First-party IDs. Meeting the needs of publishers

6th June  |  
4 minutes
First party IDs

Publisher first-party data is critical to the success of programmatic advertising and the ability of publishers to optimise ad revenues. As a result, first-party data now plays a key role in 64% of publisher ad strategies. What’s more, with the ongoing deprecation of tracking cookies and other privacy-invasive approaches to resolving identities and building customer profiles, publisher first-party data is only going to become more important. Publishers agree that first-party data will play key central role in helping them move beyond tracking cookies. Eighty-two percent of publishers surveyed for a recent report said that they are currently using first-party data to prepare for cookie deprecation, up from 77% a year ago.

Considerations for publisher first-party IDs

One important element in sourcing and optimising publisher first-party data is the use of publisher IDs – unique identifiers assigned to a website to map and verify customers to build profiles for use in digital advertising.

Already, the vast majority of publishers in European markets are passing first-party IDs in the programmatic bid stream on levels similar to third-party tracking cookies. However, with a variety of approaches to choose from, publishers need to bear the following in mind when selecting their first-party ID:

  • Data privacy and consent: Ensure that the publisher IDs comply with data privacy laws such as GDPR by maintaining ownership of the framework through which consumers give their consent to use their data. This is too important to outsource to an ID provider.
  • Data security: Ensure that the data collected through the ID is secure from unauthorised access or breaches.
  • Data minimisation: Avoid unnecessary collection or retention of personal data to minimise potential data breaches and compliance risks.
  • Site performance. Integrate publisher IDs to minimise the impact on page load times.
  • User experience: Overloading pages with consent request pop-ups can interrupt user journeys and slow performance, causing user dissatisfaction.
  • Anonymous users. Ensure your ID solution can enable the verification of unauthenticated “ghost” users visiting your website, as this information is essential for retargeting.

Telco-verified IDs: unlocking publisher first-party data

One approach to meeting the needs of publishers is the use of telco-verified IDs, such as Novatiq’s Zenith ID. With telco-verified IDs, consent is given at the point of use leveraging the publishers’ existing consent mechanism. There is therefore no need for additional consent pop-ups that can damage the user experience.

These consented first-party publisher IDs are sent to telco partners for verification. As the verification process does not involve the use of personally identifiable information and takes place behind the telco’s firewall it is privacy- and security-centric by design. Leveraging the telco’s network intelligence, publishers can unlock accurate, real-time, cross-domain and cross-device user recognition. What’s more, telco-verified IDs can be linked and returned to the publisher so they can identify returning users without needing to track them online or breach their privacy in any way.

The approach enables publishers to build rich, 360-degree profiles of their users, helping them verify audiences at scale and provide highly tailored audiences to brands for real-time, personalised programmatic advertising.

One key consideration when implementing a telco-verified ID as a publisher ID is whether the technology is deployed as a service-level proposition within the telco network, or as an API-based bolt-on to the telco network. In the latter approach, publishers will likely have to deploy the ID as an iframe wrap around, which could negatively impact the performance of the site. A service-level approach, on the other hand, is light touch and does not need to be implemented in an iframe. As a result, the performance of the site is in no way affected.

The right approach to publisher first-party data

Privacy has become the touchstone for any service or process, and the signals from regulators are clear: the industry can expect more control and oversight in the years ahead. This need not damage publishers’ business models. By implementing a true publisher ID (i.e., one that is owned by the publisher and not the ID provider) and ensuring that it meets the considerations outlined above, publishers can retain control and enable their first-party data to offer premium ad inventory to advertisers.

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