Leaving The Cookie Party Early

Don’t get stranded at the cookie party, put PII on speed dial

When Google delayed blocking third-party cookies until 2023, the party animals took it as a sign to keep on raving. Two more years! That’s like, so long from now! Wooooohooooooo, cookies are the party that never stops! 

Thing is, the sun is coming up. All the cookie players talk a good game about being ready. But the reality? We’re about to see a mass walk of shame. 

The worst part is they threaten to take some brands and advertisers with them. Because by the time their lack of a viable post-cookie strategy is exposed, it will already be too late. Today, just 13% of brand and agency execs report being very well prepared for new privacy regulations that impact programmatic advertising. 

Yes, Google has provided a window of opportunity for everyone to get their acts together. But those in the know recognize it’s already half-closed. In other words, if you’re still at the party with your cookie friends, you may want to hitch another ride home ASAP. 

Here’s why: 

  1. Time is ticking. While 2023 feels oh so far away, the budgeting, planning, programming, and calendarization that has to happen for 2023 needs to be set in stone by April 2022 or thereabouts. Once we kiss summer goodbye, that leaves just about eight months to completely overhaul existing cookie strategies. No privacy-compliant strategy by the end of Q1 next year means having 85% of the addressable market suddenly pulled out from under your feet. 
  2. Apple is adding bricks to its walled garden. Apple is in the business of Apple and is only too happy to add a couple more stories to its vast walled garden. And we’re not just talking about its infamous hamstringing of email marketing in iOS 15. Apple’s latest moves will also impact other forms of display advertising. Basically, any strategies relying on hashed emails (HEMs) tied to mobile advertising IDs (MAIDs) are dead in the water in the Apple ecosystem. We’re seeing more and more instances of validity checks failing when attempting to match MAIDs to HEMs, ultimately resulting in ads not getting placed. No workaround means limited access to Apple users.
  3. Location, location, location. There’s a path forward. Beyond the many benefits we’ve discussed before, PII-compliant data can support accurate location-based matching strategies based on deep analysis of postal data spanning more than 35 years. This data makes it possible to validate that within the past 90 days, a targeted user has occupied a specific physical address. By attaching this location metadata to MAIDs, the HEM to human link is reestablished, along with the full menu of display advertising. 

PII providers are standing by to take your call. 

The good news is you don’t need to worry about being stranded at the cookie party. PII providers that can get you to a privacy-compliant destination are just a phone call away. 

If you’re an advertiser, you want a simple commitment from your data partner: they will provide you with high-quality, usable (aka validated) data that will be deliverable. That’s it. Otherwise, you’ve got to tell them to take a hike before you get taken for a ride. 

A PII-compliant strategy can take shape in any number of ways. But the work must begin now. Anyone putting off this transformation until 2023 will find themselves quite literally stuck. 

The best way to start is by working with a PII provider to start running performance tests today. That way, when it comes time to set 2022 budgets, you’ll already have a clear sense of response success, the kind of data you’ll have access to, the associated cost, and ROI. 

Come 2023, you’ll be doing the dance of joy while those left behind come stumbling into the harsh light of reality.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

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