Piano’s Guide to the Cookieless Future
As Google moves to deprecate third-party cookies in 2023, it’s time for publishers and brands to prepare.
Whether it’s through onsite targeting, content monetization or advertising, how organizations will continue
targeting and engaging with their audiences in respectful, relevant ways is paramount to their continued
Our Cookieless Survival Kit aims to help you determine how to start shifting away from reliance on third-party cookies toward using your own data for even richer, direct-user relationships. Check back often, as we’ll be updating with more information as the industry continues to transition.
The Cookieless Readiness Survey
How ready are you for the end of the third-party cookie?
The below survey aims to uncover how prepared both the sell and buy sides are for this transition.
Take the Survey
Zero-party data, CDP, DMP. What do all the terms related to identity and third-party cookie
We break it down for you below.
A technology platform that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers. They help advertisers buy available ad space/inventory across multiple publishers.
A digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. They're most often used to sell display, video and mobile ad inventory.
Ad tech that is used by publishers, advertisers, agencies and ad networks to manage and run online advertising campaigns. Ad servers are responsible for making instantaneous decisions about what ads to show on a website, then serving them. On top of that, an ad server collects and reports data (such as impressions, clicks, etc.) for advertisers to gain insights from and monitor the performance of their ads.
The broader data set generated by real-time bidding (RTB) auctions -- won, lost or passed over -- across
swathes of biddable online audiences.
A process that allows a website to meet privacy regulations such as GDPR or CCPA by obtaining a visitor’s
consent to collect their data through cookies.
Customer data platform
Known by its abbreviation CDP, this type of platform collects real-time data from across a variety of
touchpoints and structures it into individual, centralized customer profiles.
Data clean rooms
An instance that lets a company connect data with partners without having to send the data around.
A centralized repository allowing the storage and analysis of all structured and unstructured data at any
A DMP stores, organizes and analyzes customer segment and ad campaign data from a variety of sources to
An online transactional location or store that facilitates the buying and selling of data. As many businesses seek to augment or enrich internal data sets with external data, cloud-based data marketplaces are appearing at a growing rate to match data consumers with the right data sellers.
A piece of software brands/agencies use to purchase advertising in an automated fashion. DSPs are most often used to help them buy display, video, mobile and search ads.
Advertisers working directly with a publisher to purchase advertising space on a website or app. They negotiate the price and pick the placing, the date the ad will run and for how long the ad will be shown to the publisher’s readers.
Behavioral data collected by observing customers as they browse your website or app or visit your ecommerce
As of January 2022, Google changed course and will not be developing around FLoCs. Instead, Google will use Topics. FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) is a method that uses machine learning and relies on the browser to generate cohorts or groups of thousands of people for targeting. An algorithmic process inside the browser builds cohorts based on the sites people have visited in recent days, the content of pages they viewed or other factors. This is exclusive to Google Chrome, but makes up ~75% of browser usage.
Header bidding is the process by which multiple advertisers participate simultaneously in a digital auction to win ad space on your website. This auction occurs on every page load, as well as any time an ad unit refreshes.
IAB TCF 2.0 data
IAB Europe, in partnership with IAB Tech Lab, launched the TCF (Transparency and Consent Framework) 2.0. TCF v2.0 seeks to increase consumer transparency and choice, digital property management based on consent and compliance and industry collaboration that centers on standardization.
A database that stores all identifiers that correlate to individual customers. You could have the same customer in your eCommerce software, CRM, email marketing tool and ad platform. An ID graph will process the data from all tools and stitch it into one profile.
The practice of creating a unified customer profile by incorporating data from across devices and
The process of identifying users who look and behave like your audiences to expand your pool of targetable
PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
PIII is any data that can be used to identify a specific individual. Social Security Numbers, mailing or email addresses and phone numbers have most commonly been considered PII, but technology has expanded the scope of PII considerably. It can include an IP address, login IDs, social media posts or digital images. Geolocation, biometric and behavioral data can also be classified as PII.
“Programmatic” ad buying typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.
First-party data that passes through a second set of hands--essentially, someone else’s first-party data.
A grouping of users based on shared characteristics across any number of criteria.
SSP (Supply-Side Platform)
A piece of software publishers use to sell advertising in an automated fashion. SSPs are most often used to help them sell display, video and mobile ads.
Data bought from outside sources that did not originally collect the data.
Google's privacy minded replacement third-party cookies, Topics will identify five primary areas of interests for users each week, based on web activity. Based only on activity of a single device, Topics will be temporary- with a lifespan of only three weeks. Google will use topics to fuel display advertising targeting. Topics replace FLoC's, Google's inital cookie-replacement strategy.
A user identifier created by an adtech consortium/company to provide a shared identity to identify the user across the supply chain without syncing cookies. Most importantly, it isn’t restricted to third-party cookies. Unlike cookies that are based on probabilistic matching, many Universal IDs are created on the basis of deterministic matching.
Unique profiles created from the combination of individual behavior patterns and data around interests,
Data a customer intentionally shares with you via registration forms, surveys, preference selections and
explicit data-capture tactics.
Cookieless Readiness Checklist
For those publishers that built large audiences based on third-party data, that
is about to change. These shifts will require deeper engagement and building pools of known users. Here is what
to consider to get started as we transition away from third-party cookies.
Can you…collect zero- and first-party data?
The timeline for a given publisher to fully be “ready” for third-party cookie deprecation will differ based
on the volume and level of engagement of readers. You need a minimum number of users providing zero-party
data in order to generate effective lookalike segments. To do that, it’s necessary to start targeting some
segment of your audience and guiding them to register and provide their data. This will look different
across different publishers based on how you are incentivizing your readership to share their data. A
simple way to start:
- Ask users to register in order to access locked content, using a passwordless registration flow to further
smooth out the process. The Piano platform's
passwordless registration option can reduce friction and make signup faster for users. Pre-built fields for
age, gender and other sociodemographic characteristics make capturing valuable segmentation data easier.
- You can leverage out-of-the-box fields to collect this data, such as profession and number of children.
- You can also add more fields based on the data you are looking to capture.
Can you store data and consent?
It might sound obvious, but you need a place to store all of this data and consent. Data-management
platforms (DMPs), customer data platforms (CDPs) and consent management platforms are tools that can help. A
DMP stores, organizes and analyzes customer segment and ad campaign data from a variety of sources to
improve targeting. CDPs collect real-time data from across a variety of touchpoints and structure it into
individual, centralized customer profiles. Consent management platforms help websites protect the data
privacy of users and comply with privacy regulation like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Can you segment your audience?
Use audience segmentation tools to create subsets of your users based on like characteristics extracted
from zero- and first-party data and leverage lookalike modeling to produce larger audience pools.
Do you have a strategy for collecting more data?
Collecting more data over time requires thinking through where in the customer journey the right moment is
to ask for it. At each stage, aim to understand where the user is in their relationship with you and how to
move them deeper into the funnel and collect more data to build that consented user profile. As an example,
asking for a postal code to localize news and weather.
Can you link to an identity partner?
You need one of these to replace cookie-matching in order to activate all that zero- and first-party data
you will collect. Some well-known providers are LiveRamp and ID5. Ensure to vet their offerings to see which
identifier could work best for your business.
For more on the deprecation of third-party cookies, check out our First-Party Data Stream.