Digiday+ Research: So how is that post-cookie prep going, anyway?
This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →
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For all the coverage the impending death of the third-party cookie has gotten, it’s a sure thing that the buy side and sell side alike have been busy preparing to target and measure ads in a post-cookie world. Right?
Digiday+ Research surveyed over 200 brand, agency and publisher professionals to find out how that post-third-party cookie prep is going. And it is going — somewhat.
Overall, Digiday’s survey found that, like seemingly everyone else, publishers on the sell side of the coin are only kind of prepared for the end of the third-party cookie. To be exact, nearly half of publishers (46%) said their companies are just somewhat prepared for the post-cookie world.
Nearly a quarter of publisher pros (23%) said they’re actually very prepared to move beyond the third-party cookie, compared with the 18% who said they’re not very prepared. But overall only 10% said they’re completely prepared for cookies to go away, with a mere 4% saying they’re not at all prepared — so at least almost all publishers seem to be doing something.
The landscape of the sell side’s post-cookie preparation does change when we look at large publishers (or those who made more than $50 million in revenue last year) versus small publishers (or those who made less than $10 million).
The percentage of large and small publishers who said they’re only somewhat prepared for the death of the cookie is very similar — 40% and 42%, respectively. But, for both groups, almost everyone is at least a little prepared — only 3% of large publishers and 6% of small publishers said they’re not at all prepared for the post-cookie world.
But there are big differences beyond that.
To start, nearly a third of large publishers (31%) said they’re very prepared for the end of the third-party cookie. Only 18% of small publishers said this.
Meanwhile, just shy of a quarter of small publishers (24%) said they’re not very prepared for the shift. While only 9% of large publishers said they’re not very prepared.
Seventeen percent of large publishers actually said they’re completely prepared for the third-party cookie to go away — which does seem a bit suspect. Just 9% of small publisher respondents told Digiday they’re completely prepared.
Over on the buy side, marketers are very solidly somewhat ready for the death of the third-party cookie. Slightly less than half of brand and agency pros (46%) told Digiday they’re somewhat prepared to move beyond the cookie.
This tracks with how brand and agency pros were feeling a year ago. Seventy-one percent said they were worried about their ability to measure ads without third-party cookies, and 58% said they were worried about their ability to target ads. It’s likely this has been a significant driver for their preparation (even if 63% also said they were relieved when Google announced the cookie’s stay of execution).
And the preparation could be going worse. Nearly a quarter of brand and agency pros (23%) told Digiday their companies are very prepared for the end of third-party cookies. Thirteen percent even said they’re completely prepared for cookie-free measurement and targeting.
But 12% of the buy side still said they’re not very prepared for the third-party cookie to go away, with 7% saying they’re not at all prepared.
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