How the Telegraph is constructing a future with out third-party cookies
The end of the third-party cookie is near and some companies aren't waiting for it to be prepared for the future. The Telegraph, which has vowed to use third-party data to target audiences, is paving the way for companies to identify people online in a privacy-compliant manner.
The British publisher is running a campaign on its website aimed at potential home buyers using data from the real estate company Zoopla. It is the first campaign to use the publisher's data targeting tool, Unity, which does not use third-party IDs to open up new business opportunities and increase advertising revenue. And this last point has already been reached, according to the publisher.
The Telegraph has been building its first-party database since launching its subscriber-first strategy in 2017. As of October, it had 525,000 print and digital subscribers and 6.8 million registered users (who can access multiple articles per week in exchange for an email address), and is nearing its goal of 1 million subscribers and 10 million registrants until 2023.
With Unity, ad buyers can use their own first party data pools to find and match audiences. With the help of secure data clean rooms, which are referred to as bunkers of the InfoSum technology platform, marketers can only address the Telegraph target group that overlaps with the marketers' own databases. This type of third-party data business has gained momentum as there are more reliable ways to prevent valuable data from leaking.
Third-party cookies have a limited shelf life, and publishers like The Washington Post, Insider, and Vice are exploring a future without them. Ad buyers can still target audiences with cookie-based identifiers, but they become less effective as web browser manufacturers increase opacity to protect user privacy.
With a $ 19 billion industry powered by third-party data, publishers are preparing to take a piece of it as cookie-based providers dwindle.
The traffic increases to the property sections
The Telegraph has seen an increase in traffic in its real estate space since March, when the stay at home orders went into effect. The number of monthly visitors and page views doubled compared to the previous year as people upgrade their living spaces. As such, his knowledge of this audience grew.
Zoopla's data set of two target group segments – first-time buyers and upsizers, which are recognized based on demographic characteristics such as age when registering on the website and derived from website behavior and content consumption – is securely stored in InfoSum's data bunker. The technology adapts this audience to The Telegraph's own data, targeting each segment with a different, relevant creative message that links to Zoopla's Property Finder site.
"What we can do now is add an extra layer of intelligent insights into an audience that knows Zoopla really well," said Karen Eccles, senior director, commercial innovation, The Telegraph. "We can understand different things about content consumption, preferences and activities in order to find users elsewhere on the site."
With the campaign ongoing, The Telegraph declined to share performance metrics.
The buyer side is catching up
A number of other telecom, tech, and finance advertisers – with extensive first-party data pools – speak to The Telegraph about Unity, according to Eccles, with campaigns on the rise despite not sharing brand names.
Even so, the ad targeting tool is already contributing to a "significant" increase in ad revenue as new business has been won and the campaign size has increased, even though Eccles again declined to provide certain numbers. The Zoopla campaign received £ 50,000 (US $ 66,000) in media spend from The Telegraph for winning a competition set by the publisher to help customers during the difficult summer months.