Paul and I spoke to Chris Matty, the co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Versium, Inc. His company is developing better B2B ad tracking technologies that will ultimately be used when the third-party web cookie finally bites the dust next year.
As with so many online technologies, replacing cookies might require a lot of work from advertisers and web publishers. This is because Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon all have a vested interest in keeping customers within their “walled gardens” and not necessarily sharing their tracking data with others. The great cookie demise will bring about a series of consequences, some intended and some unintended.
For example, there will be an initial rush for advertisers to make use of first-party data (meaning data that they have collected over the years themselves) until they realize that this data is outdated or inaccurate and can’t really provide the sufficient quality or insights or a path towards eventual purchases that the old cookies had. There will also be an adjustment as advertisers realize that reaching B2B customers is a lot more difficult than reaching consumers because many business customers don’t necessarily identify themselves as such — think of all the LinkedIn accounts that carry Gmail addresses as an example.
The work-from-home movement has increased the complexity of the tracking business customers now have different IP addresses or are hidden behind VPNs, so all that geofencing and IP tracking data is out the window! Versium is attempting to resolve these issues by aggregating anonymous data from a variety of sources to profile website visitors without compromising their privacy. Resolving identity means collecting and matching deterministic data that allows a marketer to reach or contact a specific person, such as email, phone numbers, addresses and device IDs. For example, think of trying to ensure you have identified the same person when sometimes they call themselves Bob Smith, sometimes Robert Smith, and in other cases they show up as @rsmith. Versium believes that’s possible in many cases using independent, opt-in sources.
The company is working with a variety of independent publishers and advertisers to consolidate data assets to allow independent publishers and site owners to better compete with the internet giants. The goal is to achieve personalization with privacy protection.
Chris has written extensively on this topic here. “Companies that deploy identity resolution solutions to optimize and leverage data can take back the control they had once ceded to third-party cookies,” he asserts.
You can listen to our 16 min. interview with Chris here.