Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Preparing for a privacy-first internet

By Ben Williams Founder & Managing Director of Kiln

As the digital advertising industry faces the phasing out of third-party cookies next year, publishers and advertisers are grappling with the challenge of transitioning to a more private internet. The increasing reliance on third-party cookies and the lack of privacy have led to growing concerns among users of the data collected about them. These concerns have become even more significant for the digital advertising industry, and to put the privacy headwind into context, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature hit Facebook’s 2022 earnings to the tune of $10B.

At Kiln, we recognize these challenges and have spent the past few months talking to our key partners about this burning topic. The consistent feedback we received is that the window to take action is shortening and building a first-party data strategy will mitigate these challenges. By building privacy-compliant user stores and investing in data strategies, publishers and advertisers can future-proof their business by collecting and leveraging their audience’s data in accordance with GDPR and CCPA, and create targeted and effective advertising that drives revenue and increases the value of inventory.

To help our clients prepare for this impending change, we’ve launched a dedicated data offering called ‘Pulse’. Using our proprietary methodology – developed from our work building data solutions across the media, entertainment, and financial markets sectors – we enable our customers to create value from structured and unstructured data from a range of direct and alternative sources (web, social, programmatic, proxy etc). Our proprietary methodologies create ETL (extract, form, load) processes that automate data ingestion, standardise data, and build first-party data warehouses. Once the data is standardised and organised, we layer in data science, AI analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing to help make sense of the data using an analytics engine.

This first-party data can then be used in the programmatic marketplace to identify your audience utilising existing methodologies – such as bi-lateral ID sync’s – in a compliant and future-facing way. By leveraging our expertise and data solutions, publishers and advertisers can continue to create unique and personalised experiences for their audience, differentiating themselves from others in the marketplace and monetizing audiences at their true CPM or CPA.

The impending end of third-party cookies presents a unique opportunity for publishers and advertisers to invest in first-party data strategies that will become increasingly important in the post-cookie world. By building a privacy-compliant first-party user store, publishers and advertisers can collect and leverage their audience’s data, creating targeted and effective advertising that drives revenue and increases the value of inventory. These strategies can also prepare your business for the future of targeted advertising on the internet, such as Google’s Protected Audience API – previously known FLEDGE.

A key consideration for future strategies is user experience, especially for digital natives such as Gen Z. Amassing first-party data is valuable to the publisher, so why not be transparent and share that value with the audience who read your content, watch your videos, play your games and ultimately buy your products? Develop simple but effective user experiences to incentivise your audience to share their personal information, and be transparent on how you and ultimately the community benefit from this. Simple examples and ideas are discounts or rewards from advertising partners, access to exclusive content or competitions. Each publisher and advertiser have different audiences (for example, Vice is very different to MailOnline), so tailor the value exchange accordingly. 

At Kiln, we can help publishers and advertisers build data strategies that differentiate your audiences from others in the marketplace. Our experience working with clients in the media, entertainment, and financial markets sectors has given us a unique perspective on data solutions, making us an ideal partner for publishers and advertisers looking to navigate the challenges posed by the end of third-party cookies. 

Smart publishers and advertisers recognise the importance of investing in first-party data strategies as the digital advertising industry faces the phasing out of third-party cookies. Engaging user experiences coupled with transparent first-party data collection will fuel growth by working with the impending headwinds. Furthermore, standardising and differentiating the audience data will enable brands and publishers to thrive in a privacy-first internet. By partnering with experts like Kiln, publishers and advertisers can create privacy-compliant first-party user stores and leverage audience data in a way that is future-facing. This will help create unique and personalised experiences for advertisers, differentiate the publisher’s audiences in the marketplace, and future-proof your digital business.