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What The Future of Identity Means for Publishers

by Matthew Dicecca, on Jun 7, 2021 3:41:12 PM

2021 is no doubt a crucial year for ad tech, mainly due to the fact that our main source of identifying consumers - cookies - are soon to be no more.

There are many other changes, such as Apples's new IDFA restrictions , that are becoming increasingly concerning for many publishers as they look to prepare for this new future of identity.

Here at Criteo we are partnered with top media publisher executives tasked with solving this problem for their organization. What we have heard is that many publishers have preparations well underway to adopting stable and long-lasting alternatives, which will redefine the image of the internet as a safe medium for consumers.  

The Evolving Ecosystem 

The move away from third-party cookies is an opportunity for quality publishers, given the sheer value of their audiences that interact with premium publisher content. Publishers in some ways will still need to evolve and adapt, but for many, that’s not so daunting a task.  

With change often comes opportunity; in this case, the opportunity for a safer internet, a better user experience, more collaboration, and ultimately a sustainable and value-driven future in ad tech.

Digital advertising is being rebuilt from the ground up, which is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. 

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A Shift In Alternative Targeting Solutions 

With a resurgence in alternative targeting solutions, such as contextual advertising, many publishers may be unsure how to take advantage of this shift in the digital landscape. Some have started to redefine their relationships with the consumer through targeted partnerships and more engaging products. Others are taking a wider look at the market and trying to understand which solutions are right for them.  

There may not be a ’right’ answer, but we all agree something needs to be done.

While we consider the consumers and the new ways we will need to reach them, publishers need to be able to leverage the data they already have to bring consumers the control, choice, transparency, and privacy they are demanding. 

Many companies like to practice a fast follow strategy when new technological opportunities arise, but this year we will see a great deal of enthusiasm to lean into change and learn from experimenting. As our industry evolves, so are the strategies for alternative targeting, solutions around first-party data, contextual tools, and the value of other non-PII data signals. 

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Where Publishers Should Be Focusing Their Efforts 

Publishers are in a unique position as our industry enters a phase of customer-centric transformation. Publishers have the advantage of access to two highly valuable components: their audience and their audience’s consented data or first party data. 

While we strongly believe that building and maintaining first-party data will be key, it’s just one piece of the puzzle – it's going to be critical to leverage this data in the right way.

What’s becoming increasingly important is the need to be surgical in who publishers partner with to help leverage the full extent of that data, so personalized advertising will live on to drive value for the consumer, the advertiser, and the publisher. 

Though ad tech may seem to be in a constant state of flux, we as an industry are equipped with the right tools to build a customer-driven future. We hope and expect that the pendulum of control will continue to swing the way of publishers. 

To learn more about how Criteo is helping publisher prepare for the future, check out clean.io’s Q1 2021 Smart Report Webinar. 

Topics:InsiderAdOps Strategy

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