How Digital Publishing Strategies are Leading Brands to a Cookieless Future

October 1, 2020 Piano Team

It’s no secret that at some point in 2022, third-party cookies will crumble.

All puns aside, it’s time for brands to rethink the myriad ways they use data to target and engage consumers. Because when the cookies drop, so will the ability to rely on third-party data. More ownership over data will be necessary to maxing engagement, and determining how to better connect with consumers.  

So where are brands’ heads at? In July and August, 2020, Digiday and Piano surveyed 111 advertisers from 71 brands and 40 agencies to understand just that. What we discovered was an industry in the throws of dramatically increasing its focus on first- and zero-party data solutions, as a direct result ofyou guessed itcookie deprecation. 

In fact, 50% of brands expect to rely more on first-party data in the coming year, and 49% will use more zero-party data. And they plan to draw from some familiar direct engagement tactics as they do — those that have been honed by successful digital publishers. 

This is publishers’ bread and butter: they have been crushing the direct engagement game and turning those loyal users into paying subscribers for some time. And, they are collecting tons of data and starting to use it to provide customers with even better, more premium, more personalized experiences.

Now, brands are seeing the path forward by borrowing a page from the publisher playbook: they’re exploring subscription offers and gating access to premium site features and deploying more targeted, meaningful interactions with their audiences. Digital publishers have spent the better part of 10 years fine-tuning the paid content model--now brands are ready, and need to be ready, to replicate their transition.

Check our State of the Industry Report to see where brands and agencies are focusing their future efforts and how they are navigating a new normal.


Read the report

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The State of Direct Brand Engagement
The State of Direct Brand Engagement

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