Back to Blog

Embracing a Cookieless Future: The Power of Universal IDs

The phasing out of third-party (3P) cookies presents both challenges and opportunities for advertisers. 

At Zeotap, we are committed to staying ahead by leveraging Universal IDs (UIDs), which ensure our clients can activate data seamlessly in a cookieless world and run campaigns with equal or even improved results. Regardless of Google’s actions concerning third-party cookies, advertisers and agencies need to collect permissioned data, activate audiences, and measure outcomes. 

This blog post explores what Universal IDs are, how they compare with 3rd party cookies, why they are crucial for the future of digital advertising, and how they are utilised at Zeotap.

What are Universal IDs?

UIDs are a modern solution for user identification, tracking and activation in the digital advertising ecosystem, addressing many of the limitations and privacy concerns associated with traditional third-party cookies.

The key Universal IDs in Europe include ID5, EUID and Zeotap ID+,  all of which are gaining traction in the industry.

UIDs utilise numerous data points to assign an ID to a user. Hashed email addresses (collected from consented, logged-in users) are among the most commonly utilised deterministic signals, together with hashed phone numbers. IP address, user agent, device specifications are also highly valuable to identify a user; these and similar signals fuel UID’s that allow for probabilistic id resolution. 

Universal IDs Vs 3P Cookies

UIDs and cookies are both used for tracking and identifying users on the internet, but they differ in several fundamental ways.

First of all, UIDs enable more precise personalisation due to the persistent  nature of the identifiers across the advertising ecosystem. 3P Cookies, in contrast, are limited in their ability to deliver personalised experiences due to browser restriction limits: 3P cookies are restricted or fully blocked by default by multiple browsers, reducing their longevity and effectiveness.

In addition, UIDs function cross-site and cross-device, leading to more accurate and comprehensive user profiles. In contrast, 3P cookies are domain-specific, forming a more fragmented view.

Lastly, designed with privacy regulations in mind, UIDs often come with built-in consent management and privacy protections, making them more compliant with modern data protection laws. Meanwhile, cookies are increasingly seen as non-compliant with privacy regulations, leading to a decline in their usage and adoption in the ecosystem.

Why Universal IDs Matter

Universal IDs offer several key benefits that make them essential in the current and future digital advertising landscape:

  • Incremental Reach:With major browsers like Safari and Mozilla already cookieless since 2017, Universal IDs are the only way to perform targeted advertising on these browsers, which have a market share of around 30%. Activating Universal IDs immediately extends reach and therefore effectiveness.
  • Compliance with Privacy Regulations: Universal IDs help advertisers comply with privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA by providing a standardised framework for user consent and data management.
  • Interoperability: Universal IDs promote cooperation between platforms, enabling  integration and data sharing. This creates a unified user profile across the adtech ecosystem, allowing for accurate personalization of ads.

Universal IDs and Zeotap

At Zeotap, we strive for an open, effective, privacy-compliant digital advertising ecosystem, and believe UID’s are a powerful solution to the current industry changes. Therefore, we have built our own proprietary UID ID+, and are partnering with multiple other UIDs. ID5 is already an integral part of our ID graph, and we are continuing to work with other industry players to ensure superior capacity to activate.

Our clients can readily use UID’s as the currency for audience activation, be it their own client data, or a 3rd party segment:

  • Client Data Activation: Our Customer Data Platform (CDP) clients can extend their first-party (1P) data to Universal IDs and activate it downstream. This capability allows them to continue targeting and personalizing ads in a cookieless environment.
  • Third-Party Data Segments: Our 3P data segments include Universal IDs, facilitating activation in environments where 3P cookies are no longer viable.

By leveraging our comprehensive cookieless solution, advertisers can future-proof their campaigns and enhance personalised, compliant advertising strategies. Our CDP ensures easy, secure, and impactful data management, enabling seamless activation across the programmatic ecosystem. With our data-driven approach, we focus on building, selling, and servicing the most effective audiences, thereby maximising incremental reach and results. For more information on how Zeotap can help your business thrive in a cookieless world, contact us here.

Share this post

Related blog posts

Sign up for our newsletter

Be the first to get access to our marketing resources and keep up to date with the latest CDP best practices, privacy standards, marketing, and customer data.

Industry recognitions

Trusted by

What our customers say

Schedule a Demo

It is simple to deliver amazing customer experiences without compromising user privacy. Complete the short form, and we’ll be in touch to schedule your demo.