What does the end of third-party cookies mean for market research methodologies? | IAB United Kingdom | Open mic
2023 is expected to be a seismic year for the digital advertising industry as third-party cookies are phased out from Chrome, fundamentally changing how online advertising works to date and forcing advertisers to familiarize themselves with alternative targeting strategies. , from cohorts to contextual. . But what does the end of third-party cookies mean for researchers? Cookies are the keystone of many online methodologies and their disappearance is a challenge that will have to be addressed in the months to come. Here, members of the IAB UK Research Advisory Group explain what to expect and how to prepare for the era of third-party cookies.
First-party proprietary data will become more important
James Powell, Senior Marketing Director, Kantar: “Advertisers are increasingly looking to leverage their first party data. A recent Kantar study found that 82% of advertisers in Europe believe they should use first party data alongside other data. In addition, 78% say they want to better control their media spending. Additionally, half of advertisers believe the data to guide real-time targeting will become more important in the coming months as they envision a cookie-free future. To fill the void left by cookies, advertisers need to enrich their knowledge of consumers through their first party data, requiring a modeled approach with various datasets such as contextual and user-consented survey data – the latter allowing particularly in-depth information on consumers. . “
It’s a chance to let go of short-term thinking
Anja Orthmann, Marketing Manager, Analytic Partners: “The loss of third-party cookies, although painful, is a chance to refocus marketing strategies and finally to break away from short-term thinking in silos, allowing better alignment of digital with other channels. Our ROI Genome research shows that the most successful campaigns are multichannel online and offline, for example increasing ROI by 35% by combining TV with online video. Without cookies, the focus should be even more on creating and maximizing channel synergies – using creation and content for storytelling on all channels, reinforcing the message on some, adding appeal to the action in others. Effectiveness must then be measured holistically, in currency, and based on a basis of independent analysis of user-level data.
We are moving from “big data” to “deep data”
Mike Follett, Managing Director of Lumen: “Until recently, digital marketers embraced the mantra that ‘everything counts, lots of it’. The cookie data might have been pretty basic, but there was a lot of it and you could do a lot of smart things there. The disappearance of the cookie has led us to reassess the quality of the data we obtain and its predictive value. Smart marketers are looking for high-quality behavioral panel sources to help them move from “big data” to “deep data” – real insight that is linked to real behavior change. When it comes to datasets, size matters; but what you do with it is more important.
Panel data combined with other sources provide a rich alternative
Jessica Bohm, Director, Similarweb: “With the impending loss of third-party cookies and the growing rollout of regulatory changes, advertisers are looking for new ways to target consumers and track online behaviors that are anonymized and brand safe. While alternative data sources such as user panels are not directly affected by deleting cookies, they also do not replace the volume of third-party data available to industry today. Panel data alone provides a limited perspective on consumer behavior. User panels combined with other anonymous data sources – such as Internet service providers (ISPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs) – can be aggregated and modeled to create an accurate view of the digital world.
Changes to cookies can lead to richer information
Dr Sarah Turnbull, Advertising Reader, University of Portsmouth: “The changes may encourage advertisers to explore other ways of understanding how viewers behave online. While third-party cookies can record viewer actions, alternative methodologies, such as ethnography or experimental approaches, can help provide richer insights into consumer behavior. Uncovering the reasons why consumers view content the way they do, or better understanding how interactions occur, will allow advertisers to envision new ways of interacting. In particular, ethnographic approaches such as netnography, where researchers study online behaviors and patterns, could provide a valuable alternative for advertisers seeking to understand why and how consumers engage.
Communication with consumers is essential
Emily Thompson, Insight Manager, The Guardian: “With the depreciation of third-party cookies, first-party data will become all the more important and it is essential that companies have an established strategy. To inform our first-party data strategy, we’ve partnered with Tapestry Research to understand people’s perceptions of how their data is processed and their willingness to share data. We found that:
● Communication is the key. Consumers want brands to be clear and transparent – explain what they’re getting in return for sharing their data.
● There is no “one size fits all” approach. Consumers are divided into five segments based on their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Getting the tone and level of detail right is important.
● You should think about how you ask people to share information. People have different expectations of what is okay to share, depending on the company.
Quality is an opportunity to get closer to consumers
Luke Devereux, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University: “It will be interesting to see what this means for qualitative research. These changes could allow us to take a step back and examine methodologies in general, reassessing what could be done to fill this gap. In some ways, third-party cookies were a bit abstract, intrusive, and remote from the consumer. Quality can therefore be an opportunity to get closer to consumers in a more transparent way. All in all, I think this is an exciting time for research in all methodologies – often when restrictions are put in place it can lead to innovation elsewhere.