ID5 Partner Q&A: Captify

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  • On May 28, 2024

In this issue of the ID5 Partner series, ID5’s Ian Vazquez, Business Development Director,  sat down with Amelia Waddington, Chief Product Officer at Captify to learn more about their mission and what she thinks the end of cookies means for programmatic advertising. 

What is the series all about? The Q&A with ID5 series invites ID5’s publisher, advertiser, and platform partners to share their insights on the big questions and hot topics circulating the digital media industry today. Tune in for new editions featuring thought leaders and experts from across the space.

Who is Captify? Tell us more about your work.

As the largest holder of onsite search data outside the walled gardens, Captify is the leader in real-time audiences and insights, fuelled by Search Intelligence. Connecting searches from over 3 million websites globally, Captify helps brands understand consumer interests, motivations and mindsets. Search behaviour provides the most authentic view into consumer intent, using the truest dataset that exists – onsite search. Our machine learning technology makes that intent actionable. This is what we call, Search Intelligence.

Our innovative, search-powered solutions empower brands through; pre-campaign strategy with smarter audience-building and targeting, seamless omnichannel activation, and fresh, actionable measurement and insights. 

How is Captify adapting its programmatic strategies in light of the impending end of cookies?

We’ve been future-proofing our solution since 2020, so we’re very prepared for when cookies eventually deprecate. The good news is that our cookieless solution allows us to continue working with clients as we did before – delivering the same great product and performance, just without cookies. 

We launched our contextual-based solution more than 3 years ago, and it is the industry’s only contextual solution with the power of Search Intelligence at its core. This solution has seen great success with programmatic campaigns performing even better than other standard contextual and our own cookie-based programmatic campaigns. We’re continuing to invest in and develop our cookieless offering ahead of the full depreciation of cookies, and we’ll be launching a second identity-based cookieless solution later this year.

Can you discuss Captify’s approach to balancing user privacy with the need for personalized advertising?

We believe that consumers want a free and open internet, and that information should neither be controlled by a small set of tech giants or locked behind paywalls that restrict knowledge to those already privileged enough to have wealth.

Online advertising is what keeps the internet free, funding online journalism, and powering commerce and communities. However, this should not come at the expense of consumers’ control over their data and its usage. Privacy preserving solutions like ID5 maintain the balance between privacy and advertising by ensuring the unauthorized re-selling or distribution of data, which was commonplace under third-party cookies, is no longer possible.  

Furthermore, Captify only processes consented data obtained directly from publisher sites. Captify is compliant with the industry’s privacy regulations, including GDPR and CCPA. Notably, Captify is IAB Gold Standard 2.0 certified and fully integrated into IAB TCF 2.0 Framework.

What challenges do you anticipate for brands and advertisers as they transition away from cookie-based targeting?

Measurement is going to be the biggest challenge as many tried and tested methodologies are replaced with new technologies and solutions. New benchmarks will need to be created and many downstream and upstream processes changed. However, I do believe this is also an opportunity as measuring outside of the cookie-able environments becomes more commonplace in a future world based on persistent IDs.  Captify’s search-based metrics will still be able to be utilised in a post-cookie world, so we will still be able to provide needle-shifting search lift studies. 

What advice would you give to brands looking to prepare for the end of cookies in their advertising strategies?

While the date for the deprecation of third-party cookies is something of a moving target, brands shouldnt use this as a reason to delay. Those who haven’t yet started testing cookieless solutions, should do so now alongside their existing set ups, while they still can. You can’t A:B test when there are no As left, so if brands want to understand the impact on scale, price and performance, now is the time. There are advantages in both the short, as well as the long term.

 In the short term persistent IDs can give incremental reach to cookies today (from non-cookie-able environments), so not using these options now is leaving eyeballs/consumers on the table. In the long term, those who are best prepared and have invested in and tested the alternatives will be the winners on the other side. Marketers may be pleasantly surprised, with cookieless solutions, including Captify’s, that can both improve performance and are more cost effective. 

What role do you think interoperability will play in the cookieless future? 

I think this will come, it is in everyone’s best interest to make it as easy as possible for advertiser’s dollars to reach publishers. Fragmentation always results in friction and leads to negative commercial outcomes for all of us in the industry  

What advice would you give to your platform partners as they prepare for the end of third-party cookies? 

There are so many post-cookie solutions out there now. Captify alone has contextual, and identity-based offerings. It’s important that platforms keep up with how partners want to integrate and invest in supporting our solutions or they will lose out to competitors with better offerings.