Beyond the Cookie: How Australia Marketers and Publishers View Identity and Privacy

When Google announced in June it was pushing back third-party cookie deprecation to 2023, digital media professionals felt relieved. Four months later, neither marketers nor publishers have changed their old habits. Why? The industry hasn’t agreed on a path forward without third-party cookies.

Stakeholders must take action on fixing identity now. Without a reliable, scalable identifier, ad targeting, personalization, and measurement risk being broken. No business in digital should consider this “someone else’s problem.” 

That said, solving for identity resolution can certainly seem like a large task. To that end, Lotame surveyed 200 Australian marketers and publishers to understand their thinking about the future of identity and privacy. Here’s what was found: 

Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Will Hurt Revenue

Without an industry-wide solution for a post-cookie world, marketers and publishers will suffer financially. Marketers will see wasted spend, with 53% expecting that the loss of third-party cookies will reduce their ability to target campaigns effectively. To wit, 61% of marketers expect their revenue will fall by 10-15%. 

Publishers will see CPMs fall, as advertisers balk at paying top dollar for inexact targeting. Nearly 70% of publishers expect they’ll need to let go of employees as a result of declining revenue. It’s in everyone’s best interest to test new identity solutions. And, publishers are taking the lead. They’re significantly more likely than marketers to test all types of identity solutions, from authenticated to probabilistic.

Marketers & Publishers Want Multiple IDs

The number of new identity solutions entering the marketplace may seem daunting. But more than three in five (62%) marketers already work with an identity partner and the majority are keen to test more. Further, digital professionals want not one universal identity solution, but multiple. Among marketers, 33% said their optimal number of identity solutions was two, and 20% said three, or that they’d be open to any number. Publishers feel similarly, with 35% saying two solutions was optimal, and 26% being open to any number.

Any identity solution will need to work with others, so campaigns can scale. In October 2020, Lotame launched Panorama ID™, interoperable with all device IDs in the marketplace, while also complying with users’ privacy decisions.

 The Timeline Is Welcome, but Suspect

That sense of relief industry stakeholders felt with Google’s third-party cookie delay was quickly followed by apprehension: What’s Google planning? Will Google try to corner the identity market with its own solution?

 Among marketers and publishers, 67% said they were glad to have more time, and 36% expected a delay. But 43% said they were suspicious of Google’s reasoning.

Apple’s Privacy Protections Have a Flip Side

Apple gets a lot of credit for its efforts to protect consumers’ privacy — blocking third-party cookies by default in Safari, and limiting identifiers that can be used in ad campaigns. This is good for enhancing consumers’ trust in the digital ecosystem.

But some marketers are sceptical of the new iCloud Privacy Relay and Mail Privacy Protection, which removes user IP addresses, limits user information that can be collected through email, and hides browsing activity. These features could negatively impact marketing efforts: 57% of respondents said they were concerned about their ability to monetize email, and 54% were concerned about how email hash identifiers would be affected. This is a big deal, as email-based IDs are one of the more familiar cookieless IDs the industry has at its disposal. They’re the most popular of all ID solutions marketers and publishers intended to test in the next year (chosen by 65% of respondents). 

A future without third-party cookies will be here before you know it — and we need to expect there will be changes in policy and regulation that will complicate the time left to prepare. Start testing identity solutions now. If you don’t want to end up settling for a quick fix in 2023, do your research, talk with industry peers, and find future-proof solutions that preserve your business’s ability to connect with consumers in meaningful and respectful ways.

Access “Beyond the Cookie: Identity Adoption & Testing Among Marketers and Publishers,” Lotame’s global survey report here. To start testing Lotame Panorama ID™, the first global people-based, privacy-first identifier for the open web, contact