Continuing our 2024 Partner Predictions series, the Digilant team sat down with Brent Gaskamp, VP of Platform Partnerships at Oracle Advertising. With third-party cookie deprecation on the horizon (set to take place in late 2024), Brent discussed the proactive measures the industry is taking to prepare for the shift, shedding light on what advertisers may see in terms of measurement, consumer trends, audience targeting, and more. Let’s dive in!
The new year is a big one for our industry as Google will deprecate third-party cookies. What can agencies do today to prepare for deprecation as it pertains to audience targeting?
“As brands, advertisers, agencies, platforms, and data providers, we have a duty to consumers to protect their privacy. I think it starts there fundamentally.” – Brent Gaskamp, VP of Platform Partnerships at Oracle
As the use of third-party cookies grew, they came under scrutiny as user privacy concerns increased throughout the years. Apple became one of the first companies to implement changes to its browser and operating systems to protect consumer privacy sparking a much larger, industry-wide conversation on third-party cookies and privacy. Google’s move to deprecate third-party cookies is arguably the final nail in the third-party cookie coffin.
Fortunately, advertisers have had time to prepare for the change since its initial announcement in 2019. So, how do advertisers and brands get the signals they need so that they can accomplish their goals, in a medium where consumers are spending their time?
Brent notes a significant shift toward cookieless environments, particularly in CTV and mobile. We are seeing that cookie environments are eroding since advertisers have been proactively investing in CTV and mobile solutions.
In terms of audience targeting, what changes should advertisers expect? For one, there may be new identifiers put in place and an increase in Mobile Ad IDs (MAIDS) as consumers continue to spend more time browsing and shopping on mobile devices. With new identifiers, the industry could experience more fragmentation – there won’t be a one-size fits all solution.
And with the primary focus on first-party data, Brent says we may see an increase in walled gardens, “whether it’s a paywall or a a login to access your social or streaming accounts, there’s a lot of first party user data out there that’s enabled brands and advertisers to reach consumers in a lot of different places.”
Overall, data collaboration in the industry will be paramount. Companies like Oracle are working to support multiple identifiers and leverage a broad array of non-cookie dependent data to provide advertisers the signals they need for success.
What considerations should advertisers keep in mind when attempting contextual brand safe advertising?
What’s important to note is that contextual advertising is not just about brand safety, but brand suitability. Brent cites an example where removing the word “knife” from brand safety criteria led to misguided targeting for a cooking-related product. While it is imperative for advertisements to appear in brand-safe environments free of negative and harmful content, advertisers must still consider the broad context of their ads to reduce missed opportunities. In today’s evolving video-centric landscape, consumers are increasingly engaged with more dynamic and interactive ads than ever before, and advertisers can use that to their advantage.
As we continue to move away from cookies, there is no more, as Brent says, “easy button” for advertisers to push. While complexity will remain in the post-cookie era, Brent says that “we have a toolbox, and there’s a lot of tools in it that our industry provides us.” In 2024 and beyond, the focus must gravitate towards understanding consumer engagement in different content environments and strategically sourcing inventory to achieve optimal outcomes for brands.
What do you think are some big bets that advertisers should keep their eyes on in 2024?
Last but not least: Oracle’s big bets in the new year.
As mentioned previously, an emphasis on first-party data will be prevalent as advertisers hone in on their third-party cookieless strategies. As such, retail media networks and advertising solutions powered by more enduring data signals like retail data will continue to be a driving force as they garner insights from customers.
Brent also anticipates a focus on frictionless buys for consumers. In the ongoing effort to improve the consumer experience, many platforms are allowing transactions immediately within their platform, reducing the amount of steps for a consumer to make a purchase. With less friction, advertisers can reach consumers to drive conversions as they are directly engaged with content.
Lastly, local and regional advertisers may start shifting their linear TV budgets to CTV inventory. Historically, this has been a limited and expensive option for these advertisers, but with the opportunities available for granular targeting in the CTV space, these advertisers may have more of a voice in their media buys.
We would like to extend a big thank you to Brent Gaskamp and the Oracle team for taking the time to chat with us!