FLoC is one of the strategies that is not trying to solve the Cookieless problem; instead, it suggests a different Use Case. This post-Cookie hypothesis, supported by the Google Privacy Sandbox, is one of the key entities explored by the market’s decision makers. At the moment we are writing, April 2021, Neodata Group has joined the Origin Trials and is ready to validate the solution. Let us see what we are talking about.
About FLoC and the role of Neodata
FLoC is one of the most debated proposal explored in the Digital Adv Market to respond to the increasing need of a more transparent usage of browsing data announced by Google. It is part of the Google Privacy Sandbox, and recently it started being tested in the US, but not yet in Europe due to GDPR restrictions. Many on the Internet are arguing this delay could lead to postpone the 2022 deadline. Meanwhile, Neodata Group will be one of the companies that will validate and give feedback on the use of the FLoC system, engaging their customers and partners to give real insights and information.
“We want to be sure that the solution is actually what the market needs. Participating in Origin Trials, especially in FLoC’s, aims at collecting feedback to validate the actual effectiveness of algorithms and the choice of models, to balance privacy and functionality”.
Neodata Group’s CTO Salvo Nicotra actively participates in the W3C Web Adv Business Group weekly meetings from the very beginning – meetings’ scripts are published online. During the meetings, players interact and discuss about how the Digital Adv Market can face the post-Cookie era. Neodata relates directly with Google’s Italian Branch and registered to FLoC’s Origin Trials, which means supporting Google Chrome in testing this feature.
“We are working to setup integration starting using US traffic in order to be ready as soon as Google gets things right with the EU Privacy regulation. Since there is no step back from the application of FLoC – at least in Chrome – due to the consistent presence of Google in the market, we accept the challenge and work together to be in the front line of this epochal change”, Salvo said. “For example, we would like to test the solution with real data in the real market, and also help companies to deal with different ecosystems to define the target Audience and implement the strategy”.
At the moment – April 2021, Origin Trials are active only in the US market. Neodata Group is now going to work with the US traffic in order to be ready when the solution will come to Europe.
Now, let’s have a look at how FLoC works
First, what does FLoC mean?
FLoC is an acronym for Federated Learning of Cohorts. A Cohort is a representative sample of a group of population to target campaigns to. Cohorts are used to understand to what interest category the user belongs and are built directly in the browser (Google Chrome, of course). This will be the evolution of the process of profiling users, which up to now has been done in Audience Management Platforms. Every user is associated only to one cohort, and they are updated over time (currently seven days).
Does that mean that currently used DMPs will not be efficient anymore? “Not exactly. Technologies and strategies will need to take a step forward and focus on First-Party Data”, Salvo explains. “This is a process that we started a few years ago in Neodata. It brought our DMP exaudi to go from a Third-Party to a First-Party Data focus, in an Audience Platform vision. The acquisition of data from external sources and their activation has been reshaped in an Audience Platform methodology. The construction of a First-Party Data Lake, in which the company’s network’s data are integrated together with campaigns’ tracking (when possible) and other data sources, is proving to be a successful strategy”.
What is the Goal of FLoC and how does it work?
FLoC’s Goal is to gather users in Cohorts that identify general interest categories to which delivering Ads without directly tracking the single user. Personal information will not be collected; the user will be associated with one cohort, updated every seven days. This is to preserve the user’s privacy and, at the same time, grant brands the possibility to go on delivering campaigns.
The user-cohort association process happens in-browser, where also DSPs will be integrated in other running projects (FLEDGE, which we will explain to you very soon). Cohorts will be activated in-browser too and there is also where the Ad Server will deliver the Ads associated to that specific cohort. Since cohorts change every week, it is still not clear how brands will be able to retarget users.
As soon as we will start testing FLoC, we will share more information about this process. Stay tuned!