There is no alternative to the first-party data strategy

An OWM study wants to show technologies and approaches in the cookie-free world. In the process, it crystallizes that the first-party data strategy is without alternative.

In a study, the organisation Werbungtreibende im Markenverband OWM analyses the regulatory and competitive developments from the perspective of advertisers in a cookie-free world. The study deals with the question of how digital advertising campaigns can be purchased, controlled, optimized and measured across marketers, browsers, devices and sessions in the future.

According to the study, it is mainly the cross-publisher digital advertising campaigns that are affected by the market developments, while all direct bookings with a publisher or platform are not or only temporarily affected.

This is due to the fact that platforms mostly work with their own first-party data of high quality and coverage in sovereign-controlled systems, some of which require logins. This means that they are hardly affected by regulatory and technological changes.

The study participants were almost unanimous in their view that the market developments will further strengthen the platforms in their market position. The open market, on the other hand, must succeed in repositioning itself. Today, it is dependent to a relevant extent on advertising revenues based on third-party cookies and equivalents.

According to OWN, various measures are necessary here. On the one hand, the focus should be on the company's own user and usage data, including a forced log-in strategy (publisher first-party data strategy). In addition, ID solutions should be implemented in order to become independent of third-party cookies and equivalents. Also, companies should try to establish focused cross-publisher ID solutions and standardizations to stay competitive with platforms. Last but not least, there should be a shift from traditional browser-based ("client") data communication to a server-based interface architecture in order to arm themselves against further technological restrictions imposed by browser and operating system manufacturers.

For advertisers, it is therefore a matter of strategically deciding, in the course of their own first-party data strategy, which ID solutions they will work with in the future in order to activate their own data for their own marketing activities.

"We know that the system of third-party cookies is suboptimal: Already now, only a third of users can be reached at all via this due to ad blockers, browser tracking preventions and matching losses," says OWM board member Arne Kirchem. "The decisive factor will be whether the market succeeds in creating alternative offers that can at least keep up with today's third-party cookie world, and ideally are better. The upcoming upheaval offers us the chance to completely renew the current system and we should take advantage of it! We must avoid a jungle of ID solutions that only cover certain areas or cleanroom silos, the penetration of which is only possible for advertisers with considerable technical and resource expenditure. The OWM appeals to the market to create an ID solution that complies with data protection law, has a wide reach and is platform-independent. We offer our support here."

Christine Diener, Head of Digital at OWM, also urges people to make the most of the time they have left: "While Google's announcement that it will not block third-party cookies in the Chrome browser until 2023 has bought us time, this only has value if the time is used. We know that our members have already started building first party data. In addition, they have set up strategies or developed tools to be able to run campaign optimization under future changing conditions. We recommend that our members continue to push these developments strongly and think that the recommendations for action from the study can provide valuable impetus."


On behalf of OWM Joachim Schneidmadl of JS Consulting & Equity has been appointed to the Board of Directors from April to July 2021. Study was carried out. For the study, extensive market research and the evaluation of expert questionnaires from companies in the areas of digital marketing, advertising technology and ID solutions were carried out.

The results of the study will be discussed at the OWM panel at DMEXCO 2021 on Wednesday at 12:40pm.

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