People-based versus Cookie-based Measurement Comparison
Marketers for many years relied on measuring their audience reach, frequency, and conversions by using the ubiquitous “cookie,” a temporary identifier dropped onto user browsers until they delete them periodically (typically every 30 days or so). This identifier made it possible to track people who saw an ad (reach) and who showed up to the advertiser’s website to do some action (conversions).
However, with the advent of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the cookie started to crumble as a reliable way to have a complete view of a consumer’s digital ad experience. In fact, with the introduction of mobile in-app experiences and mobile device IDs, the consumer digital identity fragmented further, making it hard to accurately measure and therefore personalize and optimize ads.
Now with people-based marketing, brands are unifying their view of a consumer by connecting multiple cookies and device IDs. Deterministic identity graphs such as Thunder and LiveRamp are able to use authenticated logins across multiple devices to build a complete, accurate picture of who the consumer is across devices. Most of ad tech hasn’t yet been updated for the people-based world and so still run on just cookies or single device IDs for measurement, causing misleading results.
Thunder teamed up with LiveRamp to produce the first open, people-based ad server and as a result of running billion of impressions a month, Thunder has been able to study the difference between the traditional cookie-based measurement and new people-based measurement.
The fact there is a difference isn’t surprising but the size was quite shocking. Using cookies-only have been shown to only ~50% accurate now in the new multi-device world!
Get the full results in our new whitepaper, “Ad Counting Comparison Study.”