Mobile IDs Are Better Than Desktop Cookies

laptop1-639x395People are so trapped in the past that they don’t know a good thing when it smacks ’em in the face.

I read article after article bemoaning the lack of cookies in mobile apps and they act like it is the end of the world and they tell people that this is constraining the growth of mobile advertising.

Grow the heck up. The people that say that are the people that are constraining mobile advertising with their timidity to embrace the future and navel gazing.

Think about where we are at today. Now, instead of having to have complicated analytics tools and cookie swapping and industry consortia (that charge a hefty fee) to “manage consumer opt-out”, there is a single unique ID that exists for every device and it is shared across applications and consistent over time.

Holy attribution, Batman!

You want to know how many people I showed ads to in my app that later used your app and did various things? We are both using the exact same identifier for the device. It’s easy. You want to know how many of your applications consumers use my app? Give me your device IDs and I can tell you in 30 seconds. You don’t need to worry about ramping up retargeting populations. I have been using the exact same device IDs that you have since the inception of Device IDs. We can do that analysis now.

You want to run a campaign driving engagement with your content? Give me the device IDs of consumers that have your app installed and we can deliver massive scale tomorrow.

Trying to do data matching? Yahoo, Google, and Facebook have all already tied consumer logins to device IDs. Businesses like Datalogix, Verve, and BlueKai have large device ID data sets matched to a variety of consumer data sets.

Think back to a decade ago: If, instead of cookies, Tim Berners-Lee had said “from now on, with each HTTP request, a browser will pass a single unique token that identifies that browser to every web site”. Advertisers, marketers, publishers, and data platform developers would have had a party! Of course, this would be the end of complex tag management systems because these systems would be unnecessary, but still. No more 20 pixels on a page so everyone can do their tracking thing. No more back-end server-to-server cookie sync. No more worrying about match rate.

Just because you are comfortable with cookies doesn’t make it right! Welcome to the bright mobile future of transparent knowledge of cross-application habits. And all of this is done in a remarkably privacy friendly way. There is a button on your phone that you can use to turn this off! This kind of technology is remarkable hard to do right on the desktop because 1st party cookies are so important for things like user logins. Instead we are forced to rely on every company ingesting a steady stream of opt-ins and opt-outs from a variety of third parties all trying to collect this data (for a fee!).

Why would we embrace the past when the future is so bright? It is no wonder mobile advertising is experiencing such explosive growth. It just works better!

Cross-device matching, of course, is a real thing. I will talk about that in a future post, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter!

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