Future-proofing ad sales growth through first-party data

How to thrive in the US with changes in privacy protection

Lessons from conversations with leading publishers, commerce players, and telecom across the Americas

The journey toward a more private internet

According to Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends survey, more than 40% of US consumers don’t trust online services to protect their data. Over the past few years, online users have similarly become increasingly aware of the use and value of their data online, including in advertising.

More recently, concerns for privacy have also led to announcements by major digital platforms to put more control in the hands of the customer and to withdraw their support of third-party cookies on most browsers.

Together, these consumer, regulatory, and platform changes are having, and could continue to have, profound implications for the way advertising is bought and sold across the Americas.

Future-proofing ad sales growth through first-party data

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Embracing a privacy-centric future

In light of the value publishers, commerce players, and telecom can create from collecting and leveraging first-party data, Google commissioned Deloitte to investigate how they are making the most of this opportunity.

Building on Deloitte’s 2019 research on data maturity in publishing and its research into European publisher responses to recent privacy changes, this report, based on a survey and in-depth interviews with publishers, commerce players, and telecom across the Americas, aims to:

  • Articulate how large sell-side players view recent privacy changes
  • Share how these market leaders have captured, stored, and built on their first-party data to create a strong foundation for their ad sales efforts

The report and the move toward removing support for third-party cookies should also encourage those who, despite having access to first-party data, have not yet prioritized its use in their ad sales operations to focus on this opportunity.

Impact on digital ad sales

By providing a primary source of insight into consumers and their journey across the internet, third-party cookies have played a central role at every step of the programmatic journey.

The withdrawal of support for third-party cookies, driven by a desire to preserve privacy, will therefore influence a company’s ability to gain insight into customer behavior outside of its own platforms and, in so doing, impact all major activities that make digital ad sales possible.

The time is now

Google’s decision to delay the withdrawal of its support of third-party cookies in Chrome until the second half of 2023 has given publishers who are yet to progress their first-party efforts an opportunity to catch up.

At the same time, with respondents reporting years spent in dialogue with internal stakeholders, selecting and procuring the right capabilities and developing the right use cases for their data, 2023 can hardly be considered very far away.

If you have not yet done so, we therefore strongly encourage you to consider the following actions:

  1. Get up to speed and keep abreast of both technological and legal developments impacting first-party data and privacy
  2. Craft a strategy that focuses on the most important drivers of long-term value for your business and is able to flex with changes in the market
  3. Experiment with multiple approaches
  4. Make clear, bold choices that take your limitations into account
  5. Turn your back on alluring quick fixes that would conflict with your view of what privacy is all about or undermine your competitive advantage in the medium term

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