IntentIQ’s post-cookie alternative ID test shows promise

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In the seemingly never-ending saga around cookies’ official sunsetting from digital advertising, more companies are entering the fray in an effort to secure a foothold among those looking for cookie replacements.

One identity resolution company recently generated some positive results with a media agency. IntentIQ used an approach that blended cookie-based and cookie-less solutions in a partnership with independent full-service agency Involved Media for a campaign executed for an education client (which both companies declined to identify).

The campaign was executed over the course of two months with Intent IQ’s IIQ identifier, and the steps included onboarding advertiser first-party data, building both cookie- and cookie-less-based look-alike audiences, activating audiences on the client’s preferred DSP and full-funnel attribution across all devices (Android and iOS), with an emphasis on cookie-less environments.

The results for the cookie-based part of the campaign generated the results one would expect, explained Fabrice Beer-Gabel, IntentIQ’s vp of strategy and partnerships. But the cookie-less effort — executed across Safari browsers and iOS — generated a 77% increase above the targets for the education client, which was looking for lead generation to feed a training program. That increase of 77% in new leads from iOS or Safari users helped to decrease the campaign’s cost per lead by 71% compared to previous flights.

“We need to look for that ‘golden triangle’ of accuracy, scale and interoperability,” said Beer-Gabel. “All of this needs to be privacy safe, obviously … scale is a prerequisite if you want to prospect with an audience. Oftentimes scale and accuracy work against each other. You can go high scale and low accuracy — that’s pretty easy. But if you want to go high scale and high accuracy, you’re kind of crossing the desert. And then interoperability is how much process change is implied here for an advertiser. Because if I have to revamp my my whole stack and my whole workflow, it’s very hard to deploy.”

Shukmei Wong, svp of omnichannel media at Involved Media, said she knew just a cookie-based programmatic buy wasn’t going to be enough to unearth new audiences for the education client — which is why the agency was interested in running the campaign using IntentIQ’s IIQ identifier.

“When we started the campaign, we immediately saw the volume coming in,” said Wong. “To level set — we knew that going into a look-alike programmatic campaign, we know that a lot of platforms still rely heavily on cookie inventory, so we knew that the missing piece was really trying to find the missing audience that we need to grow the scale. That’s one reason why we wanted to test IIQ for the cookie-less audience, to get the incremental leads.”

Ultimately, added Wong, the biggest surprise of the effort was the reduction in cost per lead. “We weren’t expecting to see a 71% decrease in CPL,” she said, noting that future uses for IIQ would apply to finance and e-commerce clients.

Other media agencies trying to solve the challenges presented by cookie deprecation see value in testing out new ways to get the desired results.

“Tomorrow’s cookie-free conversion journey can be managed and modeled — it’s just going to take adoption of new methodologies,” said Marilois Snowman, partner and CEO of independent media agency Mediastruction. “Given that Google will eventually deprecate its cookies and given that the government is getting serious about audience tracking, I’m glad to see more case studies of cookie-less solutions gaining traction. The improvements cited [by IntentIQ] are impressive considering the challenges with iOS and Safari environments. The integration of first-party data is a powerful lever that would improve campaign results, regardless of the ID solution, and I think we’ll see more of that tactic.”

Snowman also noted that going the iOS route can be a built-in cost saver. “We’ve seen an effective media-buying hack by paying lower CPMs on non-cookie inventory (within Apple inventory) to lower CAC,” Snowman added.

Mediastruction has its own software-as-a-service product, FutureSight, which delivers media attribution that’s also not dependent on cookies. “We show impressive results for media channels that have never been dependent on cookies,” Snowman explained, “like contextual targeting or even analog media like out of home, terrestrial radio or linear TV.”

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