Addressable advertising is the default in the digital display world—and it relies on being able to identify users in order to serve them the right message at the right time. But the identifiers that marketers and their partners use to do this are coming under threat as platforms and regulators work to improve data privacy and protection practices for consumers.
What are the major disruptions this year to digital advertisers’ identity practices?
At the beginning of the year, Chrome announced it was killing the third-party tracking cookie. Halfway through the year, Apple announced it was essentially doing the same to its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a device-specific ad ID. And that’s on top of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) going into effect and requiring marketers to let California residents opt out of having their data sold.
How are marketers and their partners responding to identity challenges?
They’re going to have to do so both tactically and strategically. Many are looking to ways to “replace the cookie”—which could be a doomed proposition if consumers don’t want to consent to being tracked and targeted by advertisers. More far-reaching changes include moves toward other forms of measurement and attribution, like panels.
How important is identity for advertisers today?
Very. US advertisers spent billions last year on data activation solutions and are investing across a range of tools that all rely (at least in theory) on being able to tell who a user is across devices and platforms. Research suggests many are spending more than 20% of their marketing budgets on identity solutions.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explains three significant disruptions developing this year in how marketers identify and target users in digital environments and discusses tactical and strategic approaches for the future.
KEY STAT: The industry is definitely heading toward a cookieless future, but fewer than one-third of data professionals in North America were actively testing and investing in new solutions as of May, per Winterberry Group and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
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