Two Questions to Ask Your DSP About Going Cookieless

Mastering the cookieless future of digital advertising is a top priority for pharmaceutical brands looking to get or stay ahead. Because even with changes coming, healthcare advertisers can’t sacrifice speed. We must be able to unlock — and apply — data fast enough to improve health outcomes.

Improving targeting capabilities in a post-cookie world calls for pooling knowledge and perspective across publishers, platforms, partners, and clients. Doing so helps create a unified health system where advertisers can identify and optimize media daily against patient and provider real-world outcomes.

At DeepIntent, we’re building solutions that ensure our clients’ advertising strategies maximize the value of health data and media, no matter what the future holds.

We’ve developed two initial tests in collaboration with clients and partners. Together, they evaluate whether a DSP has the functional ability to maximize addressability — and therefore audience data — after third-party cookies are deprecated.

So, prepare for what lies ahead by asking your DSP these two questions:

1. Can your DSP effectively target HCPs and patients using only cookieless identifiers?

Healthcare advertisers can ensure that their campaigns reach the right audiences by implementing cookieless identifiers like ID5, UID2, RampID, and others. With the right mix of such identifiers, you’ll be able to reach the HCPs and patients you want to reach — compliantly and without third-party cookies. “Cookieless” doesn’t have to be a source of stress for anyone.

2. Can your DSP deliver impressions to Chrome “Mode B” users?

Mode B users, who already have third-party cookies disabled, make up 1% of Chrome users. For pharma, that’s a small subset of patients and providers, but testing the delivery of impressions to this group is telling. Why? Publishers and SSPs may use third-party cookies to link to cookieless identifiers. Given this, assessing whether your DSP can reach users and deliver impressions in a “true” cookieless environment can be difficult. This simple test works by targeting the same audience you do today — but adding an additional filter for targeting only Chrome Mode B users. It ensures you can deliver ads to users in a fully cookie-deprecated environment by suppressing the ability of the SSP to use cookies to link to cookieless identifers.

Answering “yes” to these questions is crucial for healthcare advertisers preparing for the post-cookie era. Ultimately, they help determine whether a brand can reach valuable HCP and DTC audiences, with or without third-party cookies.

But it’s not just about technical capabilities. As we witness evolving privacy and industry standards, it’s also about being informed and proactive. In part, this means staying on top of Google Chrome’s Protected Audience API (PAAPI) developments. The PAAPI is Chrome’s ecosystem in development, aiming to continue allowing for audience targeting but without audience tracking.

So, here’s some extra credit: Ask your DSP to start testing delivering ads using the PAAPI.

Earlier this month, the IAB Tech Lab detailed an analysis of PAAPI and Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox more generally. As we’ve also confirmed through our own testing, while the Privacy Sandbox holds promise, its functionality still leaves much to be desired.

We’re addressing these challenges with ongoing experimentation and collaboration with industry stakeholders. Fortunately, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been reviewing Google’s plans since 2021, and to some degree, they’ll arbitrate the phase-out of cookies globally​. Our fully integrated, end-to-end platform will ensure pharma advertisers can target with the same relevancy and immediacy in the long term.

Pharma brands have always faced unique privacy and performance hurdles. Now, with the phase-out of third-party cookies, they will depend on targeting strategies and ad tech purpose-built for health outcomes. By partnering with a health-focused DSP, advertisers can confidently navigate the transition to a cookieless world and ensure that their therapies reach those who need them the most.

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