Back to Blog

Busting 4 myths on cookieless marketing and identity solutions

  • Nora Schwab
  • 4 min read

Cookieless marketing has been in full-swing for some time now, regardless of Google’s recent announcement. 

Much of the internet already operates without cookies – indeed, advertisers have been delivering addressable strategies on cookieless environments such as Safari, Firefox and Edge for several years. Likewise, the new frontier of digital marketing channels; mobile, podcasts, and CTV ads, can be leveraged without cookies or device identifiers. Those who have already incorporated such solutions, including LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS), are already reaping the many benefits offered by the cookieless era.

However,  progress is still being delayed by several myths. Here, LiveRamp takes a look at some of the most common misconceptions out there and how they are preventing brands and publishers from reaching their full potential.


1. Google’s delay gives the industry plenty of time 

With 50% of the internet already cookieless, the answer is that the cookieless future is already here. Rather than focusing on Google’s moving goalposts, the industry would do well to prepare by moving towards ‘people-based’ and privacy-compliant addressability now. 

Authenticated inventory outperforms cookies on return-on-investment, measurement accuracy and the potential to scale target people-based audiences. For example, when Danone adopted LiveRamp’s people-based identifier RampID as part of its phase out of third-party cookies, 34% of all its buyers became addressable, enabling a 17% percent lift on e-commerce sales, as well as an almost 25% increase of total sales measured across Facebook and Google. Likewise, a US department store retailer, which recently activated campaigns with RampID, experienced a 130% increase for in-store visits, and a 19% increase in clickthrough rate.

One of the reasons why cookies are being deprecated is because brands and publishers were not being transparent enough with customers about how their data was being used. By engaging with cookieless solutions like ATS, businesses can promote a more transparent dialogue with their users. This will lead to stronger consumer trust and better business outcomes.

2. I don’t need an identity solution if I can use contextual targeting

Contextual advertising solutions certainly have their value and can form an important part of a digital marketing strategy, but it would be misguided to view contextual targeting as an adequate alternative to cookies on its own. Indeed, being imprecise and extremely difficult to measure, contextual will limit results if it forms the crux of your digital approach. The fact remains that the future state of the digital advertising industry will be based on both contextual and addressable solutions. So, for marketers and publishers who want to maximise reach and return, it is recommended to centre authenticated, people-based addressability as the playbook, which can then be supported with contextual tactics. Remember, the walled gardens will be leveraging both people-based addressability alongside contextual. To really level the playing field, addressability needs to take centre stage. 

3. Identity solutions aren’t privacy-safe or future-proofed

In the past, the digital marketing industry has been rightly scrutinised for compromising consumer privacy to gain and retain personal data. However, since the passing of the data privacy laws, identity solutions now need to be rooted in consumer trust and transparency or face becoming obsolete in today’s privacy-first world. 

As the only global, people-based, cookieless solution live in North America, EU, APAC, and LATAM, LiveRamp’s ATS is on track to extend to 100 countries by the end of 2023. Nearly half (48%) of consumers’ time spent on the open web is on domains that are, or will be, live with ATS.

Prioritising transparency and user-control, ATS does not hold information for longer than necessary and automatically removes personally identifiable information (PII) that it not need to achieve KPIs. By leveraging ATS today, global publishers and marketers can unlock for themselves critical, long-term scale while remaining privacy-compliant. 

4. Brands aren’t buying into ID solutions 

The number of brands wanting more direct contact with publishers has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. For example, last year, a survey of 251 UK-based senior marketing professionals was commissioned to find out how UK brands are preparing for the cookieless changes taking place. As many as 45% and 43.4% quoted turning to first-party authentication solutions and identity solutions respectively. Of those asked, 63.4% said they would be more willing to pay for authenticated data. Meanwhile, for RampID, many publishers and marketers are already transacting on it. For example, modern verification service, Sincera, recently found that RampID had the largest active cookieless footprint of all IDs in the market, totalling 70% absorption of its ID across the bidstream.

With such a wide take-up, it is clear there is a demand for and value in people-based identity solutions, whether Google is ready or not. Indeed, rather than waiting for Google, brands are leveraging solutions like RampID to achieve better ROI and stronger relationships with consumers today.

A version of this blog post was published on State of Digital Publishing.