Planning for a “cookieless” future is a huge challenge for companies and agencies around the globe, many of whom are still working on finding the best way to turn this challenge into an opportunity. Cookies (still) are one of the greatest sources of customer data for marketers, and play a key role in offering tailored content to customers. But even though it’s difficult to envision, there is a future after cookies. And it is promising.
We asked Patricia Chicas, LATAM Operations Leader for Xaxis —GroupM’s outcome media specialist— to dig deeper into the current challenges brought forward by cookie deprecation. She described how Xaxis and Oracle Advertising can help marketers succeed in the cookieless future by leveraging new opportunities and technologies, such as contextual segmentation solutions that utilize artificial intelligence (AI).
Oracle: How is Xaxis staying ahead of the latest industry changes around privacy and cookieless future?
Chicas: We are working towards different solutions that can help our clients navigate different industry shifts by leveraging both proprietary technology and key strategic alliances with our partners. One important way we’re doing that is by helping our clients develop a custom path to activate and model their first party data, which will be an especially crucial asset in the cookieless world. And with Copilot, our proprietary AI solution, we can integrate additional cookieless data signals into custom algorithms that are continuously optimizing to create highly competitive outcomes.
Oracle: Contextual solutions will make a resurgence once cookies officially go away, how is Xaxis thinking about leveraging contextual targeting?
Chicas: Contextual targeting has always been part of our media buying strategies. Today, along with privacy and identity changes, there is also a “consumer-first” approach that demands better and more relevant creatives, thus introducing a new challenge to traditional contextual targeting executions. We’re leveraging AI solutions that use contextual signals in live campaigns to learn which assets are more effective in which environments and optimize performance in real time.
Our journey into the cookieless landscape also entails layering contextual intelligence solutions with Copilot and XCS (Xaxis Creative Studios), our in-house data-driven creative execution shop. We are integrating innovative formats (such as 3D animations and conversational technology) to help our clients better understand and engage consumers. And we are deploying custom algorithms that execute granular data assessments on a cross-device level to further enhance the outcomes.
This multilayered approach to contextual targeting is providing compelling results, surpassing our benchmarks for average contextual targeting solutions. Also, we’ve unlocked previously overlooked environments like Safari and Firefox, enabling us to reach new audiences.
We’re also using a Supply Path Optimization (SPO) strategy that includes inventory curation, which enables us to generate an affinity score between our clients´ desired target audience and the content they’re being exposed to. This goes a long way towards improving brand relevancy scores.
And of course it’s crucial for us to pair all of those capabilities with the highest standards of brand safety and suitability. Clients in the automotive vertical, for example won´t want their brand to be associated with accident-related content, and CPG brands usually want to avoid any kind of venue that publishes controversial content. The contextual targeting services offered by Oracle help us address those types of requirements confidently and efficiently.
Oracle: What are some of the top questions you are seeing your clients ask around future-proofing tactics and identity solutions?
Chicas: The most common questions around those topics usually involve what they can start doing now to prepare for that future, the level of impact each change will have on their overall strategy, and how we can help them address these challenges.
At Xaxis we partner with our clients and their agencies to address these concerns. We implement a learning agenda methodology that enables our clients to identify pivotal pillars of research improvement and knowledge reinforcement based on their business objectives. Some of these learning topics include first party data strategies, cookieless tests, supply optimization, creative personalization, and Martech education. We guide each part of the process and jointly define a roadmap to discover different identity targeting solutions to efficiently tackle each client’s specific needs.
Oracle: What are key capabilities that you look for in a contextual targeting provider when making recommendations to your clients?
Chicas: We make sure the provider’s technology and services stack covers the entire region where we operate and has the ability to provide all the necessary analytical tools to assess the performance of integrated contextual strategies. Oracle is a key partner that enables us to bring intelligent contextual targeting solutions and measurement tools into our clients´ contextual activation strategy.
We also look for partners that can easily connect with our proprietary technology. A good example of this is how we connect campaign data via Oracle Moat with Copilot to optimize media buying towards unique data points like completion quality, scroll rate, and in-view rate. Those types of integrations allow us to create more effective custom cookieless optimizations.
We are also actively aiming to uncover new identity solutions that drive measurable outcomes for our clients. I mentioned that we’re advising our clients on how to build strong first party data strategies; we’re also developing expertise in privacy-first environments. Creating and activating audiences in privacy-first environments will be another key factor for success in the cookieless future.
Our marketing science team is also helping us stay one step ahead of our clients’ needs by driving fresh campaign insights from performance metrics and indexed website content, helping inform future campaign planning and optimization models.
Oracle: What do you like most about Oracle’s Contextual Intelligence solutions?
Chicas: Our partnership with Oracle has allowed us to expand our offering in contextual intelligence solutions, amplifying scale and driving new reach opportunities through new relevant contextual segments. Campaign activation and testing with Oracle provides easy and seamless options to set up standardized and customized contextual segments, which is essential to our contextual strategies at Xaxis. We’re very keen on pursuing different test-and-learn approaches because it’s the best way to reliably unearth tangible benefits for each client. Oracle’s solutions suite helps us discover new sources of relevant website content as well as customizable keyword segments through statistical natural language processing.
We are also excited to begin integrating both Copilot and Moat´s log level data into these efforts. With that, we will be able to activate custom algorithms that correlate multiple existing campaign data signals with media efficiency metrics like ad engagement, exposure time, and viewability. It’s another way we can continuously optimize campaign performance.
Oracle: What steps do you recommend your clients take as they prepare for the future?
Chicas: The future of identity-based solutions is going to bring greater opportunities to develop powerful, consumer-first advertising strategies, which can be a win for all of us. New technologies and solutions are rapidly appearing and adapting to tackle this new reality. To take advantage of those opportunities, advertisers need to fully understand where they are now and where they want to go next.
I recommend that clients start with a deep analysis and thorough audit of their current first party data acquisition and activation strategies. This includes running pilots of different targeting and identity solutions to establish a comparative assessment relative to their cookie-based results. It’s also wise to explore alternative measurement strategies, like Lift Studies, if the brand isn’t already conducting them. These steps give us a foundation to build on, and some targeted insights that tell us how to start constructing the next phase.
Tim Carr leads marketing for Oracle Advertising’s suite of digital media solutions, including audience targeting, contextual intelligence, data onboarding, ad verification, and attention measurement solutions. Before joining Oracle, Tim spent 20 years working in the CPG industry, holding various roles in sales, insights, and strategy at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and in shopper analytics and loyalty marketing at IRI and Catalina.