The ad tech industry has a reputation for being complex. The interweaving technologies and custom solutions are often hard to navigate, and can leave advertisers with a lack of trust in the process. With the depreciation of cookies, publishers have an opportunity to re-engage advertisers and rebuild trust. 

In order to rebuild trust, publishers can use technology to provide advertisers a true benefit, clear access. It’s no secret that advertisers are looking for access to consumers and access to the data sources that help them scale and reach desired audiences. As marketers continue to deal with ongoing consumer privacy concerns and new regulations, as well as the demise of the third-party cookie, they can look to their publisher partners to help navigate these market changes, an opportunity to build trust. Simplifying the process that provides access to desired audiences can be an effective approach to mending the relationship.

Fostering Relationships and Trust 

Another factor in building trust between publishers and advertisers is a focus on quality. 

Contrary to popular belief, more ads on site doesn’t translate to more revenue for publishers and better results for advertisers. In order for both parties to benefit, publishers need to craft the right cocktail that generates results. This could include the number of ads on a page, how many times the ads refresh, ad sizes, click-to-play vs auto-roll video ads, and much more. A quality advertising mix will be engaging, high-value, and not intrusive to users. 

Programmatic is sometimes thought of as a ‘black box’ that lacks transparency with regards to where impressions are served, viewability, clicks, and conversions. Transparency is the root issue here. If publishers and SSPs can provide advertisers with real-time reporting, clean datasets, and accurate metrics, they’ll begin to improve the reputation of programmatic ads, build trust, and funnel more ad revenue into their businesses.

The Future In A Post Cookie World

While high-quality alternatives to the cookie do exist, what’s currently on the market is fragmented and can be challenging to leverage. Alternatives to the cookie need to be easy to implement and drive the kinds of results advertisers need in order to move away from the cookie entirely. However, the cookieless future is coming, and it’s just a matter of “when”, not “if”.

As we move away from cookies, we’ll see an increase in contextual advertising. In fact, contextual can often be a better browsing experience for users. Although cookie-based advertising tends to win most of the auctions, showing a user ads that are relevant to the content they’re consuming can improve the browsing experience and improve key metrics like pageviews per session, while decreasing bounce rate and reducing churn. 

Meanwhile, Direct and Private Marketplace (PMP) deals are trending back up as advertisers prepare to move away from cookies. For advertisers, direct deals have many advantages. They know exactly where their ads will show, for how long and how many impressions they will get for their ad spend. It then becomes crucial for publishers and SSPs to know their inventory inside and out. Without deep knowledge of their inventory, publishers could risk missing out on this crucial revenue opportunity in the coming years.


The recent push by Google to push back its plans to eliminate cookies until 2024 gives everyone more time to innovate, problem solve, and collaborate. At the same time, the looming deadline forced companies to really work toward finding cookie alternatives. This presents an opportunity for publishers to take the next couple years to work on improving the relationships between themselves and advertisers. Contextual advertising and Direct and Private Marketplace deals provide the best opportunity for this, but will require high-quality inventory and transparency from publishers and ad platforms to succeed.