First-Party Data Strategies for a Transparent Supply Chain and Advertising Ecosystem


With third-party cookies eventually set to fade away, marketers, advertisers, and adtech companies are tasked with rewriting the future of ad targeting. Industry players are seeking alternative solutions to create a more transparent supply chain and future-proofed digital advertising ecosystem. In such a scenario, Anudit Vikram, chief product officer, MediaMath, discusses why they should reprioritize first-party identity solutions and how to create a first-party data strategy.

The constant flux around the impending demise of third-party cookies has drastically transformed the digital advertising ecosystem and supply chain while simultaneously emphasizing how critical first-party data is and will be in the future. 

The third-party cookie was invented to persist data in a stateless connection but quickly evolved to become the mechanism that underpinned advertising on the internet. On more granular levels, its original purpose was to ensure items put in online shopping carts did not just vanish and daily visits to The New York Times did not require a daily login. But the fact that those actions happened and the data about them could persist and be shared allowed the creation of a vibrant ecosystem, enabling targeted and measurable advertising across the open web. 

But as digital advertising standards evolved and users became more sophisticated, the industry realized that the third-party cookie model institutes certain privacy flaws. In fact, a recent MediaMath surveyOpens a new window revealed that 51% of consumers are not comfortable with websites tracking their online behavior and capturing personal information.

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Marketers, advertisers, and adtech companies have been tasked with rewriting the future of ad targeting. Yet, many are still unsure how to preserve targeting and measurement practices to drive business results and adhere to consumers’ privacy and transparency concerns in a third-party cookie-free future. Industry players will seek alternative solutions that advance current one-to-one capabilities and promote addressability and privacy-forward approaches. Concurrently, advertisers and publishers demand transparency within the digital supply chain.

To continue creating a more transparent supply chain and future-proofed digital advertising ecosystem, advertisers, marketers, and agencies must reprioritize and focus on activating first-party identity solutions to stabilize a complex and fragmented industry. 

Why Does First-party Data Matter?

While there is no shortage of cookieless solutions, publishers and marketers need a pathway to connect users, advertisers, and inventory once third-party identifiers are officially gone. Brands require a privacy-safe and sustainable solution, and a first-party user ID model can provide significant benefits. 

First-party solutions are more accurate, privacy-friendly, and movable and offer higher data fidelity across the programmatic supply path than the old third-party model. 

Companies like IBM Watson Advertising are already conducting business with a post-third party cookie mentality. Recently, the technology company integrated with an industry-leading DSP to help brands turn relationships between weather by location and complex data sets like health conditions, product sales, and consumer activity into actionable solutions and insights. A partnership like this showcases how marketers can access premium inventory to guide addressable engagements with appropriate audiences for the right volume, allowing for accountability and supply chain alignment. 

The First-party Data Strategy

The most apparent winners of the demise of third-party cookies are the web’s walled gardens, especially Google and Facebook, which have treasure troves of data on users and their browsing habits. As a result, brands are taking action to remain competitive. Marketers are rushing to gather first-party information on consumers to assemble thousands, or even millions, of detailed customer profiles. Gathering first-party data has long been a priority for brands, but the urgency has been heightened. Concurrently, the survey mentioned above revealed that 74% of consumers are willing to share first-party data, such as their demographic information or email addresses, directly with brands if it improves their online experiences.  

On the publisher side, using authenticated logged-in users to create persistent identifiers will gain prominence in the absence of third-party cookies. Publishers will begin to build more login walls to enable the development of first-party data-based audience sets. Marketers and ecosystem participants will also need to work with publishers using technologies such as clean rooms and privacy-centric data lakes to share identity across various systems and run attribution models using them.

Nonetheless, with so many first-party ID solutions entering the market, scale is critical. 

Redesigning Transparency and Measurement

The activation of first-party identity solutions creates a more transparent and scalable programmatic supply chain. To ensure success and scale, advertisers need a supply chain that is addressable, accountable, and aligned. But what exactly does that mean? 

  • Addressable in the sense that the buyer has the right to know who is buying, providing transparency that an actual user receives said advertising message. 
  • Accountable, as in there is a clear understanding of a myriad of fees, costs, and overheads applied across the various transaction points of the supply chain. 
  • Aligned in the point where the buyer and the seller allow complete insight into the value exchange occurring between them.

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Stepping Into the Future

The world of cookies is changing. As brand marketers, advertisers, publishers, and adtech companies get ready for the new privacy-first world, the first-party cookie comes into play more significantly. Industry players have the opportunity to get back to the core of their relationship with consumers and lean on the data that users directly share with them as a starting point. 

More than ever, marketers must take control of their tech to make effective choices and maximize their investments. Thousands of brands and their agencies will test dependable and agile platforms to execute their marketing campaigns to ensure they outperform their competition and provide users with the one-to-one experiences they seek.

Considering the ever-evolving landscape and the planned phasing out of third-party cookies, brands need intelligent, scalable targeting solutions to reach customers, maintain consumer privacy, and protect their brands.

How are you developing a first-party data strategy for a transparent supply chain and future-proofed advertising ecosystem? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .

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