What I Learned at I-COM About Cookies, First-Party Data & the Fight Against Fraud

Scott C. McDonald

Scott C. McDonald

May 2, 2017 - Scott C. McDonald [pictured], president of Nomos Research, writes: For those of us in the media/data/research ecosystem, one of the best ways to geek out is to attend the annual I-COM conference, a global forum on marketing data measurement. This year’s conference was in the very pleasant town of Porto, Portugal. The conference is the brainchild of entrepreneurial Andreas Cohen, an American expat who has lived in Switzerland for many years and has built the annual event into a networking and information bonanza.

The format is brisk: presenters usually get no more than seven minutes each to make their case. Thus the critical observer will never get enough exposition and debate to be convinced of anything; however the rapid-fire presentations do provide a good opportunity to sample, to see what different people and companies are doing (or at least claiming to be doing). As such, I-COM is a very efficient way to survey the digital media and marketing field; and because the submissions come from all over the globe, it helps one avoid the parochialism that can afflict even the most attentive of U.S.-based observers.

Here are a few items that caught my attention at this year’s meeting:

  • The Cookie Crumbles. Cookies continue to lose support as a means of tracking consumers across digital space. They never were particularly good since cookies count browsers, not people; as such they overstate reach and understate frequency and cause advertisers to misallocate resources. Though that has been true for a long time, cookies are becoming increasingly untenable as an audience measurement tool. More...