Account Intelligence

How Demandbase Is Evolving Past Third-Party Cookies

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May 31, 2021

5 mins read

How Demandbase Is Evolving Past Third-Party Cookies

How Demandbase Is Evolving Past Third-Party Cookies

The future deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome will impact many B2B advertising vendors — especially those who primarily use third-party white-labeled DSPs, where they aren’t in complete control of the technology. What other account-based vendors in our space won’t tell you is that the deprecation will also impact account identification and the collection of intent behaviors. In addition to having our own demand-side platform (DSP), Demandbase has long been preparing new approaches to evolve.

The basics

Multiple articles scare readers with phrases such as the “death of the cookie.” In reality, the announcement from Google is specifically referring to the deprecation of third-party cookies. Your company will still have access to first-party cookies on your own website, typically provided by your marketing automation platform.

First-party cookies are stored by the domain (website) you are visiting directly. They allow website owners to collect analytics data and perform other useful functions that help provide a good user experience.
Third-party cookies are created by domains other than the one you are visiting directly. They are used for cross-site tracking, retargeting, and ad-serving.

Account identification without third-party cookies

It’s more important than ever to find alternatives to cookies that support IP-to-company matches. We understand this well, evidenced by our acquisitions of two leading data companies.

As of today, we process over 20 billion raw identification signals per day. No other vendor comes close to analyzing data at this scale. This is one reason we’ve won the last 7 out of 10 data bake-offs versus a major competitor.

We constantly evaluate hundreds of thousands of signals per second against our classification of the 4.3 billion addresses supported by IPv4 technology. At Demandbase, we’ve always used multiple data points to increase our confidence in our IP-to-company matches and third-party cookies have been just one of them. The removal of third-party cookies within Chrome will have a negligible impact on our identification capabilities, thanks to having additional data sources: expanded bidstream reach, over 1,000 JavaScript tags deployed on company websites, hundreds of marketing automation integrations, and our IdentityLink partnership with LiveRamp.

In contrast to Demandbase, one vendor in our space highlights their access to an acquired chatbot tool to further enhance their IP address identification. This is not a well-adopted product. Additionally, they deploy email signature spyware to compare website visitor IPs with the email opener’s email domain. Email signature spyware is, by its very nature, inaccurate due to redirects and how certain email clients cause the signature pixels to fire in different ways. Consequently, the data is noisy and produces inaccurate signals.

False account identification produces the same problem as inaccurate intent: a domino effect of bad decisions that cause wasted marketing and sales resources.

Intent data collection without third-party cookies

To effectively gather intent behaviors, you need to start with accurate account identification. As expressed above, the loss of third-party cookies will make it harder for vendors to confidently gather intent data, especially if they haven’t already re-evaluated their data collection and increased their partnership strategies.

Since we source intent data through the bidstream, primarily using IP-address identification — with the assistance of natural language processing to make sense of the billions of signals — we aren’t affected by the future deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome. The account-level intent behaviors we gather will continue to accurately feed our predictive models and power sales insight alerts with sellers well into the future.

Advertising without cookies

Chrome’s move to organize users into cohorts and away from individual-level targeting and measurement will be less impactful on Demandbase since we already have an aggregated view of the world. Our only interest in individual users is to associate them with an account, which is analogous to a cohort. Gareth Noonan, Demandbase Advertising General Manager, explains our view of a cookie-less world in this video:


As mentioned at the top of this article, the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome will still have an impact on many B2B advertising vendors. Thankfully, we’ve built Demandbase Advertising so that it doesn’t rely on cookies. We’ve already built and continue to optimize contextual advertising, we’ve significantly improved our IP identification data set for scale and accuracy, and we’ve partnered with the leading identity resolution provider, LiveRamp, to incorporate their cookie-less IdentityLink technology into our custom-built B2B DSP.

Speaking of contextual advertising, we’d like to give you a sneak peek at our high-intent page advertising. It’s a new technology under continued optimization that focuses ad budgets on hyper-contextual impressions. We use natural language processing (the same technology used to collect intent) to score how closely the content of a specific publisher page matches your campaign. For impressions being served on the highest-scoring pages, our smart bidder will bid more frequently and with a higher CPM. This new type of ad impression scoring is completely independent of third-party cookies or any other form of user tracking. Initial campaign tests are seeing increased advertising performance thanks to this more targeted approach.


High Intent Page Advertising at Demandbase

High Intent Page Advertising is a new technology at Demandbase under continued optimization that focuses ad budgets on hyper-contextual impressions.


Here is Gareth again, this time discussing common concerns from customers regarding the timing of Chrome’s changes:


In summary

Demandbase expects to deliver increasingly higher business outcomes for our customers regardless of future limitations on third-party cookies. This includes maintaining high and accurate account identification, continuously collecting intent behaviors across the business internet, and creating a more targeted approach to advertising — assuring that our customers’ advertising goals are met. To all of our prospects and customers, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a deep dive into any of the subject matter I’ve covered in this article.

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Russell Martin

Director of Product Marketing, Demandbase

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