Attribution could become one of the major challenges to Google’s decision to eliminate third-party cookie tracking from its browser Chrome within the next two years.
While R2integrated Director of Media Rachel Curasi anticipated the changes for some time, she doesn’t want to see the industry revert to depending on the last click.
“That would be going backward,” she said. “As an industry we got to the point where of our clients now lean on a multi-touch attribution model. They understand the importance, but now we’re kind of going in the opposite direction. That’s a little concerning.”
For now the plan seems to focus on contextual targeting and “leaning more heavily on Google,” she said, pointing to all of the company’s first-party data in Search, Maps, Gmail, and smart-home devices like Nest.
“Giving Google more power is something we need to think about when we make our recommendations to advertisers,” she said. “Publishers are looking for solutions and they will come up with ones that make sense.”
Autotrader, for example, created a closed-loop data system using first-party data speckled with third-party data across the Cox company network. The insights are available to any Cox business unit.
Agencies face different obstacles. “We will need other solutions than to just rely on first-party data,” Curasi said. “The main thing we can do is remain educated on opportunities and what publishers do.”
Curasi said advertisers are asking questions, but two years into the future seems a little too far for them to think about.
R2integrated, a Baltimore digital agency specializing in paid and organic search, supports advertisers ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. The agency belongs to the Google Partners Program and will need to rely more on Google’s data -- which means a higher degree of trust. Some believe that reliance puts too much power in the hands of the search company.
Shane Wiley, now chief privacy officer at Cuebiq and former vice president of privacy at Oath, believes Apple and Google are on the correct track, but their decisions are self-serving from a business perspective.
Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology, which aims to restrict cookies from sharing data and browsing habits in the Safari web browser -- as well as Google’s decision to eliminate cookies in the Chrome browser within two years -- will force advertisers and agencies to use each company’s respective technology.