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Cross-channel and cookieless: How measurement will evolve in 2021

March 3, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The pandemic has caused major shifts in the way that advertisers operate, making it more critical than ever to be able to prove ROI and make every ad dollar count
  • The inability to track reach and frequency is one of the biggest problems with cross-platform ad measurement that marketers face
  • As marketers enter the new year, they will need to have measurement solutions in place that account for cross-channel, cookieless, privacy, and walled gardens
  • Early adopters of cross-channel measurement, truly cookieless solutions, privacy, and consumer-centric policies, and data collaboration will gain insights needed to ensure future success

Marketers have faced an incredible number of challenges over the past year. The demise of third-party cookies, the loss of device identifiers, and evolving privacy regulations have forced the industry to come up with new solutions for identity. With consumer behavior shifting rapidly and market volatility expected to continue this year, proving ROI with accurate measurement will be more important than ever. Half of U.S. marketers say the inability to track reach and frequency is still one of the biggest problems with cross-channel ad measurement. Better measurement solutions are needed.

Advertisers need to take the time now to evaluate their measurement solutions in order to ensure every dollar spent has a purpose. Marketers should look for solutions that overcome measurement challenges and form a single view of the customer journey. Only then can they truly improve the customer experience by delivering personalized messages and offerings based on insights gleaned. In 2021, measurement solutions will evolve and improve to account for cross-platform, cookieless, consumer transparency, and walled gardens.

Cross-platform measurement will enable flexibility and control for TV and other mediums

Recent trends indicate that consumers are purchasing multiple streaming services and cutting the cord at an alarming rate. As consumer behaviors and viewer fragmentation across a range of digital mediums and streaming platforms accelerate, it’s important for advertisers to measure cross-platform reach and frequency in real-time and adjust course quickly if needed. This is nearly impossible to do using traditional TV metrics.

To determine where and how to best reach the consumer, measurement offerings must capture cross-channel metrics and normalize disparate data sets to better understand the actual viewer. For example, one spouse might be responsible for all the streaming subscriptions in a household while another manages cable and internet. To further confuse the issue, their online and offline purchases might be equally mixed.

With more accurate cross-screen metrics and measurement tools, including impact and reach, advertisers can track spend against specific KPIs to determine true ROI within a set audience. As advertisers and distribution players adopt new measurement solutions in 2021 and report these metrics more accurately, the industry will be forced to embrace flexibility in areas that have traditionally lacked agility and required firm budget commitments.

More accurate measurement gives advertisers key insights that require flexibility for optimizations and the need for more real-time control with TV and premium video. Measurement offerings that capture metrics across OTT and linear and link impact to actual outcomes will take center stage in the new year as advertisers are forced to prove ROI and can no longer rely on traditional TV metrics.

The deprecation of third-party cookies acts as a catalyst to better measurement

With less than a year before Google pulls the plug on third-party cookies and the simultaneous restrictions placed on certain mobile identifiers such as IDFAs, the advertising ecosystem is responding with a flurry of identifiers of their own. Despite this, the industry has yet to establish a standard for a universal way to measure reach without cookies, creating confusion in the marketplace and reinforcing the need for secure, privacy-conscious, and interoperable identity solutions that maintain neutrality.

Campaigns using people-based identifiers rooted in authenticated user data perform better across key metrics such as return on ad spend, cost per view, and cost per mille. In fact, certain types of cookieless solutions make it easier to measure results and prove ROI. Campaigns will be people-based and nearly 100 percent addressable—allowing advertisers and publishers to uncover undervalued inventory and see an improvement in their overall performance.

The industry is working diligently to build a better ecosystem – one with trust and transparency – that isn’t reliant on unstable identifiers like third-party cookies. A stronger, trusted ecosystem will ensure advertisers can measure across all consumer touchpoints long after the third-party cookie disappears. This helps to ensure the most relevant, tailored messages reach customers across channels – which ultimately leads to an increase in brand loyalty that will help strengthen businesses and improve outcomes for marketers and publishers alike in the post-cookie world.

Measurement evolves with privacy at its core

As privacy regulation continues to evolve, our industry faces a complex challenge — regaining consumer trust. There’s a conscious effort and trend towards consumer transparency, and that’s not going away. Thus, in addition to adhering to the law, advertisers are updating their policies to ensure transparency about how consumer data is being used. We need to do a better job of explaining that the data individuals share is part of a mutually beneficial value exchange that’s essential to developing products and services that serve consumers better.

As consumers engage across media — they opt-in, log-in, subscribe — and identify themselves in different ways. This data can be used to build and scale the right audiences and enhance measurement to better under which tactics are moving the needle on business outcomes. Advertisers should only use measurement solutions with privacy at the core to ensure the delivery of a seamless customer experience on the individual’s terms.

One example of where measurement is headed is LiveRamp’s integration with Google’s Ads Data Hub. This approach enables first-party data linkage to Google data within the ADH environment in a privacy-first way. An individual’s data cannot be directly viewed, edited, or manipulated in ADH, but actionable insights can be extracted.

Amazon sets the bar when it comes to understanding and measuring the customer buying journey and then executing against that data. Marketers are looking to create that type of measurement engine, without moving data or comprising privacy, that will form data partnerships to fill in the gaps in their line of sight, leveraging data from outside their four walls to measure the customer journey along with all endpoints.

The industry will embrace data collaboration to improve measurement

Walled gardens offer a prime example of how access to data at every point along the customer journey unlocks measurement of the whole customer experience. Following this example, consumer brands will seek to build a strong data foundation to form a unified view of the customer, then to optimize marketing touchpoints as part of the larger improvement to the customer experience. We’re seeing CPG brands analyzing sales lift by comparing data from retail partners to understand the holistic shopping journey of each customer.

As The Winterberry Group found in their January 2021 report ‘Collaborative Data Solutions’, one of the areas with the greatest adoption today is for insight and analysis. Data collaboration will only become more important as marketers strive to measure results and optimize budgets. With the right privacy-conscious structures in place, data science and analytics teams will be able to work across data sets, accelerate analysis, and forge a level of insight that is deeper than ever before.

Conclusion

After the year we had, evolution in measurement is imminent. In what will likely be another financially-difficult year, proving return on advertising investment will be the driving force behind this progression to more accountable metrics delivered with more speed.

Early adopters of cross-platform measurement, truly cookieless solutions, privacy and consumer-centric policies, and data collaboration will provide customers with the best in class experience today and reveal insights needed to ensure future success.

Matthew Emans is VP of Measurement Products for LiveRamp, and the co-founder/CTO of Data Plus Math, acquired by LiveRamp in 2019.

The post Cross-channel and cookieless: How measurement will evolve in 2021 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Five great display and video advertising tactics to increase relevance and revenue in a cookie-less world

August 25, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Display and video advertising already have tactics that can be highly effective in a cookie-less world.
  • Contextual advertising is going to rise, as users will be in the right state of mind to interact with the brands’ ads.
  • Content sponsorship is going to build strong relationships between brands and consumers, as the values and purpose of each brand will be transmitted to the audience in a non-aggressive sales-y way.
  • Channel integration can become the norm as channels can support each other through insights.
  • User-based targeting will still allow for personalization with the consent of the user.

Let’s face it. The world is going through difficult times, and so is every method of advertising. People are suspicious and don’t trust advertising, thinking that ads may lead to fraud or that advertisers act only to their own benefit and that the consumers will get no value out these promotional banners sitting around the content they visit. They get annoyed when video advertising interrupts their user experience popping up or getting in the way of their desired content.

Things get worse when the ads are totally irrelevant to the user’s interests, which results in total waste of money. Things got a bit better with cookies, as we could target specific audience segments based on their demographics and browsing behavior so that the ads where tailored to their state of mind and interests but in a soon-to-be cookie-less world? Are we back to zero?

Fear not. During the past few years, the targeting technology and tactics became much more sophisticated and we can use numerous methods to target our audiences with relevant only ads and at the same time comply with the new GDPR normal.

Below are five must-have tactics around display and video advertising to smoothly transition to the post-cookie era.

Well, there are no must-dos in life, but realistically these will definitely make your life a lot easier and your ads will create only positive relationships with your audience. Anyway, cookies matching (the process of syncing cookies data so that Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) know that they are dealing with the same user) isn’t exactly perfect. So let’s see the positive side. It’s our chance to get closer to our goal to increase relevancy, please customers, and drive sales.

1. Contextual targeting

Why?

Back to zero? Not quite.

Example - Display and video advertising

Yes, keyword or contextual-based advertising is an old tactic, I am not talking about the invention of the wheel. But: nowadays we can use Programmatic buying. With cookie-based targeting, ads about martech platforms would keep following you around the web. But this is not you. You are more than that. You like fitness, food, minimalism, whatever.

How?

With contextual targeting through programmatic, you will be able to display your ads only when your audience is in a relevant state of mind across hundreds of sites at the same time. So when you’re looking for healthy recipes in food websites, you will see ads for organic products and when you will be reading about the future of digital advertising, you will see ads of a new analytics platform.

So what?

So the ads will be relevant to the web environment you’re currently consuming and consumers will feel more comfortable to convert, as they will see the ads as an extension of the content they are already looking at. Contextual advertising works well for all the stages of the purchase journey, as high impact formats (large sizes or video) but also native ads-teasers can be used to increase awareness and memorability and click-throughs respectively.

2. Content sponsorship

Why?

Yes. It works. People want to get value from the brands, and this is how they get to trust them. Consuming educational content brings us closer to the bran’s values, we see the world through their eyes and therefore we decide to follow them or not. Have you ever made friends without listening to them talking first?

How?

Especially during the pandemic, people started educating themselves on numerous topics that don’t necessarily have to do with their job. They love reading about how they can make their life easier. And they trust someone’s content especially when they are not trying to directly sell or only sell a product without justifying it. To my opinion, content must be branded but should be consumer-centric at the same time. These are some questions you should seek to answer through your content.

  • What are the benefits of the product/service?
  • How does it fill someone’s needs?
  • Does it add value to someone’s life/daily routine?

This is exactly our time as advertisers to elaborate on the challenges that our audience can overcome by using the product. This is our time to be where our consumers are and consume content, to show that we care, and we give, and this is a win-win game. And that the more we win, we commit that the more we will give.

So what?

Brands that get personal like the P&G ads are amazing. Have you seen them? They celebrate women’s/mums’ roles and contributions to society. They speak the truth, they make people relate to the content. Also, going back to my point on the pandemic now, people appreciated it so much the brands that collaborated with each other for a good cause, the brands that offered, the brands that supported also financially the situation.

Why? Because we all want to feel that someone is there for us, that brands don’t care only for their profits. So if I’m going to give my money for a product anyway, I will choose one that we have the same beliefs with.

3. Channel collaboration

Why?

And here it comes. Your boss, your client come to ask for channel integrated campaigns. They want to see how everything works together towards the same goal. They don’t like fragmented budgets anymore, as the ad investment comes from one pot and there’s one person managing all the channels so there’s no point in delivering multiple media plans.

How?

Use every channel’s success or failure (this is still a very useful insight!) to contribute to the success of other channels. For example, look at search engine marketing (SEM) like paid search or SEO to find the most successful keywords, and then implement these in your display and video advertising – contextual strategy.

So what?

In other words, what I strongly recommend is to use the terms that your customers are using in their search before they convert, to open up to new audiences in relevant webpages. This way, you can have an online presence in relevant environments, with high impact display formats and videos to increase awareness when your audience is at the right state of mind.

4. User-based targeting

Why?

This is not something new, the big platforms are already doing this and it’s an amazing source of data that I don’t think we made the most of, because we were mostly relying on cookies (that, let’s face it, wasn’t 100% accurate anyway). These data sets are quite accurate as they rely on information that the users give through forms and actions and not on our interpretation of their browsing history.

How?

This is essentially targeting through the user id on the respective platform. Users give their details and create profiles so that they get access to various platforms or make purchases to numerous websites. This way the brand can target the ideal users with cross-device recognition, using first-party data.

So what?

Who doesn’t want a consistent experience while interacting with a brand across multiple devices? Again, this is a win-win game when implemented effectively, as the brands do not waste budget while targeting the users isolating every device and at the same time the users are being targeted with the most appropriate message depending on the stage of the funnel that they are. Plus it improves personalization.

5. Sequential targeting

Why?

How many times have you noticed a specific car model in the streets after you talked about it for the first time with your friends? It’s not that all these cars magically appeared in front of you after your conversation. It’s that this car is now familiar to you, so it’s easy to notice it. Humans like what looks or sounds familiar. The brain wants to spend as little energy as possible so if it’s something already known, it’s easier to identify and memorize. That’s why we need sequential advertising in our lives.

How?

First-party data allow also for sequential targeting, which is a marketing technique that uses a sequence of ads to tell a story and convince the audience to convert over time, across different devices. The creatives used for sequential targeting should have the same look and feel so that the consumer feels familiar with them and also recalls the brand’s image but should be evolved as we walk down the funnel. The sequence is device agnostic when a user is logged in through their account, which means that shifting between devices doesn’t affect that strategy, it even enhances the experience. Someone may see an ad on their smartphone and then the second in order ad may appear the next day on their laptop.

So what?

It has been observed that awareness can be vastly increased through high impact sequential ads. For instance, Google’s research in partnership with Ipsos on sequential videos revealed a 74% ad recall lift and 30% purchase intent uplift compared to standalone video advertising. The sequential messaging drives also high-quality leads as they guide the user down through the funnel to convert.

The sequential tactic is highly effective as most consumers use multiple digital devices before making a purchase or using a service. This strategy increases visibility, as people notice a brand more when its ads appear on multiple devices and they seem familiar, plus you allow your audience to interact with your brand through their platform of choice and it prevents ad fatigue. It’s of no wonder why this tactic presents increasing CTR.

Into the technicalities now

In digital display and video advertising, I would recommend for the sequential path to involve three stages of content.

  • Stage one – the user sees an ad that is usually more generic, it introduces them to the brand or service
  • Stage two – includes ads that educate around the brand or service advertised and present briefly the benefits and happy results of using it

The first two stages should invite the user to learn more about the product and get to know the brand if needed so that they walk through the consideration phase. For these purposes, the first (or second too) stage can well be represented by a video. The videos are well known as being highly memorable and impactful, so this is what the user needs at this stage.

  • Stage three – ad with a strong call to action, an invitation for the audience to use the product and purchase, sometimes even offering a discount

Naturally, the call-to-action in each stage will change depending on what action we want the person to perform (Learn more Vs Buy now).

Conclusion

Therefore, it’s not the end of the world, it’s the end of a technology that worked for long but now it’s time to move on to new relationship structures, just like societies do. Because it’s time for the brands to build honest and transparent relationships with consumers, which is going to lead to stronger trust in advertising. And this is a good thing.

What are your thoughts on display and video advertising? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

Anastasia-Yvoni Spiliopoulou is a Global Digital Media expert. She has recently launched her new online course in digital display and video advertising for corporates and individuals.

The post Five great display and video advertising tactics to increase relevance and revenue in a cookie-less world appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Klarna tracks third-party iframe with Universal Analytics’ cookieless approach

February 22, 2014 No Comments
Klarna is one of the biggest providers in Europe of in-store credit and invoice based payment solutions for the ecommerce sector. The company enables the end-consumer to order and receive products, then pay for them afterwards. Klarna assesses the credit and fraud risk for the  merchant, allowing the merchant to have a zero-friction checkout process – a win-win for the merchant-customer relationship.

Third-party domains pose a problem

Merchants use Klarna’s iframed checkout solution. The iframe is located on the merchant’s domain, but the actual iframe contents are hosted on  Klarna’s own domain. Browsers such as Safari on iPhone and iPad, and later generation desktop browsers such as Internet Explorer 10 prevent  third-party cookies by default. Many analytics solutions rely on the use of cookies though. In order to prevent the loss of nearly all iPhone visits and  many desktop visits, Klarna wanted to address this problem.

A cookieless approach to the rescue

Working with Google Analytics Certified Partner Outfox, Klarna found exactly what it needed in Universal Analytics, which introduces a set of features that change the way data is collected and organized in Google Analytics accounts. In addition to standard Google Analytics features, Universal Analytics provides new data collection methods, simplified feature configuration, custom dimensions and metrics, and multi-platform tracking.

“Thanks to Universal Analytics we can track the iframe on our merchants’ domains and be sure we get all traffic.”

– David Fock, Vice President Commerce, Klarna

In Klarna’s new cookieless approach, the “storage: none” option was selected in creating the account in Universal Analytics. The checkout iframe meanwhile uses a unique non-personally identifiable ‘client ID’. These measures cause Universal Analytics to disable cookies and instead use the client ID as a session identifier. Because no cookies are in use, browsers that don’t allow for third-party cookies aren’t an issue at all.

Virtual pageviews are sent on checkout form interactions. Custom dimensions and metrics are used for tagging a visit, with a dimension  indicating which merchant is hosting the iframe, and a metric showing what cart value the user brings to the checkout.

Complete tracking and assured analysis

With Universal Analytics features, Klarna ensures iframe tracking is complete across all browsers. By using the virtual pageviews as URL goals  and funnel steps, goal flow visualizations are used to find bottlenecks in the checkout flow. The new custom dimensions and metrics together with  ecommerce tracking mean that reports can now be set up to reveal how each merchant’s cart value correlates to its final transaction value.

Be sure to check out the whole case study here.Posted by the Google Analytics Team


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