Commentary

The Great Cookie Debate - A Shift Ahead?

There are many vendors offering typical ad-serving solutions for display, with few options to remedy the disappearing and ever-shifting cookie pool. One solution is to move away from the traditional third-party ad server that delivers ads from outside of the site domain. A first-party ad-serving solution, which displays placements from the content domain server, is recognized as part of the hosting site's content and provides some advantages for data retention and persistence.

The inevitable move away from third-party cookies

This is an ongoing issue, and as the years go by, the public reputation of third-party cookie continues to worsen. There are privacy advocates pressuring the government to enforce policies to protect the average Internet user from negative data collection practices. Vendors that supply major potential inventory are also on the evil third-party cookie bandwagon. IO devices and browsers like Mozilla and Firefox block third-party cookies automatically, which is worse than deletion because it prohibits any data collection. Virus scanners offer blocking and automatic deletion. All of this chatter is alerting the general public of the negative impact of third-party cookies, which resonates much more that the positive functional purposes, and causes more awareness to the general practice of third-party cookie deletion, even if it's not fully informed.

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Benefits of first-party cookies

First-party cookies deliver behind a firewall and integrate with the CRM database, so they are seen as functional and necessary. The customer can understand the need for these cookies when they see information collected for their own benefit with a trusted site. There is also increased reliability and accuracy based on the fact that the data comes directly from user submissions or interaction. First-party cookies are stored differently in a browser to avoid automatic blocking or deletion, which in turn delivers more persistent and consistent data. The data is then owned and managed by the site, which can create a shift in the thought processes of businesses and help them better understand their current and potential customers.

Bumps in the Road

While first-party serving sounds like a great solution, there are currently some bumps in the road that must be considered when implementing your media plan. Some vendors, like Adx, require the domain to be approved, which can add time to your set-up processes. There are also sites like Facebook that will not accept non-established domains, so a one-off third-party solution would have to be utilized. Scalability could also be much more difficult because of compatibility issues. Many platforms can connect with third-party data directly due to standardization, which is not currently established with the storage and processing of first-party information.

The cookie debate looms in the background of our busy days. While the third-party solution has proven itself, we should all prepare for the day we will have to navigate the newly charted waters of first-party data collection and serving solutions.

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