Living in the Cookieless Present: Q+A with ID5 Chief Strategy Officer Joanna Burton

With Google on track to deprecate third-party cookies in Chrome in 2024, marketers are getting ready for the cookieless future. But as Joanna Burton — Chief Strategy Officer for ID5, a DeepIntent identity partner – points out, we’re already living in a cookieless present. Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla have already blocked third-party cookies in their respective browsers, representing 40% of U.S. web traffic.

What does this mean for healthcare marketers? Read our Q+A with Joanna to learn more about how the right identity solutions help them deploy relevant, privacy-safe advertising; the importance of first-party data; how ID5’s IdentityCloud helps brands reach a wider audience; and more.

1. Can you tell us about ID5’s IdentityCloud and how it helps advertisers future-proof?

ID5 IdentityCloud is a suite of identification services that provides privacy-first user recognition and measurement capabilities. The central element of IdentityCloud is the ID5 ID, a next-generation universal identifier. Publishers, advertisers, and ad tech platforms can use the ID5 ID to recognize users and deliver campaign objectives across different types of devices without relying on traditional identification methods like third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs (MAIDs).

The ID5 ID leverages a variety of signals including hashed email addresses, page URLs, IP addresses, and timestamps. Combining these signals with a machine learning algorithm, the ID5 ID improves addressability without compromising privacy and data protection.

Built on top of privacy-by-design and encryption mechanisms, the ID5 ID allows brands to reach a wider audience. They can also target, optimize, and measure campaigns more efficiently in all digital advertising environments. Publishers can also monetize all their inventory more effectively, whilst protecting their data and their customer data.

2. What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to the deprecation of third-party cookies?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the cookieless future is still a long way off. We are actually living in the cookieless present. Third-party cookies are already blocked in Safari, Firefox, and Edge browsers, which make up 40% of U.S. traffic.

Even when it comes to Chrome’s 2024 deadline, the preparations for operating in cookieless environments take much longer than many marketers realize. The transition can take up to eight months to complete.

Rather than prepare for the cookieless future, advertisers must take action on the cookieless present. Working with partners such as DeepIntent, that are fully prepared to support them in the cookieless present and future, can speed up the process and ensure they can reach valuable audiences today and tomorrow.

3. Why are cookieless identifiers important for healthcare marketers in particular?

Third-party cookies were not created to identify users so it’s no surprise that the cookie-matching mechanism that we have adopted to recognize customers is inefficient and fails to protect user data. Regulations in Europe have been challenging this use of third-party cookies, which also enable unauthorized third parties to access user data whether they have business relationships with the website. This puts the user’s data at risk.

Data privacy is especially vital for healthcare marketers, who operate in a highly regulated industry and deal with very sensitive data. Healthcare marketers must rely on technologies that have been developed specifically to identify users, respect their privacy preferences, and protect their data. That allows them to reach their audiences more effectively without worrying about privacy and data protection. It’s more efficient and effective in many ways: targeting and retargeting, frequency capping, and measurement.

4. How do the right identity solutions help healthcare marketers deploy advertising that is both relevant and privacy-safe?

Universal identifiers are one of the most established alternatives to third-party cookies. They provide user-level targeting, frequency capping, and measurement without any of the hurdles as these identifiers are built to respect users’ privacy preferences and protect their data.

Universal identifiers, such as the ID5 ID, can help healthcare marketers deploy relevant advertising by leveraging deterministic and probabilistic methods to reconcile IDs across domains.

Deterministic approaches involve the collection of hard signals such as hashed email addresses. They have the benefit of accuracy, yet fall short when it comes to scaling. Probabilistic methodologies involve the collections of soft signals such as IP address, timestamp, page URL, and user agent. They provide scale but can be less accurate. By combining both of these methods in one solution, healthcare marketers can achieve both scale and accuracy with their campaigns.

Privacy and data protection are at the core of next-generation identifiers, which is particularly important for healthcare marketers. ID5 has implemented a privacy center that enables users to have visibility on their identifiers and the ability to opt-out of ID5 completely.

5. What opportunities for identity resolution do you see in CTV?

On the web, we have been using an inefficient cookie-based infrastructure for identification and we are now tasked to rebuild a better one. CTV is a new environment that offers the opportunity to build something better from scratch.

CTV has device identifiers, though they aren’t always available. Depending upon the ad request, they could just be blocked, mostly for privacy or data protection reasons. Whatever the reason, those IDs aren’t being shared, making identification more difficult.

ID5 is helping provide a more singular ID that enables device manufacturers to be comfortable sharing with us. They know that we are going to convert it into something that’s not their ID, but that can be used by advertising and make that ID shared. We pull everything into a single framework, bringing a more singular, targeted approach to identity while still allowing for measurement.

6. How does the ever-evolving privacy landscape factor into the importance of first-party data?

First-party data is a great asset for both publishers and marketers. It is no surprise that, as we prepare for the next era of digital advertising, many players are investing a lot of time working on their first-party data strategies.

The challenge with first-party data is that it cannot be shared without a third-party mechanism as that data belongs to the domain that has collected it. Without a sharing mechanism, first-party data can only be leveraged via direct deals between advertisers and publishers, which is not a very scalable approach. This is exactly why the industry has been using third-party cookies: to enable advertising to activate their first-party data across different websites efficiently.

Universal identifiers are efficient and privacy-first. Brands can activate their first-party data across different websites and leverage publishers’ first-party data at scale, without having to sign deals with every single publisher.

7. What’s next for ID5?

We are always looking for constant improvement of the ID5 ID and this is our ongoing priority. And of course, continuing to grow the business. We’d like to see more adoption, more campaigns, more testing and learning, and more learnings fed back into the next campaign.

After concentrating on web and mobile for the past few years, we’re now expanding our operations into more CTV. Ultimately, we want to become an industry standard when it comes to identification.

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