Published date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Advertising in a Post-IDFA World: LoopMe’s Data Advisory Board Identity Series

Part 1 of a 3 part series that dives into the opportunities and challenges pertaining to the removal of persistent IDs in digital advertising featuring LoopMe’s Data Advisory Board members.

Privacy is at the forefront of digital advertising, and in recent weeks, the focus has been escalating as companies are planning to make significant changes to the use of persistent identifiers in digital advertising.

In a recent press announcement we shared details of the company’s tech performance with ALL persistent identifiers removed, including Apple’s IDFA, Google’s Ad ID and third-party cookies. We have been preparing for the changes by testing our system’s ability to adapt and perform without these specific attributes and ran scenario testing that surprisingly revealed that our AI-powered predictive models retain 96% of their previous effectiveness, giving us further confidence in LoopMe’s ability to deliver lift across campaigns while the industry undergoes these technical changes.

We also took this opportunity to sit down with LoopMe’s Data Advisory Board, including Greg Coleman (Chairman of LoopMe board and former President of Criteo and Buzzfeed), Wenda Harris Millard (Vice Chairman of MediaLink), John Montgomery (Executive Vice President of Brand Safety at WPP’s GroupM), Rishad Tobaccowala (former Publicis CGO), Eric Eichmann (Spark Networks CEO, former Criteo CEO), Iain Jacob (CEO, Chair, NED), Lynda Clarizio (former President, Nielsen US Media), Mainardo de Nardis (former OMD CEO) and Wanda Young (CMO at Samsung Electronics America) to have a discussion about the future of digital advertising in a privacy-centric world.

Moderated by LoopMe’s CEO and founder Stephen Upstone, we’ve launched this three part series that will answer questions about the impact of digital advertising on marketers, consumers and how we’ll all navigate the post-IDFA world.

Q: In light of recent announcements, what is your perspective on how the industry will navigate a post-IDFA world?


The good news is that this is not a new issue for technology companies, publishers and most marketers. There has been a lot of conversation and press about this, resulting in a variety of new developments in how best to protect consumer privacy while still moving businesses forward by meeting their marketing objectives.  I think we can expect to see innovation in many areas, including measurement.


I see confusion and denial, over a longer period of time while we live through a hybrid phase — cookies are not all disappearing tomorrow. Some very different contracting opinions. It will take some time to spot the opportunities. Some will do better than others in an increasingly competitive scenario.

John M

This will necessitate a changed perspective on behavioral targeting which has driven digital marketing for the last 15 years.


In the short term, there will be disruption for sure as the industry has become over-reliant on IDFA and cookies for targeting.  In the longer term, the industry will emerge stronger as this will spur innovation in measurement in a manner that better protects consumer privacy.


Recent developments around IDFA and third-party cookies have confirmed to brand owners that they need to take control and responsibility for their data strategies and how consumer data is being used on their behalf. Likewise, reliance on reported data from walled gardens is at best problematic. Advertisers need to increasingly work with smart providers that can build their insight and predictive capability, not just in lower funnel metrics, but in brand building and the development of valuable business outcomes.

Q: Who will ‘win’ and what’s at stake?


The winners will be those who better understood what was coming, and when. Those who had a wider spectrum instead of a narrow approach, however deep it may have been. And those who understand the importance of creative intelligence and the need to optimize content, not just audiences, while other signals are already diminishing.


The ability LoopMe has to automatically learn in-flight, reacting to a changing environment and matching advertising creative to current consumer behavior, is not the norm for advertising today, and would be difficult to recreate. The LoopMe platform works by having 1,500 algorithms (including some of the latest deep learning models, built and updated by the data science team of over 25 people) competing with each other on every campaign, automatically swapping to the best performing algorithm every 10 minutes, based on live data, which is measuring results against that campaign outcome. You have a real time data infrastructure, built and honed over years, and with all the data from prior campaigns, which is making decisions at quickly (<5ms) and at scale (millions per second). Moreover, your tech and methodology means you are in a great place to not only survive the demise of personal identifiers like IDFA and the associated moves to improve personal privacy, but it gives you long-term stability to adapt to the new way of working in this ecosystem. I think you have a long runway of growth ahead of you. 


Those companies that provide full transparency for both consumers and businesses will be winners. That will require a cooperative effort to help educate everyone — consumers, businesses and government — about the difference between personalized and privacy-safe anonymized data and why it matters.  Ultimately, everyone is a winner.  Marketers will gain heightened levels of consumer engagement and trust, yielding better financial results and longer-lasting relationships with their customers.

John M: 

The most obvious winners are the companies that have the strongest first party relationships with their direct customers and of course the platforms that have been securing agreement from their users to use their data.


The winners will be those that can dynamically leverage and aggregate first party data in combination with anonymized third party datasets and real-time survey and other opt-in data — and, as Wenda says, doing this in a manner that provides full transparency for brands and consumers alike.


In this new world those that have the ability to build better understanding and predictive capability around brand development will win. Businesses that can take multiple streams of data signals and use powerful AI techniques to learn, optimise media and develop more effective advertising content as a consequence, will prevail. However, this is easier said than done and in a world of overclaim advertisers need to choose their partners very smartly.