The Battle for ATTENTION: Will AI Save The Advertising Industry in a Privacy-Driven Economy?

Successful Audience Measurement in a Post-Cookie World

By SCUBA Insights

The death of the cookie has taken on an epoch-defining gravity in the advertising world, with industry experts and brand leaders calling it a profound shift. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, though. The end of the third-party cookies is a culmination of trends, rather than a defining moment.


Over the last several years, data privacy regulations have moved from preventative to rights-based. The European Union’s GDPR gave consumers new agency over how companies use their data. Many other countries, states, and provinces have followed suit, but with piecemeal rules. In a bid to avoid further regulations, tech giants have been tightening their privacy controls. Apple’s app-store transparency initiative and Google phasing out third-party cookies are two of the biggest examples.


As government regulations and big tech platforms reshape the online landscape, advertisers face new and complex challenges in audience measurement. Brands that go beyond basic compliance with a privacy-first approach to data and analytics are poised to thrive in the new digital world.


4 challenges for accurate audience measurement

Audience measurement is most effective when advertisers have access to consistent data across channels and geographic boundaries. But privacy regulations and tech industry changes are making analytics anything but consistent. And technology platforms are reducing visibility into user data.


Companies face four critical challenges in navigating ongoing industry shifts:


  • Outdated technology & complex integrations: Unfortunately, the use of legacy solutions that were built over ten years ago (like CDPs) for static data collection is still used today. Working with dated solutions means brands aren't getting the most out of their tech stack, and instead have to rely on complex integrations. While there's nothing inherently bad about integrations, they can be tedious, complicated, and eat away at your technical team productivity.
  • Varying regulations: 80% of countries have unique data privacy laws on the books or in process. Since innovation outpaces regulation, companies have to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate what compliance will mean in 12 to 18 months.
  • Industry-driven privacy initiatives: Apple, Google, Mozilla, and others have reduced the data that browsers and apps reveal to analytics tools. These platform-specific limitations have forced advertisers to put more effort into comprehensive targeting and attribution.
  • No clear path forward: Even with all their imperfections, third-party cookies were a global standard for advertisers and publishers. And leaders are still grappling with ID alternatives and how to best connect first-party data to third-party measurement tools.

Leveraging customer trust in your brand

Companies that view data privacy as a burden are missing out on a massive opportunity. Trust is more valuable than ever, as 78% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a company they trust with their data.


There are a few key elements to building customer trust around data privacy and security:


  • Transparency: Give customers agency over their data by providing a clear privacy policy, data usage policy, and terms of use.
  • Competence: Execute your promises with robust user-facing security and data management tools—including the option to delete all of their data.
  • Accountability: Communicating clearly and quickly in the event of a data breach—whether accidental or malicious—allows customers to protect themselves from consequences like identity theft.


Some of these actions are already required, as mandated by data privacy regulations. But by taking a comprehensive and proactive approach, you turn compliance into brand-building currency.

Overcoming obstacles through stack-wide improvements

A post-cookie world is disruptive for advertisers, but it’s also an opportunity. Third-party cookies produced identity matches with a disappointing 40 to 60% accuracy. A new solution offers the chance for more precision, and better overall outcomes for both consumers and advertisers.


Companies can use the following to maximize audience measurement and analytics across the entire tech stack:


  • Increased first-party data collection: Leaning into first-party data isn’t a complete solution, but it provides a strong foundation for audience recognition and measurement.
  • Compliance-oriented data ingestion: Ensuring compliance upfront eliminates costly and painful curative work down the road.
  • Improved identity resolution: Using identity resolution to stitch together customer profiles preserves 360° visibility without reliance on third-party cookies or sharing personally identifiable information.
  • Flexible third-party integration abilities: While industry giants sort out new standards for data matching and tagging, a flexible approach to third-party API integrations will minimize engineering-oriented delays in ad campaigns.
  • Cohesive analytics tools: A powerful and intuitive toolset that can unite data from various channels accelerates time to insights and yield comprehensive, actionable results.


Preserving visibility into cross-channel activity is especially important for media companies, where social sharing and engagement are the lifeblood of the business. For Bleacher Report, a privacy-first approach pays dividends throughout the company. By replacing an antiquated suite of analytics tools with a single source of truth, they gained deeper insights into customer journeys, streamlined analytics, and decreased time to insight by 95%—all without compromising data privacy.

Achieving measurement in a privacy-first world with Scuba

Future-proofing your customer intelligence requires some key features:


  • Built-in data privacy, compliance upon ingest, and security features to make compliance easy.
  • Intuitive data ingestion and third-party API integrations to reduce your dependence on IT.
  • Robust tagging, matching, and segmenting abilities to build and track your audience.
  • KPIs and real-time insights at your fingertips, with highly customizable queries, dashboards, and analytics.
  • Industry-leading security certifications to keep your customer data safe.


Contact us today for a demo to see how Scuba can elevate your measurement in an evolving digital world.

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