The Inadvia Insights Series: Google’s cookie murder is a good thing … for closed-loop adtech verticals

In this instalment of Inadvia Insights, Inadvia CPO Arthur Cole shares his thoughts on Google’s recent cookie phase-out news.


We’ve all read the news, the writing is on the wall. Google plans to terminate the third-party cookie on Chrome (66% share of the browsing market) by 2022. This has the AdTech world in a spin. DMPs, multi-touch attribution companies and others relying heavily on third-party data are now forced to innovate or die. The programmatic open web as we know it, is gone.

But this is nothing new to some of us. Having worked on an entirely mobile web business, we faced this issue every day, no data on Safari! What I learned, the hard way, is how easy it is to create programmatic tactics that rely heavily on infused data sets. In many cases direct PMPs were copied time after time, inheriting the data targeting of the last line item as well as calling a higher group level data set. Looking for users that match and finding less than 1% of them across billions of impressions.

As a new decade unfolds, we are in an exciting time of new programmatic media sources, the likes of in-game, digital out of home, inflight and plenty of other vertical-specific vendors creating a closed-loop business of their own. Each of these require a dedicated tactic to ensure amazing reach and creative executions, and, none of them rely on 3rd party data sets to reach an audience. Context is king once more, but let’s be honest it was always king. Knowing where your audience are and where they’re going, why they’re going there and what they want, has always been key to advertising.

The most exciting thing about the shift is the opportunity this has to unlock programmatic’s true potential. Somewhere in the last few years we lost sight of what programmatic was here to solve for us, the automation was overlooked and a complex eco-system of DSP, SSP and DMP structure took over. Leaving all brands looking for the 1% and wasting billions of impressions with a series of ‘no bid responses’. How many programmatic specialists out there have buried their head in bid request/response data and asked the question ‘can you take your data targeting off, please?’

None of this is to say that data isn’t important, the value of first-party data just went through the roof and digital publishers and aggregators now have a tough, but lucrative, challenge on their hands. This plays into the story of the new media sources, all coming with an abundance of their own 1st party data, be it gamer tags or frequent flyer IDs. None of which can be accessed outside of the vertical. Now we move to a world where the trader can activate different line items across multiple sources and start to bring back the creativity that advertising was born with. What is it about WHY the user is in this space that makes the advertising so relevant? Where are they going and how can we help them get there? No longer do we have to force a cookie match to find a high net worth 45-year-old that loves fried chicken on Sundays.

At the end of 2019 there was a whiff of resolve for Programmatic. The PIE (Programmatic Is Everything) was coined and started to become something for us to believe in. Now, with the death of the cookie as we know it, I say to you that we are in the world of PIES. Programmatic IS Everything….Still.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn here on 17th January 2020.