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Report: Marketers and publishers not on same page for targeting

February 22, 2021

Lotame, a global provider of data enrichment solutions to drive customer insights, has released findings from its report titled Beyond the Cookie: The Future of Advertising for Marketers & Publishers.

Conducted in December 2020, the report surveyed 200 US senior decision-makers in digital media and marketing to determine how these organisations are planning for the phase out of third-party cookies. The findings show that the majority of marketers (60 per cent) believe the future of advertising relies on multiple interoperable ID solutions.

“Marketers embracing multiple interoperable identity solutions reinforces our belief in a connected future for advertising, which relies on the collaboration of the entire ecosystem to create growth and value for all,” said Andy Monfried, CEO at Lotame.

Other key findings include:

“Context alone” strategy divides marketers and publishers.

As audience targeting is under threat from third-party cookies phasing out, two-thirds of marketers surveyed (66 per cent) believe that while contextual targeting is a useful tactic, it cannot alone replace audience targeting. However, there appears to be a disconnect between marketers and publishers. Two-thirds of publishers (69 per cent) are confident that their contextual targeting can replace audience targeting when third-party cookies disappear. Only 38 per cent of publishers are looking for a solution for the potential loss of third-party tracking, with 16 per cent using more contextual and intent data in the meantime while they search for a longer-term solution.

“Publishers and marketers aren’t on the same page right now,” said Monfried. “To enable relevant, responsible, and resilient advertising, marketers and publishers need to address this disconnect and work together on mutually beneficial outcomes. While publishers are leaning into contextual, it’s just one useful tactic to offer marketers, but it simply won’t scale unless you’re large enough. Publishers can win more business with a portfolio of identity options that together seize the full funnel of marketer objectives.”

Almost all publishers are using supplemental data for enrichment. 

Despite the lean towards contextual targeting, a stunning 93 per cent of publishers reported using supplemental data to enrich their first-party data assets. To do so, publishers are using survey and panel data (64 per cent), marketer data (58 per cent), second-party data from other publishers (40 per cent), and third-party data from reputable vendors (40 per cent). Additionally, 31 per cent of publishers admitted they need help finding quality data partners.

“These findings discount the narrative that third-party data enrichment is dead as publishers know they need to enrich their first-party data more than ever to understand consumers in the digital environment, let alone in a Covid-19 world,” said Monfried. “Data enrichment sets like survey data, second-party and third-party data are thriving as a necessary complement to first-party data that, alone, simply doesn’t scale or tell the complete story of a changing consumer.”

Almost half of marketers and publishers are still searching for an identity graph solution.

The findings show that there is still ample opportunity for identity graphs to find adopters. Only 27 per cent of marketers and publishers have landed on an identity graph while 46 per cent are still actively looking for an identity partner. Of those, 23 per cent are looking to find one within the next 6 months and 23 per cent have an expanded search time frame to a full year. While 17 per cent reveal that budget is a key barrier to onboarding such a solution.

“As we approach the deadline to retire third-party cookies, publishers and marketers are in urgent need of privacy-friendly tools to understand and engage audiences at scale,” said Monfried. “Choice and interoperability are paramount. There’s no single horse in this race, nor should there be one winner. That’s why we’re invested in the interoperability of our Panorama ID with all ecosystem players and have the support of many already.”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Markets, Research

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