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Soon the last cookie will be eaten - leaving no crumbs behind.

All traces gone. As gloomy as it sounds, it is unfortunately true. And it won't be as easy in the future as it was back then, when we could follow the crumbs and see where the users were hanging out. So this is all about the crumbs that 3rd party cookies leave behind and the methods of tracking them down - 3rd party tracking.

Paul Röhrig, Head of Media & Partner Management at Converto, explains in a one Minute Read how the situation for targeting, tracking and targeted advertising is changing, what we have to prepare for and what solutions actually are available.

Picture by Leah Rolando on Pexels

Paul, what is actually going on right now?

You know I'm honest, so here's the deal:

By the end of 2023, around 80% of the users we were able to follow with 3rd party cookies will no longer be identifiable.

Why is that?

First of all, there is a social need for more control and transparency of one's own, mostly unwittingly disclosed data. This need is followed by laws and regulations in data protection. On the technical side, partly caused by this, but also due to economic motivation, increasing technical restrictions are developing in browsers, starting with Safari, then Firefox and now with Google Sandbox and, of course, cross-site tracking and all forms of targeting dependent on 3rd party cookies. Therefore: By 2023, around 80% of the users we were able to follow with 3rd party cookies will no longer be identifiable. And for advertising this means: no tracking, no frequency capping, no attribution, no (re)targeting, etc.

It doesn't take much to understand the changes this will bring.

What does this mean for the advertising industry?

  • If users lose their "advertising" identity, it becomes less attractive for advertisers to pay the same prices and the value of the advertising placement decreases. For the publisher, this means a loss of advertising revenue.

  • For the advertiser, the question will arise as to how the success of campaigns will be measured in the future and whether it will still be possible to address the target group in a relevant way.

  • and in the area of media planning, agencies will be confronted with which offers they can make in the future, how budget allocations will be justified and controlling will become more difficult.

That sounds like a big challenge for everyone involved. What is happening to meet this development in a solution-oriented and rule-compliant way?

Google has certainly given an important impulse for (re)thinking with its announcement and the industry has taken this impulse seriously. That's why a lot has happened in the last few months:

Because users are no longer identifiable for publishers and advertisers with the abolition of 3rd party cookies, there are now various approaches from the industry to still carry out highly efficient campaigns.

The First Party Publisher ID

The cookie is set for the user by the publisher while surfing, which at least enables identification within the publisher site and thus, for example, frequency capping. Depending on the size and relevance of the publisher, this model cannot necessarily be scaled and is very similar to a walled garden.

Another development is login alliances - "Unified ID 2.0, European NetID, Liveramp". In Switzerland, Onelog is a local example of a login alliance. Login alliances realise the addressability of users via a Single Sign On (SSO). Scalability is also an issue here. These approaches are now gaining momentum as more and more players join one of the consortia.

Providers of so-called data clean rooms also offer very exciting approaches.

This approach pursues the idea of uniting (stitching) advertiser and publisher 1st party data to enable attribution and scaled targeting. Rather costly, but once established, well scalable. (

Context-based targeting is currently experiencing a real revival and some providers are even revolutionising their business model (Criteo). This has nothing to do with tracking. However, this possibility offers potential for a relevant approach.

Machine learning and AI providers are coming up with initial approaches in communication aimed at modelling targeting and tracking. Currently, these solutions create the impression of a black box, as mechanisms, algorithms and signals used are not entirely comprehensible and tangible.

This is a good overview of solutions whose development, investments and applications you should definitely stay informed about. It looks like competitors are working on joint solutions?

Yes, overall it is exciting to see players working hand in hand and offering inspiring alternatives to FLoC targeting despite competitive relationships. For the digital advertising market, we believe in industry-wide neutral standards and are convinced that these will prevail.

For advertisers, it is a smart way to combine different approaches. (Publisher 1st party publisher ID, login alliances, contextual targeting). This can be a long-term and promising solution.

Why did Google move the date?

The whole issue revolves around "privacy protection", which Google brings together in the Privacy Sandbox. Google is postponing the launch of the Sandbox in the EU due to concerns about the GDPR.

What's next for Converto?

Converto and its development team are at the forefront of developments in this area. Already today we can offer our customers fully functional intelligent campaigns even without the use of 3rd party cookies. One example of this is the targeted distribution of online (display/video/native) and cross-media (email/mail) advertising. This is done using the latest contextual targeting technology.

Another example is Converto's Dynamic Creative Optimization that can be found in Feed Based Advertising. Here, content, messages, service offers, products with and without eCommerce advertising are advertised dynamically and contextually via Converto's Grid20 completely detached from cookies and optimized based on data.

We are ready for the future!


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