During a recent industry event, our own Jake Moskowitz revealed new findings around Emodo Institute’s latest research highlighting how several emerging creative formats are evolving to help recover the effectiveness and scale lost with ID deprecation. In this presentation, he urges us to consider if targeting is still meant to be the primary focus of innovation in our industry? Or does the real innovation lie on the creative side? In order to really understand, we have to consider the “Why”: the relationship between identity and personalization, as well as the “How”: how can we shift the focus to creative?

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The Relationship Between Identity and Personalization

Often, we consider identity and personalization to be one and the same, however, that’s not the case. Identity is just one way to create personalization, but there are many others. Personalization has long been a core value prop for digital advertising, perhaps best symbolized in 2014 when Facebook (now Meta) introduced “people-based marketing”, the “gold standard of advertising”, allowing them to follow users across all of their devices. This was the industry’s height of confusing identity as the only means of personalization – and we continue seeing this today in marketers spending nearly 3X as much money on programmatic inventory that has an ID.

Replacing IDs

80% of C-level marketers are already experiencing challenges such as “decreased effectiveness” in campaigns and audiences as a result of ID loss.  As less and less inventory has an ID associated with it, the industry has started proposing new ways to replace IDs, but can sources like first-party data and alternative identifiers really be expected to make up for the scale lost? Short answer – no. Unlike cookies and ad IDs, these replacements are all opt-in. First-party data is great if you can get it, but it won’t scale because there just isn’t as much of it.

Is it Really that Bad?

Yes – and it’s going to get worse. 88% of marketers who are already experiencing scale issues believe that the deprecation of 3rd party cookies is going to be a major issue for scale. Digiday’s research drew similar conclusions, stating that more than three quarters of advertisers feel they stand to lose in a post-cookie world. But are we overreacting? Definitely not. In February 2022, $315 billion dollars in market value had been erased from 4 companies since Apple’s iOS privacy changes went into effect in 2021, even before the more recent stock market declines.

So, What Do We Do?

Is this fixable? Can we make changes? Yes, starting with breaking our addiction to identity. Personalization and identity are not the same thing – there are many other ways to personalize beyond just identity. In fact, emerging creative innovations are an incredible source of solutions. Interested in learning about how creative can drive personalization and performance at scale? Ready to learn about how Emodo’s smarter, richer creative can help? Watch Jake’s presentation and see how to uplevel your advertising strategies in 3 simple steps.