Looking into 2022, companies will need to fine alternatives to third-party cookies.
“There’s a global perception regarding the user, that their data has been shared or is being monetised without their consent,” said Javier Chanfreau, president of NGL Collective, about the end of third-party cookies.
Speaking to 243 delegates from 85 companies in 22 countries at the INMA Latin America Conference on Friday, Chanfreau discussed how the end of third-party cookies will impact the digital ecosystem. One main impact is audience targeting.
If companies do not have the data they currently have access to, audience targeting will be affected. “This connection will disappear, but there are alternatives to gathering this data,” Chanfreau said.
Chanfreau introduced the four main alternatives to third-party cookies that have been statistically proven to work within companies across Europe, Latin America, and North America:
Google Privacy Sandbox.
First-party data “gives back to the media something that has been lost, the obligation to have a clear strategy of collecting big data,” Chanfreau said. “By having a good first-party data strategy, I will know what content my readers will want and how to retrofeed them.”
Chanfreu suggests this should be at the forefront of publishers strategies moving into a future without cookies: “This is something you should tackle firsthand because this is an inevitable change.”
“We lost global focus regarding the interaction with the user,” Chanfreau said about the use of third-party data. Based on how companies have been using first-party data, Chanfreau trusts that moving away from third-party cookies will only allow companies to be more effective for the media.
Two case studies illustrate how news media companies are adjusting strategies as the digital world changes.
El País tracks advertiser-consumer connections with in-house product
When people started shopping digitally during the pandemic and digital exploded in other ways thanks to COVID-19, El País’ evolution of staying relevant to their readers was forced into hyper speed.
“Companies want to sell to stay afloat after a crisis,” says Ana Laura Perez, digital project manager for the media company. “Our business had to be beyond just having relationships with our advertisers.”
El País wanted to capitalise on its trusted journalism and not just sell, but also provide strong and apparent value for its readers.
“We understood our credibility went up, our main strength, our relationship with our audiences, and we are very important for people when they need quality information,” Perez said.
El Pais wanted to act as the mediator and bridge the gap between the readers and advertiser.
“What we see is a connection between advertisers and their audiences and we help them connect,” Perez said. “We connect needs, desires, and also curiosities.”
El Pais conducted studies to see its strengths and weaknesses as a business. The company is good at positioning brands but needed work with direct ad results.
Audience Manager Juan Martin Vaz said the company decided to go a different direction than what Google or Facebook had to sell to the El País audience, instead creating a product on its own called LEADS.
“We made a brand. We created a Web site. And we created a solution that would cover everything,” Paz said.
The all-encompassing package included a team that was looking at performance. El País then brought that to the customer.
“We talked to someone else who wanted to buy these branding products,” Paz said. But none of the offers were quite right, so they essentially turned into a marketing agency.
“When the customer came to us with a specific need, we had to think, OK, what is it the customer is selling, how are we going to offer the product, what is the best channel,” Paz said. “So that’s what we did. We gave them counseling.”
El País created a landing page that could detect when a client didn’t have what they needed for success. Sometimes that was an inadequate Web site, form, or database. Then they could work on solutions together.
“We have a customer service department,” Paz said. “We can create custom service through telephone, e-mail, or we can create a chat bot if the product allows.”
Metrics of course is a big part of measuring the success of LEADS, Paz said: “We can study them in real time. We can see for example how much traffic there is, how many connections it is generating.”
Infobae focuses on mobile audience engagement
Daniel Hadad , CEO at Infobae in Argentina, outlined three ways Infobae is adapting to the new world of mobile news:
Less computer, more mobile. “We are migrated more and more to the cell phone — everything is centred to the cell phone. With social media we compete for time, we compete with everybody. We aren’t just competing with The New York Times or The Washington Post. We are competing with TikTok.”
Less comments, more analysis. People need information with more journalistic analysis. Infobae decided a long time ago to eliminate comments on its articles. “We believe there are more important places for this, like social networks. In those places there is place for debate.”
Less notices, more stories. Stories are sought after by users. Infobae follows various studies and reports that are conducted on digital media.
Hadad referred to a Reuters Digital News report, which studied media around 80 countries. COVID-19 had an important impact on people who have turned more to journalism. What’s more, 73% of the population in many countries access their news through a smartphone.
Facebook always shows the user what they want to see, Hadad said. He thinks this is one of the potential dangers of personalisation.
“I believe we have to have a different approach. We cannot be tempted by that. Maybe we can get growth by that approach and we have the tech abilities. But we would be doing something different than real journalism.”
News media, Hadad said, is an intellectual product that needs to maintain a dialogue with audiences and give them information to be critically thinking citizens — not to just present to them only what they want to see.