The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group ahead of the curve in a cookieless future

Wall Street Journal

‘The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group is fortunate to be in a position where we have very strong first-party data’

A challenge facing all advertisers today is how to navigate the digital ad marketplace without third-party cookies. For Australian-based advertisers seeking to reach the Asia Pacific region, The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group has been watching the changing privacy landscape and its impact on the digital marketing ecosystem.

Investment to serve Australian advertising clients will now ramp up in the region, including the new partnership with WeThinkMedia and other support.

See also: Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group partners with WeThinkMedia

Third-party cookies and privacy landscape

The company’s head of media sales and The Trust for Asia Pacific, Julia Clyne (pictured above), told Mediaweek about the impact the removal of third-party cookies will have on clients who use its news destinations including WSJ, MarketWatch, Barron’s, Mansion Global, and Financial News which reach over 122m users globally each month (per 2021 Q3 data).

“For many years, there has been increasing pressure from consumers and regulators to better protect the privacy rights of website users across the internet. In 2018, for example, a significant regulation called GDPR was passed into law in the EU — what it mandated was that websites had to be explicit about their use of third-party cookies, they had to gain consent from users to collect their information and share how that info was going to be used. It also meant that the arrangement between users and websites can be opted out of at any time.”

Digital players such as Google and Apple have implemented new protocols regarding collecting data, and while the Australian government now requires a warning about data collection on Australian-based websites, it doesn’t yet require the user to consent to it.

Clyne explained: “Most will agree that what will fundamentally shake up the industry is the phasing out of third-party cookies by Google, which alone accounted for 52% of last year’s global digital ad spending of $292 billion, according to digital ad consultancy, Jounce Media.”

Challenges and opportunities

An immediate challenge for brands will be establishing and fostering a direct, trusted relationship with customers, if this hasn’t already been achieved.

“Increasingly, brands will need to refocus their efforts into collecting (more) first-party data and that will necessitate investing in new tech infrastructure, and some could also be looking at setting up new partnerships with publishers in the future,” said Clyne.

“At the same time, the move towards a cookieless era will create opportunities to reimagine relationships and think about new products — ultimately enabling enhanced personal user experiences in the long term.”

Proprietary digital solutions proven to help advertisers

“The eventual withdrawal of third-party cookies poses a challenge but also an opportunity for many brands and marketing professionals,” added Clyne. “The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group is fortunate to be in a position where we have very strong first-party data (thanks to the fact that we introduced a paywall to the WSJ website back in 1997), which means we know what our customers want to read, how they interact with our products and crucially what content we can be creating on behalf of our advertisers, which will genuinely resonate with our audience.”

Advertisers in APAC using The Wall Street Digital Network can reach 10m readers monthly.

“We have more paid readers than we ever had before attesting to the quality and value our journalism brings to readers.

“We are ahead of the curve in not relying on cookies, and given our direct, deepening digital relationship with loyal members of The Wall Street Journal Barron’s Group community as well as access to deterministic data built over 25 years now, we feel confident to thrive in a cookieless future and drive strong results for advertisers globally.
“Our focus over the last five years has been on the organisation of our data into a robust infrastructure, through our investment in our own CDP (Customer Data Platform) which houses all of our unstructured and structured data.”

Clyne told Mediaweek that the group had been able to create proprietary advertising products and applications off the back of its data, which help to better serve the needs of advertising clients.

“Our suite of unique, scalable ad tech products and solutions include 1P audience segments, proprietary contextual targeting solutions, proprietary technology that optimises blocklists as well as Insite, a tool that allows us to see, in almost real-time, what editorial content, editorial formats and editorial products our audiences are engaging with.”

Google has extended its deadline for the removal of third-party cookies from its Chrome browser to 2023, meaning marketers have time to properly explore partnering with a publisher that has developed a successful strategy for the future.

Photo: The University of Queensland/Louis Dillon Savage

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