First-Party Data Or Bust: Inside Adobe’s Plan For Life After Cookies

Financial data analysis graph showing search findings. Selective focus. Horizontal composition with copy space.

Adobe is all in on first-party data.

Speaking at the Adobe Summit in Sydney this week, Adobe’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand Suzanne Steel said: “investing in first-party data is the only way”.

With a constantly evolving privacy landscape and third-party cookies quickly coming to the end of the line, it’s clear why businesses need to invest in their first-party data strategy.

What isn’t always as clear is how.

To help marketers as they move towards a cookieless future, Adobe is launching Segment Match, a new tool to help brands share their first-party data in a secure and compliant manner.

“What we’re talking about here is Adobe effectively being that custodian to allow two people to be able to match consent-attached first-party profiles,” said Adobe APAC Product Strategy & Product Marketing Gabbi Stubbs.

Segment Match is not a marketplace for businesses to freely buy and share customer data. Rather, it is all about allowing brands with common interests to expand their reach using consented metadata.

“We’re not talking about me handing over my device graph to you,” said Stubbs.

“Our job is to help our partners build and operationalise their own first-party data so they can control it, as opposed to an ad tech company controlling it or walled garden.

“That control sits with you and so that extends to everything you do around who you share with. It’s about creating  the infrastructure to be able to do that and the guardrails to be able to do that.”

Segment Match might be used to facilitate first-party data sharing between a publisher and a brand that already has a relationship. Here, data that customers have consented to sharing can be matched with other segments to help create valuable insights.

Alternatively, a large company such as Unilever might have complementary datasets from different brands (such as Dove and Lipton). Data siloes could mean this data is seperated and difficult to combine. Segment Match will allow this data matching while ensuring privacy controls remain in place.

Life after cookies… are we ready?

So is the Australian market ready for life after cookies?

It’s a mixed bag.

“The levels of understanding, the stages of maturity, the level of acceptance around it – they’re all so different. But I do feel really hopeful,” Stubbs said.

“We’re certainly more mature than South-East Asia, India and China.

“I think that’s because the predominance of third-party data was not as significant in our market anyway. We have some aggressive publishers, which helps.”

Stubbs suggested that these publishers are now able to compete with walled gardens due to their strong first-party data availability.



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