- 12 de octubre, 2021

Can cookie-free audiences perform as well as cookie-based ones? Spoiler Alert: YES!

Rachel Gantz
Rachel Gantz
General Manager, Activation
Sean Pinkney
Sean Pinkney
Senior Director, Data Science

What if you had easy access to not only cookie-free audience segments but also, those audiences performed at a lower cost? And what if they did so at prices that made sense and could be applied to CTV, digital, mobile, and podcast inventory?

Programmatic advertising as we know it is well on its way to a new beginning with the upcoming loss of third-party cookies and potentially mobile ad identifiers as well -- and the rise of multiple alternative IDs. Though it seems like the quest for the perfect solution to replace third-party cookies in a more privacy-forward manner will continue, it is time that the programmatic industry viewed the deprecation of third-party cookies as a renaissance-like opportunity. As we navigate the future, those of us in the media industry cannot lose sight of why these changes have occurred. This is essentially all being done to create the best possible consumer experience online, which is a great thing.   

It is unlikely that the exact tools, techniques, and data sources that advertisers use today will be available or useful after third-party identifiers are deprecated. But there is plenty of room for a solution that can outshine cookie-based performance, such as privacy-forward audience targeting innovations that have the potential to maintain performance for advertisers and to do so at a fraction of the cost. Ultimately, we can all hope that a more privacy-forward approach to data will result in a more elevated value exchange for everyone. 

Current challenges with new alternatives  

At the outset, what are the challenges of the new alternative solutions? 

A successful marketing campaign should reach relevant audiences – wherever they are – at scale. The most pressing challenge marketers are facing today with promising new solutions, such as first-party data assets, is lack of scale. The data is mostly fragmented across industry players and is activated in silos. 

Second, it’s imperative for the industry to accept that we are now in the age of the audience. Today’s consumers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to what, when and where they engage with the media – whether it be at the box office, on live TV, on a digital device, or on OTT. The alternatives that are still based on a non-privacy-centric approach such as IP based identifiers, will be short-lived. 

Finally, a viable solution must be able to create the crosswalk between the deterministic and contextual audience signals seamlessly, without relying on persistent identifiers. Combining sophisticated contextual targeting with massive media consumption data assets can create a safe way to reach today’s privacy conscious consumers. 

A cookie-free option that delivers 

What if you had easy access to not only cookie-free audience segments but also, those segments performed at a lower cost? And what if they did so at prices that made sense and could be applied to CTV, digital, mobile, and podcast inventory?  

For more than a year, Comscore was hard at work creating a new cookie-free standard for modern audience targeting. That effort came to fruition earlier this year with the launch of Predictive Audiences - a targeting solution that doesn’t require the type of invasive user tracking or targeting frameworks that make consumers and regulators nervous. This solution instead translates granular consumer behaviors from Comscore’s massive opt-in panels -- built over 20 years -- into content-driven signals. 

Data at scale in itself doesn’t guarantee success. It should be capable of providing granularity to pinpoint optimal audiences and flexibility to meet individual brand needs. This belief led us to partner with leading best-of-breed data providers such as Eyeota, Polk, PlaceIQ, TransUnion, Retargetly, Spiketrap, and Commerce Signals (with more to come) to ensure that our solution enabled advertisers can reach audiences in a privacy-first manner to meet any KPI in a cost-effective way. 

Comscore’s approach to a cookie-free future is based on the principle of interoperability fit for purpose. We now have empirical data from our partners at H&L, that demonstrate that our Predictive Audiences perform as well as cookie-based audiences at a fraction of the cost. In a recent case study, a leading QSR brand was able to maintain the same campaign engagement performance with Predictive Audiences as with the cookie-based behavioral audiences they were used to, but at a 34% lower cost-per-click using Predictive Audiences. Furthermore, Comscore Predictive Audiences achieved 129% higher click-through rates and 59% lower cost-per-click compared to other contextual AI segments.  

All contextual solutions are not created equal 

As we prepare for the new programmatic reality, we want to ensure advertisers’ need for future-proof cross-platform targeting options that scale and deliver on KPIs – along with publishers’ need for audience insights to package ad inventory for direct, PMP and programmatic are met with a long-term approach. Let’s reiterate an important fact: the myth that the performance of privacy-forward audience targeting innovations will pale in comparison to cookie-based performance is just that, a myth!  

The other key takeaway we want to leave you with is that all AI-driven contextual solutions are not created equal. Our competitors – and really anyone who wishes – may be able to get great contextual data across the web. There are various ways to gather information across millions of websites and to utilize open-source data sets to enhance the contextual data. However, the key ingredient lacking from context is the human-behavioral component, and how people traverse the web across these contexts. This is what differentiates Comscore Predictive Audiences from the competition. 

Comscore’s consented panel provides tremendous insight into how people interact with web content and how these contexts influence consumer behavior. The power of a larger and robust panel of hundreds of thousands of households (or panelists) combined with state-of-the-art machine learning – continually refreshed with up-to-date behaviors from the panel – drives our cookie-free solution. It also respects people’s right to privacy by combining offline panel behavior with rich contextual data. We believe that Comscore Predictive Audiences is the first solution to equal ID-based solutions while fully respecting privacy.   

In a world of infinite programmatic options, do not risk your brand with sub-par performance. Learn more about Comscore Predictive Audiences or contact us today for more information.