Now that Google has reaffirmed it will deprecate third-party cookies for all users in the third quarter of 2024, it’s clear that marketers need to get their post-cookie plans in place, including how and where identity solutions fit.
Earlier this month, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab introduced its Identity Solutions Guidance, which explores what identity solutions are, how they can be integrated into workflows, and how marketers can evaluate their effectiveness.
Here are four takeaways from the guidance to help marketers better understand the role of identity solutions and what makes them most effective.
Identity solutions don’t just help marketers more accurately target consumers. They have a role in each step of the marketing journey, per the IAB’s guidance.
Marketers need to understand when and where they can find consumers that are likely to purchase their product or service. Identity solutions can help find unique consumers across different channels.
They can also help marketers match identities across companies and platforms, find new audiences matching buyer requirements, and glean important pre-campaign insights like total reach for a target audience or past performance.
Targeting and activation
Identity solutions can identify traffic on a publisher website and connect it to an advertiser’s audience, making it easier to buy or sell impressions for a given audience segment, control or direct advertising spend where it’s most effective, and stop ad buys on suspected invalid traffic sources.
Reporting and attribution
Accurate reporting requires understanding each consumer’s actions. Identity solutions can help underpin aggregated metrics and provide marketers with more detailed insights and trends. They also can enable attribution to see who viewed or clicked an ad, or which actions resulted in a purchase.
Deterministic solutions rely on attributes that are relatively permanent and associated with one person or household, like an email address or a phone number.
Probabilistic solutions use data gathered from the devices a consumer uses, how they connect to the internet or specific applications, or methods that are used to track consumers across the internet. Examples include IP address, device details, or settings.
To achieve both scale and precision, marketers must combine both types of solutions for maximized efficiency, according to the guidance.
Interoperability between different identity solutions enables the different parties in the digital ecosystem to communicate with each other, increasing reach and scale for advertisers. Ideally, interoperability will enable:
But there are a few challenges to achieving interoperability, according to the IAB’s guidance. This includes matching IDs based on diverse data sets, matching IDs with different definitions of individuals and households, and consumer privacy-related methods like Apple’s “hide my email” that make it difficult to match identities across contexts.
Still, a few solutions have emerged that enable ID interoperability, including identity graphs (usually provided by identity resolution services), real-time ID resolution through client or server-side API integration, and data clean rooms.
Not every identity solution is made the same, and not every identity solution will be right for every situation. To select the right solution for the right use, the IAB’s guidance suggests marketers evaluate the following:
This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.