Driving Results in a Cookieless Future: 5 Insights from Cisco’s Lori Dekker
With third-party cookies going away, many advertisers are looking for new ways to reach audiences and prove the effectiveness of their campaigns. Most agree that first-party data—data generated and owned by a brand itself—is the future.

First-party data has always been at the heart of the Samsung Ads approach. We’ve never relied on third-party cookies to build audiences, identify behavior, or measure campaign results. Instead, we’ve leveraged our first-party proprietary ACR data, from more than 50 million smart TVs across 45 million households in the U.S. Connecting linear, OTT, gaming, and more on a single platform, we enable brands to reach their target audiences in a brand-safe environment via first-party data—at scale. One such brand is Cisco. Samsung Ads has helped the global technology leader extend its reach, while eliminating waste, and driving triple digit website traffic lift.

We sat down with Lori Dekker, the firm’s Global Programmatic Media Lead to glean her insights on driving results in a cookie-less future. Here are five key takeaways from our conversation.

1. Get your house in order.

“You hear this a lot—that first-party data is the most valuable data. But what does that really mean in practical terms?” says Dekker. In Cisco’s case, the firm did several things to get its first-party data in order, including establishing and enforcing a naming convention in all campaigns across dozens of countries worldwide, which enabled them to connect all external media data to internal first-party data sets.

In addition, Dekker and her team have worked hard for years to understand their customer, including through analysis of their own company website. “It may not be obvious, but Cisco is a demand generation focused marketer,” she says. “We really worked to understand, learn, and group valuable behaviors on our digital properties.”

2. Create a value.

Dekker also reinforces how important it is to start with your customer and make sure you are delivering value to them.

“At Cisco, we created a product selection tool on our website, something to help an IT professional or executive, who's just starting to look at security, get started. To find the right product, it asks a series of questions: How many people in your company do you need to support? How large is your IT staff? Do you want technical recommendations, or general guidance? For every choice [a user makes], we know if we’re reaching a Small Business or Enterprise company. IT technician or business influencer. We are creating anonymous signals that ensure accuracy—without knowing through a cookie set.”

Starting with a focus on customer value, you can then build engagement that allows you to gather first-party data at the same time. This, according to Dekker, is the future of a cookie-less world.

3. Choose media partners that offer transparency.

Dekker was quick to point out the importance—as well as the challenges—of creating persistent anonymous IDs, which enable a brand to identify consumers across multiple devices and viewing experiences while maintaining consumer privacy. Without third-party cookies, advertisers will need to work with media partners that have greater transparency between devices.

“First-party data may be vital, but you don't advertise on your own property, you advertise on other people's properties,” she says. “So really it's about investigating and working hard to choose those media partners that offer that kind of transparency—and that level of transparency. Part of the reason that we chose Samsung as our CTV partner, is that Samsung is the only one that has the ability to persistently ID a television set at a device level. Persistent identity is no small thing. I think it’s the greatest challenge for someone who's reliant on third-party data today.”

4. Redefine your audience.

In the post-cookie era, what defines an audience is changing, according to Dekker. “In digital marketing, there’s this reliance on data, data, data,” she says. “But we tend to forget with all of this data that we need to think about the messaging and the creative that we produce. You might be able to have the most perfect audience in the world, but if your ad doesn't speak to them, it's never going to get the response.”

Key to driving that connection is thinking about audiences not as segments, but as media personas. “Start defining your audience more by how they're consuming and how they're responding,” says Dekker, “rather than thinking about it as an audience segment.”

5. Leverage CTV to reinforce your message.

Connected TV offers a wealth of new ways to reach audiences, bridging the gap between linear and digital in a way that enables attribution. Partnering with Samsung Ads, Dekker and her team are leveraging the CTV ecosystem to drive incremental reach in a number of ways.

“Connected TV and ACR data allow us to amplify our reach. If [I want] to buy a network, but I know there's a television that hasn't yet seen my ad… I can find them in Connected TV; I can amplify my sponsorship. I can build an audience by those who have specifically not seen my creative, as well as the broader audience I want to reach.”

For Dekker, CTV is also a powerful tool for increasing engagement based on audience behaviors on the Cisco website. “I’ve learned that there's a certain sweet spot, where all of a sudden my audience will start noticing advertising,” she says. “It really comes down to the ability to reinforce the messaging against the audience that’s more likely to buy. Samsung helps us do that.”

If you want to learn more about how Samsung can help without cookies click here!