techniques.

That’s a problem. This could lean to an environment where the only places marketers will be able to use their first-party data is in the large walled gardens. That will only reinforce their market power over everyone else, threatening the independent Internet.

Publishers need 'pipes' for their data

We aim to keep in tune with the myriad of data challenges that publishers are facing. From privacy regulations like GDPR and the CCPA, to browser changes from companies like Mozilla and Apple, publishers are grappling with how to appropriately collect and activate their data to fuel content creation, sell inventory and deliver effective ads.

This was something we heard from countless partners at DMEXCO, particularly given Europe's aggressive stance on regulation. Unfortunately, in response to those changes, some data tools are taking advantage with slick marketing. They are promising publishers a one-note solution to GDPR and CCPA that focuses solely on creating more first-party data opportunities.

But that's not where the industry is. The business has evolved beyond that, where information has to be passed outside of the browser. Publishers need data solutions that serve as 'pipes' that help them share audience data across environments and partners. Those that don't have that are losing revenue opportunities.

Quality, not scale, is king

The demand for transparency in advertising is also impacting how marketers work with and buy data. Ten years ago, audience-based data targeting was novel and attractive to both marketers and publishers.

It created value out of remnant inventory for media companies and created more actionable online inventory for marketers. This novelty drove interest, which then drove the need for more scale.

But today, scale is given in the market. To be candid, lots of providers have access to audience data. For that reason, marketers are starting to focus more on the quality of data and its accuracy.

In the conversations we had with partners and customers at DMEXCO, it was clear that they're focused on ways to ensure the quality and precision of the data they purchase for campaigns and activations.

And with recent GDPR and privacy crackdowns, the provenance, recency and origin of data is more important than ever. Focusing on data quality and accuracy — not scale — is the future of our industry.

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