Advertising Guest Columns
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Why publisher first-party data is a privacy-safe solution for brands

Marketers and advertisers are set to lose huge pools of data that help them build their data-driven marketing strategies. But there are opportunities among the threats, as research shows that publishers are stepping up to fill the impending data void. 

It’s not new news to many that data deprecation is underway, as upcoming changes to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome and a host of wider privacy regulations and browser updates continue to upend data-driven marketing. 

This deprecation of data, which is the reduction of data available to marketers and advertisers, has been much talked about over the last few years. At its core, it’s triggered by a growing focus on consumer privacy, and it’s for this reason that there’s an opportunity for publishers – and their first-party data – to provide a privacy-safe solution for brands as we move into this new era of digital advertising. 

Addressing the data deprecation concerns

Permutive recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to explore the concerns of brands and publishers around data deprecation and identity, surveying more than 100 brands and 100 publishers in the UK and US. 

It’s showed that the majority of brands are worried about the impact of data deprecation, with 73% concerned about the increasing privacy regulations, while 70% fear that consumers will decline consent to use their data for marketing. What’s positive is that despite these concerns from advertisers, half of publishers see the ongoing data deprecation as an opportunity for them to work more closely with these brands. 

Many publishers, however, are already taking action, with 95% having already started building their first-party data monetisation strategies. The measures that publishers already have in place extend to the fact that 90% have at least one direct brand relationship in place, with 60% boasting five or more direct relationships.

Their brand counterparts aren’t quite on the same levels just yet – just 39% are currently using publishers’ first-party data in half or more of their campaigns and 41% are still relying on third-party data to reach their audiences. 

Brands already utilising a high proportion of publishers’ first-party data have a head start on the shift away from third-party cookies and into an even more privacy-centric world. Those currently without direct publisher relationships in place may want to begin exploring the opportunities that exist. 

Building direct relationships

Publishers have direct access to first-party data because they have a direct relationship with their audience. This relationship means they can assign privacy-compliant identifiers to the people browsing their sites, through given consent. 

For brands, opting to form direct relationships with these publishers means they can continue serving data-driven, personalized marketing and gain more accurate measurement and audience insights. Equally, the data provided by publishers and media owners provide the privacy safety that the entire industry has to put at the heart of all the campaigns it runs. 

The direct relationships with consumers in this privacy-centric world will put publishers and brands in control of their own data, providing value for audiences, and targeting consumers with things they know they will be interested in without relying on third parties where data may leak. 

Keeping customer data safe will also rebuild trust

At the same time, publishers and brands need to be wary of the amount of data they look to collect from their users. Collecting vast amounts of often meaningless data — something the industry has been guilty of — isn’t going to provide any information of value for the publisher or brand. And knowing every single thing people do across sites won’t build trust. 

Both publishers and brands have to also take extra care to keep the data of their audiences safe, putting measures in place – if not already implemented – to avoid data leakage. For publishers, this can be helped by only forming relationships with agencies and brands that match their privacy standards. 

Fittingly, publishers are prioritising improving consumer satisfaction and trust (42%) ahead of increasing subscriptions (38%), while brands place customer trust (36%) and satisfaction (33%) in their top three priorities.

With publishers and brands both increasingly putting the consumer first, it’s now time for them to come together across the board to continue serving their audiences effectively. Publisher data can provide marketers with everything they’re looking for in a privacy-safe post-cookie solution.

Morika Georgieva
EMEA Customer Success Lead, Permutive 

Permutive is the only publisher data platform built on edge computing. We enable publishers to increase their data-driven advertising revenue and make revenue diversification a reality, whilst keeping user privacy at the heart of our technology. Some of our customers include BuzzFeed, Business Insider, The Economist, Condé Nast International, Immediate Media and Burda Forward.