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Updates: Planning for a Cookieless Future



Adtech platforms are preparing for the elimination of cookie data for audience targeting and measurement with timing for the “death of the cookie” expected by the end of 2023, when Google has stated Chrome will no longer allow third-party cookie tracking.

Here are three recent updates to track:

    1. Chrome Topics API
      Google Chrome’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) was a solution to have advertisers and sites show relevant ads to consumers without using cookies to track users across the web. Community feedback was mixed and Chrome has now transitioned their new targeting solution into Topics. Topics is a methodology for serving relevant ads by identifying the top three interests that you are browsing and potentially serving ads based on those categories. The tracking is only held within your machine for up to three weeks and then deleted. It is unknown how effective ads will perform for clients since it is a “suggested” level of targeting. Google is hopeful this will be the right balance of privacy for consumers and targeting for advertisers, and is anticipating beta testing to launch by the end of Q1.
    2. Clean Rooms for Measurement
      Government regulation, consumer privacy expectations and tech/platform updates are all impacting measurement opportunities and audience insights for brands. To combat this, Rain the Growth Agency has the ability to incorporate a “Clean Room” methodology to allow advertisers to understand how users are interacting with their brand/products. A data clean room is a secure environment that enables the connection of distributed aggregated data across multiple platforms without PII sharing. It allows brands and third parties to bring together their data by enabling cross-sharing without giving up data ownership – which enables privacy-safe data collaboration and generation of new insights through data matching that may not otherwise be possible.
    3. Apple iOS 15 Update
      Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS15, was released September 20, 2021 and brought additional privacy setting options to users, affecting targeting and tracking capabilities for advertisers. One of the major changes in iOS 15 is “Mail Privacy Protection,” which prevents the sender from tracking email opens for Apple Mail users. Depending on opt-in rates and Apple Mail adoption, we estimate this may affect tracking for 5% – 25% of users within an advertiser’s email list. Rain the Growth Agency’s Digital Analytics team has been monitoring performance over the past few months across clients, and while reporting has not seen a significant change, this may be because Apple is preloading email data for opened and unopened emails, resulting in less reliable email open rates. We recommend clients include clickable links with tracking embedded within emails, and monitoring performance over time, to gain additional insights into recipients and engagement.We also recommend focusing on email content that is highly engaging to your users to maximize engagement, matching with the email drip strategy incorporating seasonality and date-based triggers.

Rain the Growth Agency will continue to monitor platform updates and more as we prepare clients for the next phase of the identity-scape.

This article is featured in Media Impact Report No. 32.

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