ID Solutions 2.0: Navigating What’s Next

April 29, 2024

Authored by Jeff Ragovin, CEO

ID Solutions 2.0: Navigating What’s Next

Despite the lengthy build-up to Google’s deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome, 2024 still feels like a bit of a fire drill for advertisers looking to maintain the ability to target relevant audiences across sites, at scale. Fortunately, the ad tech industry has laid a tremendous amount of groundwork for the post-cookie world.

The infrastructure and approaches required for success in the marketing landscape of the future are coming into greater focus every day, and one thing is abundantly clear: There’s no single replacement for cookies. Rather, there are many replacements for cookies—and their aggregate power will help advertisers achieve greater results than they ever could have achieved via cookie-centric approaches. In fact, more than half (52%) of marketers say they expect an increase in revenue after the end of third-party cookies.

However, realizing these results is going to take some pivoting.

Advertisers and their partners are embracing privacy-safe alternative ID solutions capable of recognizing and remembering users, without relying on cookies. Those seeking even stronger results are simultaneously supercharging their approaches with first-party data and contextual strategies capable of up-leveling campaign relevance and effectiveness.

The Benefits of Alternative Identifiers

Today, the concentration of power that existed within third-party cookies is being dispersed among a handful of post-cookie user identifiers that exist in various forms. Some of the leading options today include:

  • Deterministic IDs: These IDs include RampID and UID2.0, as well as remaining mobile advertising IDs (MAIDs) and the IDs associated with other connected TV (CTV) viewing devices.
  • Dynamic IDs: These IDs include ID5 and Panorama, both of which represent probabilistic IDs that become increasingly stable as they’re supported by deterministic signals, such as hashed email, RampID and UID2, first-party cookies, MAIDs, CTV IDs and others.

As we move forward, what’s most important is not the picking and choosing of one alternative ID over others, but rather that we ensure our industry can connect the dots among them. We must employ technology infrastructure that can drive signal recognition across channels, with the highest degree of fidelity possible.

Identity Amplified by First-Party Data and Context

Alternative identifiers, when leveraged in an interoperable framework, are laying the foundation for strong user profiling, targeting, frequency capping, measurement and attribution in a post-cookie reality. But our industry shouldn’t stop there. Both contextual targeting and first-party data have powerful roles to play in the future of addressability. Advertisers shouldn’t have to choose between audience targeting and contextual for their campaigns; they should be looking for solutions that combine the superpowers of both.

Contextual targeting’s beauty lies in its ability to target pages rather than people for a more privacy-forward approach, while also enabling brands to reach consumers in relevant environments. At the same time, first-party data, collected by brands directly from consumers, offers valuable insights into a company’s customers—including where they’re most receptive to messaging online. Taken together, first-party data and contextual targeting combine the precision of audiences with the reach and relevance of context.

Using unique semantic user and page profiles, this innovative combined approach leverages first-party data to develop a model that identifies where the seed audience and others like it are most likely to be. At Semasio, this is the approach we employed when we set about building ContextualPLUS, which combines strategic first-party data use with technology that can predict where ideal audiences will be online and boost engagement and reach among those audiences.

Ultimately, the end of the third-party cookie does not mean the end of user identifiability or addressability—far from it. By leveraging solutions that unite the power of alternative ID interoperability, first-party data and contextual targeting, marketers can extend the reach of their campaigns to discover previously untapped audiences that share similar interests and behaviors with current customers, in the places they’re most engaged and receptive to relevant messages.

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