Simpli.Fi TV’s Response to the Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies | Paul Harrison


David McBee: Hello and welcome to TV, the web series and podcast for agencies, brands, marketers, and media buyers. I'm David McBee. Our guest today is Paul Harrison,'s very own chief technology officer, and he is here today to talk to us about cookie deprecation. Paul, welcome to TV. It's always an honor to have the chief technology officer of the company on my show, so I appreciate you. I want to jump right into it, though. I want to get right into the topic here of cookie deprecation. It's happening with third party cookies on Chrome, and the media has been warning us about the cookie apocalypse. So, should advertisers be worried? Paul Harrison: I think it depends. It depends on who you're using to run your advertising. There are some companies in our space that are clearly well positioned and have followed a formula that's going to lead to success, and then there are others who think that this is just going to go away and have buried their head in the sand. So, I wouldn't necessarily call it a cookie apocalypse, but I certainly would say you need to be well-informed and you need to be aware of what the pluses and minuses and the pitfalls are going to be as we move into a more cookieless environment on the web. So for, just in general, we've been very, very proactive in thinking about third party cookies, and the reason for that is that I was the CTO of another company back in 2008 when we had to deal with the deprecation of third party cookies on Safari, and that created a whole host of issues, especially with third party segments and to a larger degree with attribution. And so, there was a big scramble on how to deal with it. There were many solutions that were created and just in our industry in general, the one thing you can always count on is there's going to be change, and for some it's going to be an opportunity, and for others it's going to be quite a challenge. And for us, we looked at it as an opportunity. So, thinking about that particular situation back in 2008, built our entire platform adhering to a premise of privacy by design. And so, that approach means that we're not ingesting PII information, and instead we're focusing on unstructured data. We're leveraging alternative IDs, we're leveraging a graph of graphs that allow us to take the ever-growing fragmentation of signals in order to continue to advertise as usual. We've established some strategic partnerships with some very interesting folks out there. A couple of them that come to mind are LiveRamp, another one's Intent IQ. They both are tackling this from different directions, but together they help us to target these things and there are many others, and then we've got many cookieless solutions that we've been creating and putting out in the marketplace. Contextual advertising is one of those targeting types that you hear a lot about in the marketplace. I actually have written quite a few patents on that topic, and we employ many different techniques in the contextual targeting space here. We created a product called ZTV, and we've also created geofencing product sets. And so, these efforts reflect on our commitment to staying ahead of industry changes and ensuring that our advertisers can navigate the evolving digital advertising landscape in a very seamless way. David McBee: That's exciting stuff, Paul. I love that, but I want to dive into some specifics. On the third party deprecation, people are talking about its impact on keyword search retargeting, specifically, site retargeting and frequency capping. Are we prepared for that? Paul Harrison: So, the short answer is we are prepared for that. That doesn't mean that there won't be impacts on those kinds of products, but there are alternative solutions to mitigate the impacts. There is so much inventory and so much targeting opportunity out there that no one's going to really notice it. It's not going to make a difference in your delivery of your campaign or not. The bigger area is not really in the targeting where you're going to see various impacts. It's more going to be in the attribution. And so in the attribution aspect of things, there are lots of companies coming up with alternative methods for continuing to get as close to the one-to-one advertising that everybody was promised for so long and we thought we had for a little while. But for the most part, I think attribution will become a little bit more panel-based or a little bit more where you're taking the signals that you're seeing and you're scaling them in a way to give an idea, a directional on the attribution. Some things will still have one-to-one attribution, but not all of things will have all of the different targeting methods will necessarily have one-to-one attribution. But regardless, we're continuing to navigate these changes that are happening in our industry. Another area that's an opportunity for us in the industry as a whole is Google's Privacy Sandbox. I understand that it gets kind of mixed reviews on what it can and what it can't do, and we don't know the full power of it quite yet, but we are involved with implementing Privacy Sandbox. We look at it as an opportunity. We think it's also a mechanism for mitigating some of the crucial targeting and remarketing, which is what you were talking about, and even some of the attribution aspects of it, because there are some nuances there. Now, the Privacy Sandbox you see today isn't necessarily a Privacy Sandbox that we're going to see a year from now or five years from now. It's going to evolve as the needs of our industry evolve as well. David McBee: That's great. What about these cookieless solutions? You mentioned a few of them, contextual, ZTV. Can you go into a little more detail about how those work? Paul Harrison: Yeah, sure, absolutely. So, let's use contextual. We've done contextual since the beginning. As I mentioned, I have a strong background in that particular targeting type. We also did an acquisition of Bidtellect. They have a strong offering of contextual, especially as it applies to native advertising, and so that's just enhanced our offerings for how we're able to target in a completely cookieless environment. We also have made some pretty strong investments in the CTV space on a cookieless solution, specifically around ZTV. Now, typically what's used aren't even cookies in CTV, what's typically used are either IP addresses or various types of IDs. And so, ZTV actually gives us an opportunity to even work beyond those types of IDs. So, it's truly a tool set or a targeting set that would survive many different types of "apocalypses" that could happen as it relates to CTV. We've also got some very interesting offerings in the geofencing space, which is not dependent on those cookies. And then that geofencing also has conversion zones, so that's an attribution that's less reliant on any kind of signals related to cookies. The only time you really use any kind of a signal that would maybe a cookie in the past, but more IP and some alternative IDs would be when you're trying to translate a desktop to a mobile device to tie it back to a household, so that you can attribute it to that conversion zone. We have some addressable geofencing. We've got some campaign audience retargeting that is cookieless, and then we also have a first party CRM targeting offering that is actually a very compelling offering. And so, by offering this kind of comprehensive suite of cookieless solutions, is really empowering advertisers to overcome the challenges posed by this whole deprecation of third party cookies. We're continuing to reach out to targeting audiences effectively across all the various channels and devices that are needed to successfully deliver on those campaigns. David McBee: Well, I don't know about our listeners, but I feel better, Paul. Thank you for all that wonderful information about how is prepared and what advertisers should look for. Thank you so much for being my guest today on TV. Paul Harrison: Thank you. David McBee: Thank you guys for watching. TV is sponsored by, helping to maximize relevance and multiply results with our industry leading media buying and workflow solutions. For more information, visit Thanks for joining us today. I'm David McBee, be awesome, and we'll see you next time.

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