Category: Thought Leadership

The Sun is Setting on Third-Party Cookies and It’s Time to Move with the Market, Not Against It


Google Chrome to Drop Third-Party Cookies

On January 15th, Google announced that third-party cookies would be blocked in Chrome by 2022. Over the past 24 months, increasingly aggressive iterations of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Apple products have challenged the third-party cookies used for measurement and targeting. However, Chrome currently commands a majority of desktop browser share globally, which makes Google’s announcement significant for the industry. In the next 24 months, third-party cookies will become effectively unusable for advertising measurement.

Based on current usage, by 2022 the market will be dominated by browsers that block some or all third-party cookies by default.

The Next Two Years

With this announcement and self-imposed deadline, Google will have to work out how their own ad platforms will interface with third parties, such as ad exchanges. The programmatic advertising ecosystem of which Google is a significant part of is based on third-party cookies. As things stand, Data Management Platforms (DMPs) will be significantly challenged. Likewise, view-based and today’s multi-touch attribution (MTA) solutions are effectively moot. Many forms of third-party data, already challenged by government regulations like GDPR enforced in May 2018, will cease to exist.

Google has proposed a mechanism to allow for anonymized and aggregated measurement called the Chrome Privacy Sandbox which was announced in August 2019.

Sand What?

In August 2019, Google announced an initiative aimed at evolving the web with architecture that advances privacy, while continuing to support a free and open ecosystem. They call it a “Privacy Sandbox.” Right now, these constitute a set of proposals for browser APIs that will eventually serve as privacy-preserving technical alternatives to third-party cookies.

There aren’t any tangible tools inside the Privacy Sandbox—at least not yet. Google said in their blog post that it aims to “eventually” build these tools with the industry over the next two years to ensure interoperability in the programmatic and ad tech ecosystem.

How Will We Target Audiences Without Cookies?

Third-party cookies have been used for everything from frequency management to behavioral targeting. How might marketers continue to employ these tactics moving forward?
Audience-based and user-level targeting have been the cornerstone of programmatic buying over the past decade. Indeed, the very concerns around ad targeting and user privacy contributed to Google’s announcement.

There is every reason to believe that targeting will still be possible, as will attribution, but the mechanisms will need to radically change. The scale and scope of addressable audience targeting will decrease and advertisers may turn to federated learning, contextual targeting, and other techniques to drive business performance through programmatic platforms. Another suggested approach would be for the browser itself to segment audiences based on their browsing behavior, and once there are a sufficient number of other browsers in this interest group an advertiser could target them.

What about frequency management? In October 2019 Google introduced frequency management across bid requests without a third-party cookie associated with them. Instead, Google employs machine learning to analyze behavior from across their ad inventory and provide an estimate with a high degree of confidence the number of impressions an individual had been exposed to.

Lastly, publishers with first-party audience relationships are poised to fill in audience targeting gaps left by the removal of third-party data cookies. For example, this would include a publisher with a paywall that requires a user to login to read content. Publications are likely to sell more curated inventory packages (here’s an example from Meredith), much of which will be available programmatically via private marketplaces (PMPs) and programmatic direct/guaranteed deals.

Spending on programmatic direct channels has grown significantly in recent years and is expected to continue climbing.

How Will We Measure?

Conversion tracking will become increasingly difficult to measure using current approaches, but there are several solutions available now and on the horizon. For example, as Campaign Manager log-level data loses fidelity, solutions like Google Ads Data Hub stand to open up new possibilities with more durable data and more privacy-safe methodologies. Likewise, platforms like Amazon and Facebook are working on similar solutions.

Google’s proposal for a conversion measurement API would allow for click-based attribution without using cross-site trackers. Trials for click-based conversion measurement sans third-party cookies will start by the end of 2020. Read more on the Chromium Blog and in AdExchanger.

What about view-based conversion tracking? Most current approaches will cease to work in any major browser once Chrome deprecates third-party cookies, but Google has indicated that the future of measurement may be more probabilistic or panel-based. Whether this will allow for view-through conversion tracking remains to be seen.

How MightyHive Will Adapt

As with many businesses in the programmatic space, a number of MightyHive services are built to some extent on top of the third-party cookie, such as programmatic audience activation, dynamic creative, and advanced attribution.

In their current state, these technologies will not work in two years’ time. However, there is every reason to believe that ad tech will continue to innovate and adapt with these changes opening up new opportunities for more advanced and smarter marketers in a new cookie-less era.

  • We have already started developing targeting and measurement approaches independent of cookie-based approaches for use on multiple bidding and measurement platforms. Further, as a leading Google partner, will be collaborating closely with Google on the Privacy Sandbox protocols and work hard to bring these solutions to our clients.
  • MightyHive has deep, holistic consultative expertise to bear on these challenges. For example, we have invested heavily into data science, API and Cloud-driven solutions to help marketers gradually increase the utility of their first-party data while simultaneously reducing reliance on third-party cookie pools.
  • As part of S4Capital, with our sister company MediaMonks, our clients are exploring end-to-end digital strategies that leverage first-party data to drive content and programmatic media.

We argue consumers should always be the first constituent in considering the digital advertising experiences online and adapting to this shift requires marketers to place more attention on the value exchange traded for a consumer’s attention. The key will be to move with the market, as opposed to push against it and seek short-term fixes.

As always, MightyHive is your partner and your advocate.

Please contact us to start a discussion or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay updated on this topic and more.

With Safari ITP 2.3, It’s Time to Stop Thinking in Terms of Workarounds


In September 2019, the Safari WebKit team announced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.3. While it has had a smaller direct impact versus previous ITP releases, Safari ITP 2.3 contains important lessons for marketers and their technology teams, not just in narrow terms of cookie strategy, but in more broad-reaching terms that beg a fundamental shift in how brands approach digital marketing and advertising.

Safari ITP 2.3 Thwarts More Tracking Workarounds

The incremental updates in Safari ITP 2.3 are intended to thwart a few workarounds and mitigation tactics that advertisers, publishers, and tech platforms were using. Some workarounds were employing localStorage or using the JavaScript Document.referrer property. The Safari WebKit team identified the scenarios where these tactics could be used to circumvent Safari’s tracking prevention features and took steps to close the gaps. You can read the full ITP 2.3 release notes here.

The takeaway is that Apple and Safari will move quickly to shut down practices that they deem in violation of their concept of user privacy and security.

The Last Fallback: First-party HttpOnly Cookies

Safari ITP 2.3 still allows unlimited expiration for all cookies set server-side, regardless of the HttpOnly attribute. But the Safari team is already clarifying that only server-side cookies using the HttpOnly attribute are truly secure:


In the past, the Safari WebKit team has referenced an article by Google Engineer Mike West. The article cites a low 8.31% adoption rate of server-side cookies using the HttpOnly attribute as a security issue. In reiterating this concern with the latest ITP release, the Safari WebKit team is painting a clear picture. This should be taken as a not-so-subtle hint about your cookie strategy to favor the HttpOnly attribute.

It should also reinforce a larger lesson for marketers regarding ITP: the goal should not be to find temporary, short-term work-arounds. These efforts (which are often burdensome) will likely yield few sustainable results.

This is About More than Cookies

Privacy is here to stay, and advertisers will need to adapt their thought process as much as their technology. Safari ITP should be seen as a part of a broader push for user privacy and security across the web, and it is much easier to understand if seen in this light.

Source: “Digital Privacy in a Post-Cookie World”

Trying to “work around” or “solve for” Safari ITP (or GDPR and CCPA for that matter), or insisting on 1:1 user mapping rather than working from larger (but still actionable and measurable) audience cohorts is a misguided path. Advertisers should mitigate the effects of Safari ITP where possible, but keep focus on developing more durable privacy-safe strategies around first-party data, user logins, universal first-party IDs, opt-ins, and data clean room technology. Soon, advertisers won’t be able to execute tactics that may have worked just a year ago. Fighting this change will just keep get harder and yield fewer results as time goes by.

With all the clear indicators of where things are heading, not changing your approach to privacy is akin to polishing your saddle rather than learning how to drive a car.

How will the shift to digital privacy affect digital marketers?

Download our report “Digital Privacy in a Post-Cookie World” to understand how privacy trends will impact marketers and learn about possible solutions.


Download the Slide Deck and Video that Explain Data Clean Rooms

Meet Your New Best Friend: the Data Clean Room

Recently I had the privilege of delivering a packed session at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O in New York. The session, titled “Meet Your New Best Friend: the Data Clean Room,” quickly brought marketers up to speed on:

  • What data clean rooms are
  • How they work
  • How they’ll help bridge the gap between user privacy and marketing insights

There was a lot of demand for the slides following the session! So we’ve packaged up the PowerPoint deck and the complete session video and made them available for download. Marketers, media buyers, and tech platforms are all looking for practical solutions to preserve measurement and insights in a privacy-first era. This deck offers an overview of data clean rooms that are available now (e.g., Ads Data Hub) as well as what might be coming next.


A few sample slides from “Meet Your New Best Friend: the Data Clean Room.”

Get up to speed on data clean rooms in under 30 minutes

Here’s a highlights reel of what the session covers in about 25 minutes and 44 slides:

  • How data clean rooms maintain privacy by being a “Switzerland” for data
  • An overview of Google’s Ads Data Hub, the best-documented data clean room
  • A look at Amazon’s purported clean room solution
  • Why Facebook’s data clean room should be called the “Keyser Söze of ad tech”
  • What strategic partnerships like Target + Disney might have to do with data clean rooms


WEBINAR: How Do Sophisticated Marketers Think About Measurement?


Recently, MightyHive and Google set out to answer some questions about sophisticated programmatic advertisers’ best practices:

  • How are they building new connections to customers?
  • What discoveries are emerging from data and analytics?
  • How are marketers pushing technology to do more?

To foster an exchange of ideas about today’s most sophisticated marketers, MightyHive and Google collaborated on How Do Sophisticated Marketers Think About Programmatic & Measurement Maturity? Chris Brook, Director of Client Solutions at MightyHive, co-hosted alongside the Google Marketing Platform Customer Success Team.

“First-party data isn’t a tool, it’s the toolkit.”

— Chris Brook, Director of Client Solutions, MightyHive

Chris focused on the KPIs top marketers are using to determine the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer. He shared that the best insights are derived from a wide variety of first-party data sources (CRM, POS systems, customer loyalty programs, etc.) combined with user-data that is generated by owned web properties. Chris also touched on important issues facing sophisticated marketers today, such as new privacy regulations and the benefits of dynamic ad serving.

The webinar concludes with a walkthrough of how personalized, dynamically-generated promotional content for the Netflix series “Narcos” was able to cut production costs by 40% and boosted clickthrough rate by 60%.

The New Possibilities of an ID-Redacted World


Change has come to the world of digital marketing measurement. With the redaction of DoubleClick (now Google Marketing Platform) IDs, the rollout of Google’s Ads Data Hub (ADH), and growing interest in data clean room solutions, marketers must “unlearn” what was possible in the past and become rapidly familiar with what is now possible in the ID-redacted world.

The introduction of GDPR and the general global trend toward digital privacy has pushed us into a new era in the digital media world—but it doesn’t appear as though some have accepted that reality just yet. It’s usually true of technological disruption that we first try to retrofit old paradigms onto new technology and miss the forest for the trees. Only later do we find that there has been a complete paradigm shift and new use-cases have emerged.

We at MightyHive are finding that ADH and other emerging technologies are facilitating new and interesting ways of interacting with customer data that were not previously possible. As part of our own process of discovery and experimentation, we are learning that we need to fundamentally change the way we and our clients use data as a tool and a value generator. This learning process involves moving away from trying to measure what we no longer can and focusing more and more on how to build new utility into consumer ad experiences via connected data sets.

A quick primer on Ads Data Hub

First, a bit of background on what ADH does: ADH is a “data clean room” solution that allows multiple parties to analyse the intersections among respective first-party data sets, but without revealing granular row-level, user-level, or log-level data.

At MightyHive, we’re discovering what’s possible first-hand; working with clients to generate very new and very exciting insights from multilateral data co-ops.

As an example, Brand A could upload transaction records tied to first-party cookies. ADH lets Brand A query the intersection between its own records and ad exposures recorded by Google, but not a user level. Instead, the finest granularity at which ADH reports is about 50 individuals, which for most scaled campaigns is more than sufficient for generating insights, provided the ADH user knows how to structure the uploaded data and develop queries.

Why Ads Data Hub solves more problems than it causes

Focusing only on user-level ID redaction is myopic. Because ADH is designed as a “Switzerland for data,” it solves multiple problems, which in turn creates new possibilities for marketers, platforms, partners, and publishers:

  • User privacy is protected. What comes out of ADH are aggregated data intersections. User-level data goes in, but it does not leave.
  • Intellectual property is protected. First-party data is extremely valuable. This has historically made data owners averse to letting data leave company walls. ADH solves for these commercial roadblocks by providing aggregate insights without allowing any row-level data to leave the hands of its respective owner.
  • ADH accommodates a multilateral set of participants and data sets. ADH is not just a Google <> advertiser or Google <> agency solution. Multiple parties can load data into ADH and analyse intersections and patterns. This essentially allows for the construction of user journeys (e.g., brand campaign → offline visit → conversion → customer loyalty) by analyzing blended data sets from multiple parties who have interacted with customers.
  • ADH is cloud-based. Being a cloud-based solution based in large part on Google BigQuery, ADH is extremely flexible, accessible, and scalable from a technical standpoint. It’s an easy, industry-standard environment for engineering, analytics, and data science teams to plug into.

Ads Data Hub is not just a Google <> advertiser or Google <> agency solution.

How to navigate an ID-redacted future

ADH and other emerging data clean room solutions present the advertising ecosystem with new environments in which to ask questions of data, in many cases where data sets have never been brought together before. At MightyHive, we’re seeing what’s possible first-hand; working with clients to generate very new and very exciting insights.

For example, a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company (ACME Dish Soap) can partner with one of their top retail channel partners (Shop-Now Supermarkets) and understanding how media spend (collected via buying platforms and ad servers) is affecting brick and mortar store sales. A data clean room can serve as a scalable and flexible environment for ACME Dish Soap to get unprecedented insight not from outdated Shop-Now Supermarkets regional sales reports, but from actual Shop-Now Supermarkets customer data and the patterns that emerge when compared with Google advertising data.

In the right hands, the value of being able to connect marketing activity to a holistic universe of data sets and business outcomes far surpasses the past value of terabytes of user-level log files. Marketers, agencies, and partners just need to learn how to use the new tools they have at their disposal and adapt campaign, media, and brand strategy to new insights and principles.

The industry needs to do a lot of catching up. Marketers, agencies, and partners are going to need to become more familiar with the technical particulars of data joins and sophisticated database queries that can’t always rely on user-level IDs as a “crutch.”

Like any data-driven solution, “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) very much applies here. In order to get the full value of Ads Data Hub or other data clean rooms, many brands will finally need to adopt some sort of first-party universal customer identifier that makes data useful in a data clean room environment.

Lastly, when a solution like ADH can tie media exposures, owned interactions, and sales revenue together to create a more customer-centric and holistic view, the value of popular proxy metrics (which were already questionable) like reach or CTR are bound to decline rapidly, forcing many a campaign to be completely re-evaluated.

Let’s talk

If you have questions on Ads Data Hub, ID redactions, GDPR and digital privacy, or next-generation measurement and analytics, please reach out to us at We’re excited about these new possibilities and we think you should be too.

Get the Slide Deck and Video that Explain Data Clean Rooms

Marketers need practical solutions to preserve measurement and insights in a privacy-first era. Get an overview of data clean rooms that are available now (e.g., Ads Data Hub) as well as what might be coming next.


Cookies Yield to New Privacy Rules 


For more on digital privacy, our free report “Digital Privacy in a Post-Cookie World” is an in-depth guide to new privacy changes and the steps marketers can take to adjust. Get the report.

A New Normal?

Digital marketers’ 25-year reliance on browser cookies is ending. It’s true. The world’s top three browsers have all announced privacy roadmaps that significantly restrict the use of cookies. Additionally, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) established new privacy standards across Europe, and 11 U.S. states are currently adopting or proposing similar laws. Simply put, the cookie’s time has come.

The good news is that many solutions are available to digital marketers. Embracing them sooner rather than later will ease the transition away from cookies and foster much better ways to connect with customers.

Apple’s Line in the Sand

In 2017, Apple’s Safari browser launched Internet Tracking Prevention (ITP) to restrict third-party cookies from tracking users across multiple websites and domains.

Source: Twitter

Safari ITP will significantly limit marketers from:

  • Applying behavioral targeting tactics to Safari users or Safari-heavy segments (e.g., North American mobile users).
  • Identifying users over periods of time longer than a few days.
  • Segmenting customers and audiences based on observed behavior.

Source: StatCounter

Firefox and Chrome Follow Suit

While Safari automatically restricts cookies on behalf of its users, Google is taking a different approach by improving Chrome’s user controls. Google announced its intentions in May of 2019 but the specifics have not been shared publicly yet.

For Firefox users, Enhanced Tracking Protection will soon operate in the background to block thousands of companies from tracking users’ online activity.

Source: StatCounter

A Roadmap for Adaptation

Over the last 25 years, the Internet and consumer habits have changed — but cookies have not. Continuing to rely on cookies may be necessary in the near term, but over time, this will result in increasingly ineffective digital advertising, so marketers should follow a “now / near / long-term” approach for adapting to change.

  • NOW: Get up to speed — Adjust targeting and measurement to account for Safari ITP-related roadblocks and restrictions.
  • NEAR: Mitigate the effects — A range of proactive technical approaches to preserve digital targeting and measurement where possible.
  • LONG-TERM: Invest in new strategies — Make a strategic shift away from cookie-based ID regimes to logged-in users and value-add user experiences.

NOW: Get Up To Speed

The first step is knowledge — embrace and adjust to the new rules. Safari ITP will reduce the life of most marketing cookies to one day or less, in many cases blocking them altogether. This means that campaigns may not distinguish between a new visitor and a repeat customer.

Marketers may not enjoy the disruption, but it is happening and needs to be properly understood and accounted for before moving forward with more proactive solutions.

NEAR: Mitigate the Effects

There is no perfect solution that restores all pre ITP- and GDPR-era capabilities. Marketers should evaluate their individual needs based on the impact to site-side measurement, targeting, campaign performance, geographical exposure… the list goes on.

A variety of browser-side and server-side approaches are available marketers. When coupled with adjustments to site-side analytics, ad serving, and DSPs, marketers can mitigate impact and preserve insights. A deeper dive is available in our free report: “Digital Privacy in a Post-Cookie World.”

LONG-TERM: Invest in New Strategies

To account for a greater focus on digital privacy, marketers will have to fundamentally rethink many digital marketing strategies and start investing differently. But change is good and marketers have many avenues to explore.

The list of possible adaptive strategies is long and includes a focus on logged-in user experiences, leveraging the scaled audiences and measurement insights of “The Triopoly” (Google, Amazon, Facebook), second-party data partnerships, programmatic direct buys, smarter contextual targeting, privacy-safe measurement via “data clean rooms,” and doubling down on brand and creative.

The current trend toward privacy will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences and no one can be certain where this will lead. You can expect more browser changes and new regulations, but this also means more adaptive solutions and new targeting tools. The agile marketer will adapt to change and take advantage of new opportunities.

For more on digital privacy, our free report “Digital Privacy in a Post-Cookie World” is an in-depth guide to new privacy changes and the steps marketers can take to adjust. Get the report.

Video: Belinda Smith of Electronic Arts Shares Her History of In-Housing, Recruiting Talent, and Instituting Change


Recently, MightyHive hosted its first In-House Alliance Dinner in San Francisco where the conversations centered around recruiting and building in-house programmatic teams. MightyHive President Americas, Emily Del Greco asked Electronic Arts’ Global Head of Media, Belinda Smith to share her experience as a change agent building teams at both AT&T and EA. Also in attendance at the dinner were senior marketers from Merck, Visa, Sprint, Electrolux, IHG, and others.

Belinda Smith, left, Global Head of Media, EA and Emily Del Greco, President of the Americas, MightyHive, speak at the inaugural MightyHive In-House Alliance Dinner in San Francisco.

“I feel like I have seen advertising from all sides… and at each junction I was so frustrated by people not willing to admit the failures of the ecosystem.”

– Belinda Smith

Ultimately, Smith changed the culture of the companies she worked for. To do this, she moved teams halfway across the county, launched robust talent recruitment programs, and successfully campaigned for millions of budgetary dollars. But perhaps the biggest challenge was finding ways to blend agency culture with the deeply-rooted brand values.

“If I think about what I want to accomplish in my career, what’s going to be worth it to me to not be at home playing with my kid…then I really want to change the industry.”

– Belinda Smith

During the interview, Smith confessed she missed the variety an agency affords, but showed no signs of wanting to return. At EA, Smith recognizes that she is in a place where she can make the most impact.

Smith and Del Greco spoke about building in-house teams in front of an audience at the MightyHive In-House Alliance Dinner.

“When you are at an agency… your client being happy is what is sustaining you. That creates an inherent conflict of interest when you have bad news to tell them…so for me, I am fulfilled by the fact that I am in a position to have the mandate to be audacious and to challenge what is going on and to think about how we do things differently.”

– Belinda Smith

The Fusion of Creative, Media, and Technology

Watch “The Fusion of Creative, Media, and Technology” (page opens in a new window)

At AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O in San Francisco, MightyHive CEO Pete Kim took the stage to discuss the need for advertisers to adopt a unitary approach to their creative, media, and tech. Advertisers who fail to do so risk missing crucial opportunities to hold meaningful conversations with today’s ultra-savvy consumer.

Got Creative?

Jeff Goodby, Co-Chairman and Partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, implied in a 2018 AdWeek Op-Ed that technology debases creativity in advertising. Goodby suggests that using data and tech to inform programmatic media buys amounts to nothing more than “targeting and tonnage,” eliminating good creative altogether. He asserts that this model produces an expensive and ineffective structure for advertisers, and an unpleasant experience for consumers.

In his Programmatic I/O talk, however, Pete paints a very different picture of how data and tech actually work together to elevate creative. In fact, Pete says, not only does this model yield more relevant, dynamic creative, but it does so at scale and in a constant optimization loop, so it always gets better. 

creative big idea

The Big Idea

While there has been an undeniable sea change in the industry leading to major digital disruption, one thing hasn’t changed: great advertising still requires “the big idea.” But the machinations behind producing and disseminating creative to consumers continues to evolve.

“We believe that technology doesn’t debase creativity; if used correctly, it elevates it. We are all really different people… that’s why personalization is necessary.”

– Pete Kim, CEO, MightyHive

In the past, technological limitations required advertisers to generate one message, and “broadly cast” it to all consumers. Now, it’s possible to personalize creative and target consumers based on their demographics, preferences, and other criteria. In addition, we’re able to create, test, and iterate upon these creatives in near real-time.

Personalization is the New Table Stakes

For the first time in history, consumers can watch, read, and listen to anything they want at any given time. This new on-demand, cross-screen culture has raised the bar for advertisers to meet the quality of the entertainment their content is interrupting. Unfortunately for advertisers, this expectation for perfection and relevance across all media means that consumer sentiment around advertising has never been lower–and a one size fits all approach is unacceptable.

creative many to many

The Battle of the Good Idea

On creative teams past, there was a “gladiatorial” fight to determine which big idea actually got produced and saw the light of day. That one idea then became the basis for a static, inflexible campaign lasting weeks, or even months (in some cases years!). Now, Pete says, marketers are no longer “locked into” one creative (e.g., one commercial, one print ad, one radio ad) that gets produced and is written in stone until the campaign’s end. Granular targeting and creative optimization capabilities give advertisers the iterative flexibility to deliver the right message to the right consumer, on an ongoing basis.

What’s Next?

Because this creative, data, and technology loop is relatively new, we are just at the beginning of recognizing its true power. According to Pete, the next change is a mindset shift to catch up to our newfound technological capabilities. In addition to learning how best to leverage dynamic creative optimization and programmatic tools, we need to adapt our mindsets to suit the new ways consumers interact with media. creative mindset

Better, Faster, Cheaper

In order for advertisers to get their story across in a way that resonates, it’s crucial to move away from giant, costly campaigns once or twice a year to a constant conversation model. Dynamic creative and programmatic technology allows advertisers to have not just one, but millions of simultaneous, personalized conversations in real time.

“If you are only updating your campaigns a few times a year, it’s like having a conversation with somebody who always says the wrong thing, and takes months before they respond to what you just said.”

– Pete Kim, CEO, MightyHive

Watch Pete Kim’s full “The Fusion of Creative, Media, and Technology” session for further insights about unleashing creativity at scale.  

Get Ready for the Data-Confident Marketer


As first-party data takes on “strategic asset” status, brands are engaged in high-stakes jockeying to decide who will take the First-Party Data High Ground. Will the outcome hinge on company size? Speed and agility? Technology? Agencies and solutions partners?

The jury is still out, but new research on first-party data from MightyHive sheds some light on those marketers that feel they’re pulling ahead of the pack. MightyHive partnered with Advertiser Perceptions, surveying 200 brand marketers and conducting five in-depth marketer interviews to attitudes, goals, and expectations around first-party data (timelines, ROI, ease of access, etc).

Interesting Patterns in the Data

When we crunched the numbers from the survey data, we saw some interesting lines get drawn between marketers. Not only were some marketers more confident in their timelines and expected ROI, but these “data-confident” marketers exhibited clearly different characteristics than their less-confident counterparts. Our research found that data-confident marketers:

  • Use a more diverse range of technologies to manage and activate first-party data
  • Are more likely to use partners such as agencies and consultancies to help unlock first-party data
  • Put a significantly higher priority on certain first-party data types such as ad serving data and mobile app analytics



What Do Data-Confident Marketers Stand to Gain?

Admittedly, our survey asked marketers to make a self-assessment, so one can’t assume that just because some marketers said they expected higher ROI from their first-party data that those marketers will actually achieve higher ROI. But…when you consider that, for example, this higher-ROI cohort also indicated significantly greater adoption across every one of the four different partner types we asked about (Agencies, Management Consultants, Systems Integrators, and Ad Tech Vendors), it gets more difficult to chalk higher ROI expectations up to marketer hubris.

Even our survey responses seemed to reinforce the stakes in advertising’s current era of upheaval. When asked what the primary reasons were for using first-party data, these were marketers’ top four answers:

  1. Improved performance / ROI
  2. Accuracy / data quality
  3. Lends to more precise targeting
  4. Improved measurement and attribution

Perhaps not coincidentally, those four answers can be rearranged into a loop or cycle:

It is urgently important to understand that that cycle is a positive feedback loop. Meaning that once marketers “crack the code,” the feedback loop will kick in and they will amass an ever-larger and richer trove of first-party data that they will do a better job of activating in campaigns and customer funnels that throw off yet more first-party data. We’ve already seen this happen with DTC brands that have, in a few very short years, sprung from out of nowhere and are giving incumbent brands a run for their money.

Download the Report and Stay Updated

Download “The Data-Confident Marketer” here.

Over the next several weeks, expect more analysis digging deeper into the report. We’ll also reveal additional data and insights that were left on the cutting-room floor. So when you register for the report, opt in for email updates, or follow MightyHive on LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you have questions on the report, please email us at We look forward to hearing from you.



MightyGuide: Tokyo


MightyHive recently announced the opening of our new office in Tokyo, which will serve to connect Japanese marketers with local MightyHive talent, supported by our network of digital experts across the globe.

Our team in Tokyo is looking forward to partnering with marketers in the Japanese market, helping to guide them as they take control of their digital futures through unified media and analytics. The team brings a wealth of programmatic knowledge to the APAC region, and we are very excited to welcome everyone in Tokyo to the MightyHive family.

We wanted to get to know both the team and Tokyo better, so we asked Toshihiko Honda, a Digital Analytics Specialist based in our Tokyo office, to answer a few questions about the best parts of living and working in Tokyo.

Check out the interactive map at the end of this post for more information on each of Toshihiko’s recommendations.

Q: What brought you to MightyHive?

The Tokyo office just launched in February 2019, and we are establishing MightyHive’s footprint in a new market. The Japanese digital market is huge and unique in many ways, making this an exciting opportunity to build a new branch from scratch.

“After meeting with different members of the MightyHive team, I was really impressed with MightyHive’s collaborative culture and that’s what really drew me to the company.”

Although we are based in Tokyo, we are collaborating with the entire MightyHive team globally, which allows us to tap into MightyHive’s collective expertise to support our Japanese clients.

We have a challenging task ahead of us, but working cross-functionally makes it a very exciting opportunity!

Q: What’s your favorite part of working in Tokyo?

Everyone here is very professional and projects usually proceed on time, as everyone is punctual.

The city itself is very clean and traffic is managed efficiently, so it’s easy to get around and you don’t need to worry about traffic delays.

Another bonus is the food. You can find really tasty food at a reasonable price. Good Japanese food and sake are everywhere in Tokyo!

Q: What are your favorite restaurants in Tokyo?

One of my favorite places to eat in Tokyo is in Shinbashi. It’s a business area, but it’s also famous for its many delicious Japanese style bars and restaurants (They are called Izakaya:居酒屋).

MightyGuide Tokyo- Restaurants

SOURCE: Uokin Facebook, Jidoriya Facebook, Coco Ichibanya Trip Advisor

My favorite restaurants in Shinbashi are:

  • Uokin: If you come to Japan, you can’t miss the seafood. You can find fresh seafood at a reasonable price at Uokin. They have some branches in Shinbashi, but you’ll have great seafood, no matter which branch you choose.
  • Jidoriya: Jidoriya is one of the best traditional yakitori (grilled chicken) places in Shinbashi. As the restaurant is pretty small, I would recommend you to go with a small group.  
  • Coco Ichibanya: Coco Ichibanya is a Japanse curry rice restaurant. Japanese curry is a little different than Indian curry, but it’s a Tokyo staple. Coco Ichibanya is a chain restaurant, so they have locations all over the city.

Q: Favorite cultural activities?

One of the best ways to experience the culture of Tokyo is to simply walk (or sometimes run) around the different neighborhoods. In fact, I usually spend the weekend walking around the city with my wife.

Since Tokyo is such a large, populated city, each neighborhood has its own unique personality. For instance, Otemachi is a very upscale business neighborhood around the Imperial Residence where you will find a nice view and a lot of runners. Shibuya is a very busy and crowded tourist area with shops, nightlife, and restaurants. Ginza is an upscale tourist area, and Harajuku is a popular cultural and shopping area for teens.

Just walking around the different areas in Tokyo will give you a rich cultural experience.

Q: What are some of your favorite off the beaten path activities?

Good question! Because there are so many people in Tokyo, it’s important to find a non-touristy location to spend your weekend.

My recommendation is Koganei park. Although it is located a little far from the central area, the park is not crowded and you can spend a slow afternoon enjoying the day. The park is also home to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum where you can explore architecture from the Edo era.

MightyGuide Tokyo - Edo-Tokyo Museum

SOURCE: Edo-Tokyo Museum Facebook

Q: Where are the best places for a great cup of coffee (or tea)?

You should go to the Okushibu neighborhood (located near Shibuya) for the best cafes.

MightyGuide Tokyo - Fuglen Tokyo

SOURCE: Fuglen Tokyo Facebook

My favorite is Fuglen Tokyo. The interior of the cafe is from Norway, and the mood is very relaxing. There are great cafes all over Okushibu, so no matter which one you choose they all serve high quality drinks.

If seats are not available at the cafe, take your coffee to Yoyogi Park. It’s the biggest park in Tokyo and a good place to relax.

Q: Finally, what’s your favorite neighborhood in Tokyo?

While not technically in Tokyo, you should definitely visit a hot springs area while you are in Japan. It’s a big cultural activity here and is very relaxing, so one of my favorite places is the Izu Penninsula where you will find many of these hot springs.

One of my favorites is Izunagaoka Onsen. As it takes about 2 hours by train, I recommend making your visit a weekend trip.

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