If publishers want to be competitive, they need to be prepared for cookies

Todd Tran, CSO of Tides

The Cell CiderA column written by the sales party of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Todd Tran, Chief Strategy Officer, Teads.

Preparing for The future of cookiesPublishers have made strong improvements to their business models Some are focusing on high-quality content, others are gathering first-party data from users logged into their site. At the same time, advertising and by-side platforms are trying to develop solutions for the cookie-free world.

While these developments are undoubtedly encouraging, they are not antidotes.

If publishers want to make sure they’re set to succeed by the end of next year, they have to take matters into their own hands now – and that means giving users real value.

Cookies are two steps to success

To prepare for the future, some companies are gathering around Unified IDs, which are anonymous IDs that track users across the web.

Personally, I hope more publishers will sign up for the Unified ID initiative. In my opinion, this is a really good solution. But it’s an incredibly difficult solution, too.

In order to be able to achieve a functional scale with Unified IDs, publishers need to create a strong price exchange to persuade their users to log in, which can take years. What’s more, Unified ID initiatives need to reach a point where a large portion of publishers have chosen. Not to mention there are several competing solutions that are not currently interoperable.

Although I believe that Unified IDs will find a place in our ecosystem in one form or another, it is out of your destiny to rely on them alone to rescue you in the world of cookies.

Still, the advent of the cookies world is a chance to win business from competitors who are not ready for publishers. And it takes only two steps to effectively prepare for the inevitability.

1. Provide true values

While having a login user is not the only way to gain first-party data, it does provide more depth of information. But, like Unified ID, it is a tough fight for users to register. In order for sign-ups to get what they desperately need, publishers must create a content and monetization strategy based on a strong price exchange. Users need a strong reason to register and log in. There are already many successful examples of this exchange in the market, such as The Independent, which gives customers “limited access to premium articles, exclusive newsletters, comments and virtual events. Our leading journalists.”

2. Accounts for anonymous users

Since most publishers do not have enough login users to scale to the same level using third-party cookies, they need to use technology that enables them to gain insight into the behavior of anonymous users. Initially, this includes solutions that track anonymous activity on the publisher’s site, but not anywhere else. Relevant signals and AI or predictive listeners can also help.

By prioritizing these two steps, publishers are giving advertisers the best opportunity to buy sustainable media that delivers real business results.

Get ready today for the future

As cookie depreciation approaches, publishers need to prioritize user identification and targeting. And they need to do that today. Failure to adjust business models prematurely will almost certainly have an adverse effect on the bottom line.

On the other hand, the sooner publishers solve problems, the sooner they will be in control of their own destiny and gain a competitive advantage. Where there is danger, there is opportunity.

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