Benoit Cacheux, Global Chief Digital Officer at Zenith, recently joined the virtual panel, “Understanding identity, behaviour and context,” at Mediatel’s The Future of TV Advertising Global conference. This event was moderated by Cadi Jones, Commercial Director EMEA at Beeswax, and Benoit was joined by Lara Izlan, Director, Advertising Data & Analytics at ITV, Steve Martin, MD International Data at LiveRamp and Miles Pritchard, Managing Partner – Data Management Solutions at OMD. Below are some of the areas the group discussed with Benoit’s contribution.

Survival of the third-party cookie post the upcoming Chrome changes.

With Chrome reaching a global penetration of 70%, and Safari and Firefox at about 18%, it has become very clear that the third-party cookie in its current form is unlikely to survive. However, we see new ideas coming up on how to replace the third-party cookie and are very positive about what the industry is doing to reinvent digital marketing.

First party data has never been more important, especially for advertisers who have been reliant on third party data. A deep focus on first party data can help advertisers unlock new opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness.

We see many interesting initiatives worth evaluating and testing; think what the TradeDesk is doing with their unified ID 2.0, what ID5 is doing with publishers, clean rooms for log-level analysis, Google with Ads Data Hub on Google Cloud, Liveramp, etc.

Last year, Publicis Groupe acquired Epsilon, a leader in data, which built an identity graph that is not reliant on third party cookies. We’re using this opportunity to share their latest survey on this topic, which is available here.

Headlines from their survey shows the level of anxiety these upcoming changes are creating:

    1. Most marketers are very or moderately reliant on third-party cookies.
    2. Less than half of marketers feel “very prepared” for the change.
    3. Actual benefits to consumers are in question.
    4. Seventy percent of marketers believe digital advertising will take a step backward.

The depreciation of the third-party cookie and the potential impact for addressable TV and premium video.   

Whilst the changes linked to the post-cookie world are not positive (GDPR was the first big negative impact on the digital user experience, and the disappearance of third-party cookies could be the second significant trigger for an even worse user experience), you have to be objective about the current situation and where the money goes when we talk about addressable TV and online video. The reality is a large majority of this inventory is not reliant on third-party cookies (including Adsmart, broadcast video-on-demand, YouTube and video on social platforms).  

Back to the future, are we entering a new era for contextual targeting?

There’s no doubt contextual targeting is growing; we’re seeing industry stats confirming its growth. Contextual advertising is forecast to grow worldwide by 18.5%. But we’re not going back to the future because contextual is getting much more sophisticated than before with the use of machine learning techniques, such as natural language processing techniques, used to understand context beyond a few keywords in a URL or webpage content.

It’s also growing because of its ability to offer a whole new way to look at brand safety and have a smarter approach at driving reach (vs. blanket exclusion lists). 

Likely winners in a post-cookie world. 

We see different type of winners: the most likely ones are the walled gardens. Publishers who have been smart with data acquisition, paywalls and who are working on stable identifiers will also be able to compete and win their fair share.

The losers are the ones who are standing still and not proposing solutions. I do worry, however, about more traditional publishers who are not trying to take control of their destiny.

Concerns around the possibility of fraud in the connected TV environment.

Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) programmatic advertising have gained exponential popularity. In 2019, these forms of content consumption reached new highs following rapid growth. Together they showed a 330% global rise with at least 50% quarter-over-quarter growth, according to Pixalate. Digital marketing measurement provider DoubleVerify outlined a surge of fraud in CTV platforms in a report detailing the state of the market in 2020. For example, DoubleVerify claims to have found 1,300 fraudulent apps in CTV since March 2019 (60% were detected in 2020 alone). It measured a 161% increase in fraudulent CTV traffic rates in Q1 2020 vs Q1 2019., which shows how careful we should be when buying in this area.

You should select the best ad verification companies specializing in connected TVs to help you control performance on CTV. We would also recommend spending time curating your own CTV inventory, so you limit the number of partners and publishers and strive for quality over quantity.


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