Time to rethink the digital value exchange?

Summer is now well and truly over. As the weather turns and refreshed executives return from their well-earned holidays, it’s time for the digital advertising industry to pick up momentum and ensure a strong end-of-year period. If you’re looking to catch up on what’s been going on this month, then sit back, pour yourself a coffee and enjoy this latest issue of Spotlight.  

Missed our August newsletter? Don’t worry, you can read it on our blog here.

What we have for you today: Publishers assess the options for post-third-party cookies, calls for a privacy-first internet grow, and DMEXCO takes place after a three-year break. 

Testing times for Google 

There’s been a little more progress towards the post-third-party cookie future this month as adtech companies start to run Google’s Privacy Sandbox through its paces. Judging from reports, many companies are still sceptical of the system, but its utility will only be fully understood when tests can be scaled up.  

Meanwhile, another solution touted as a replacement to tracking cookies, data clean rooms, has also been met with a little scepticism in the industry – this time by Meta (although the company does seem to be interested in the approach). As a reminder, data clean rooms provide a neutral, privacy-first environment for data sharing, but they are not without their limitations.   

Combined, these stories point to an industry that has yet to settle on solutions to the post-cookie world. We believe that the ecosystem will ultimately require several privacy-first identifiers that are interoperable and can be united on a common platform. Offerings like the Privacy Sandbox and data clean rooms will have roles to play, but they will not provide the whole answer. 

Whatever does emerge, it’s clear that marketers need to pick up the pace of their preparations. One survey published this month found that nearly 50% of UK and US chief marketing officers (CMOs) do not feel well prepared for the end of third-party cookies. Those that are, of course, will be much better able to adapt when tracking cookies finally bite the dust.   

Rethinking the digital value exchange 

Why bother coming up with an alternative to tracking cookies at all? Well, because without a means to deliver personalised content to consumers, ad spend will likely be reduced, putting at risk the ad-funded internet. 

Until now the value exchange between consumers and the digital advertising industry had been one where personal data is traded for free content. This model is no longer fit for purpose given increasing concerns over privacy.  

As Claire Norburn, Google Ad privacy lead rightly states: “People are rejecting ads they view as spammy or invasive. Regulators across the world are rightly demanding a more private internet and some critics are calling for a ban on personalised ads completely.” We completely agree with her call for a new value exchange for the internet, one which is safer for consumers and more transparent – where people can choose what data to share, and in return receive the compelling experiences.  

This idea of a privacy-first internet is gaining serious momentum. Recently, a group combining such diverse organisations as Brave, the Tor Project, Neeva, Proton, and Tutanota published a set of principles for a privacy-focused internet. With a focus on security of data and transparency of what’s being collected, such principles are fast becoming mainstream, and that’s why Novatiq’s solution is engineered from the ground up to be privacy first. Our IDs are pseudonymised to ensure that no personally-identifiable information is transacted as publishers and brands continue to provide consumers the personalised and relevant content they demand.    

The news from DMEXCO  

Earlier this month, the annual DMEXCO conference took place in Cologne, following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In a quieter conference than usual, the depreciation of tracking cookies remained a big topic with reports suggesting that the market has a great deal of confidence in the post-cookie future. However, there was also a feeling that media agencies lack a sense of urgency around replacing third-party cookies, especially when budgets are tight. 

Novatiq believes that, to misquote Hemmingway, depreciation of cookies will come “slowly at first, then all at once.” Our advice is to prepare strategically in leisure, rather than struggle later in haste to patch something together.   

Adtech and ESG  

Finally for this month, it’s worth reading this Q&A with Julie Selman, SVP Head of EMEA at Magnite on the intersection of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors and adtech.  

We agree that there are many ways that adtech companies can help reduce our impact on the environment and society. This will of course include looking at emissions and waste, but it will also require a concerted effort to recruit more women and people from minorities into the sector.  

There’s still much work to be done in this respect, and Novatiq, which includes a woman as one of our co-founders (see below) will being doing all we can to support in these efforts.  

Novatiq’s news 

Good news for Novatiq this month, as Tanya Field, our very own co-founder and chief product officer, was shortlisted for the Great British Businesswoman Awards 2022. The awards showcase the business role models, advocates and mentors, as well as the inspirational women leading businesses in the UK. Congratulations Tanya, and good luck!  

If you’re looking for more stories, thoughts, and comments on all things related to digital marketing then why not drop by our blog. This month, we’re posted our in-depth guide for advertisers and agencies on the post third-party cookie ecosystem. Take a look to learn about securing addressable audiences, delivering personalisation, combatting ad fraud, and much else.  

See you in October for more news and inspiration.  

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