How publishers are optimizing their tech stacks to enhance addressability

John Martin, senior director, publisher growth solutions, PubMatic

Audience addressability has gained renewed urgency as Google finally started deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. Now, publishers must consider how signal loss will affect their businesses and ensure they are future-proofing their operations.

The role of publishers’ first-party data has continued to grow in a post-cookie landscape. Publishers that obtain and activate a deeper understanding of their audiences are better positioned for monetization. However, many publishers are limited in their ability to collect first-party data, which in itself is insufficient for closing the addressability gap created by ongoing identifier loss. 

In light of these addressability changes in the market, publishers are going beyond first-party data and rethinking the fundamentals of their tech stack. By leveraging new and emerging solutions, publishers are fostering increased monetization and operational efficiency in the wake of third-party cookie deprecation.

Why Google Privacy Sandbox is only part of the solution for publishers

Following cookie deprecation, Google is focusing heavily on its Privacy Sandbox to protect people’s privacy online while empowering publishers to sustain their digital businesses. Although the Privacy Sandbox won’t solve every addressability challenge facing publishers, it must be a part of their go-forward plans. 

With this in mind, publishers are prioritizing solutions that support, not circumvent, Google’s initiative. It’s time for publishers to seek partners that are testing to verify functionality and ensure their products can be scaled. They can’t do this on their own. They need to align with the companies putting in this work, as they will be the best equipped to leverage the Privacy Sandbox to the greatest benefit of publishers in the coming years.

With Prebid server-side setup, publishers are unlocking improved ad performance — and monetization opportunities

Publishers are moving to Prebid Server, an open-source, server-side in-app header bidding solution, to pursue monetization.

Server-side bidding provides publishers with lower latency and faster auction dynamics as part of a greatly enhanced user experience. These page performance benefits will also positively impact core web vitals, including SEO rankings, and drive more visitors to the publisher’s site. These user experience and performance benefits will be more critical than ever when safeguarding a publisher’s revenue in the face of addressability challenges. 

However, hosting and maintaining a Prebid server-side setup can be costly and require significant development resources. 

Many publishers find that maintaining this setup on their own is not feasible. It simply requires too great a level of expertise to integrate, maintain and effectively optimize a Prebid server-side setup. Most publishers that have tried to go it alone have found that the resource strain quickly offsets the page performance and monetization benefits. 

For Prebid server-side bidding to be viable, publishers need partners and solutions that enable them to implement a server-side setup with minimal operational costs.  Unified header bidding solutions represent a low-risk entry point to work with scaled demand and a way to configure and test a prebid server-side setup quickly.

Embracing alternative ID integrations to improve reach and drive revenue

Finally, publishers should evaluate tech stack reconfigurations that streamline Privacy Sandbox and Prebid server testing while simplifying identity management. 

In the wake of cookie deprecation and the loss of other identifiers, alternative IDs represent a key means of restoring addressability. Publishers need to ensure their ad tech providers are partnering with leading alternative IDs, audience data partners and contextual providers so they can continue to deliver relevant, impactful advertising.

There are dozens of alternative IDs in the market, including LiveRamp’s RampID and The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0. With tools to manage, implement and configure these multiple partner IDs, publishers can better drive monetization in cookie-restricted environments.

A PubMatic analysis of more than 600 billion ad impressions processed daily determined that when alternative IDs were present in the bid stream, publisher revenue increased by 16% globally. Additionally, the bid rate increased when alternative IDs were present, indicating buyers are more interested in transacting on those impressions.

Addressability will continue to challenge publishers as the industry moves forward, but they don’t need to tackle these challenges alone. With the right tech stack integrations, the right partners are helping publishers preserve and improve monetization in a post-cookie reality, regardless of how much first-party data they’re bringing to the table. 

Sponsored by PubMatic

More from Digiday

How CTV and DOOH are growing this political season for smaller agencies

Connected TV and digital out-of-home are playing a bigger role in upcoming elections and politics – especially for smaller agencies looking to place clients’ dollars.

CMO Strategies: Advertisers identify the top attributes on ad-supported streaming platforms

This is the third installment in Digiday’s multi-part series covering the top ad-supported streaming services and part of Digiday’s CMO Strategies series. In this report, we examine which ad attributes matter the most to marketers on streaming platforms.

In the marketing world, anime is following in the footsteps of gaming

As marketers look to take advantage of anime’s entry into the zeitgeist, they might be wise to observe the parallels between the evolution of anime as a marketing channel and the ways brands have learned to better leverage gaming in recent years.