Over the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of changes in digital advertising.
In the early days, advertisers purchased “guaranteed inventory buys” directly from a few publishers, relying on publishers to manage who should see an ad and how often they should see it. The publisher was fully responsible for delivering effective campaign performance.
As digital advertising evolved, programmatic buying in real-time auctions gave advertisers more hands-on management for their ad campaigns.
Now advertisers can decide which audiences to target, whether through open-exchange purchases running across any publisher on the web or private marketplace purchases running with specific publishers, like AdThrive!
For example, a fashion brand might focus advertising on consumers who added cozy joggers (so 2021!) to their cart but never checked out.
Or, a company that sells cleaning supplies might show ads to consumers who purchased their product in the last three months (which these days could be a massive group of people!) using third-party data from grocery store transactions.
When third-party cookies disappear, many of these functions advertisers depend on will not be possible in the same way.
The industry has been looking for technical solutions to rebuild advertising without third-party cookies. We’re spending a lot of time making sure Google’s Privacy Sandbox works as effectively as possible for all our AdThrive publishers.
However, there’s a path we have complete control over that we can pursue in parallel: sales!
Direct ad sales give advertisers the results they want
Direct sales offerings can give advertisers more of what they’re looking for and restore the capabilities they care about most.
When third-party cookies go away, the pendulum between automation and custom advertiser programs is primed to swing back towards more tailored ad products, like the work our sales team does.
Digital privacy is fueling the industry’s shift away from third-party cookies. When advertisers were asked about how that will impact their spending, 30% said they would be less likely to spend on ad exchanges (which we can equate to the programmatic buys across the open web).
If advertisers want to maintain the same investment in open web publishers and content creators — and not put even more investment in the hands of a few large platforms like Facebook — they will inevitably turn to direct publisher campaigns.
Direct publisher buys will look even more attractive in the future as they help overcome some of the capabilities advertisers will lose without cookies.
Advertisers value the ability to frequency cap ads — e.g., only show an ad to a consumer three times per day.
Without third-party cookies, nearly every consumer will look “brand new.” Advertisers won’t be able to tell if the consumer has already seen that ad before. Identity solutions will help advertisers authenticate a limited number of people, but publishers can still control ad frequency directly within their own sites using first-party cookies.
And this is something our sales team can do as part of the campaigns we set up with advertisers for AdThrive publishers!
Targeting and insights
Publishers can also potentially use their own targeting and insights (again based on first-party cookies) to substitute for intent signals like purchase behaviors which advertisers currently get from third-party data sources that will cease to exist.
Helping advertisers take advantage of their first-party data and determining how to measure campaign success will all likely require much more coordination with publishers.
And our sales team will be doing this on behalf of AdThrive publishers every step of the way!
Direct ad sales help advertisers reach the right people at the right time in ways that protect user privacy. When third-party cookies go away, you want a strong sales team driving ad revenue your way!