Lincoln Gunn, Fandom: “Rip the band-aid off”

“Rip the band-aid off”

2023 is almost here, and we are still discussing the deprecation of third-party cookies, alternative solutions and what the cookieless future will look like - even though it’s actually already here. 

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum's Director Sales, Sunil Modha, sat down with Lincoln Gunn, VP, Programmatic Revenue, Operations & Data Partnerships, at Fandom, to discuss data privacy, consumer trust, data collaboration, and more.

"With Google delaying ‘the inevitable’ by another year, it gives us another year of breathing room, but it also allows us to continue to double down and test new strategies. To some degree, it's good that we got another year with the extension, but I'm also under the mindset of like rip the band-aid off as soon as possible so that we can move on."

A core component of future-proofing your marketing strategy against the inevitable deprecation of third-party cookies is your first-party data strategy. So what is Fandom doing to collect and grow its first-party data assets?

"At Fandom, we've [...]  had to get a little bit more creative on how we go about obtaining that data. It’s making sure that you've got a strategy in place to be able to capitalize on, whether it be logged-in users or non-logged-in anonymous users. You've got the ability to be able to extract some data points, particularly the latter. [...] We’ve kind of doubled down on two different approaches for data. One is building out a really robust insights and research business on our users that we call Fan DNA Insights [...] The other is Fan DNA Activate, which I oversee which is really activating our first-party data via a clean room or another strategic partnership. [...] But it's by no means perfect, and we're continuing to iterate on each of those different strategies."

Right now, it’s about testing, learning and iterating. Every company - advertiser, media owner and agency alike - has to determine the best approach and technologies for its specific requirements and use cases. Because, in the end, there is no one size fits all solution - especially regarding data privacy, security, and consumer trust.

“The industry isn't perfect by any means. But I do think we've made a lot of advancements to gain the trust of the consumer here over the last couple of years, and so I think we're moving in the right direction.”

We are definitely making progress, especially with the recent rise of data clean rooms, which we’re seeing being used today to power various advertising use cases while prioritizing data privacy and security.

“I think it's just more educating [the consumers] on what data we are collecting and I think with some of the new privacy elements that are going out here over the coming years. [...] It's becoming more top of mind for folks just based off of the legislative trends that we're seeing within the greater ecosystem. So I think we're moving in the right direction. [...] I am very optimistic, but I also know that we've got a long road ahead.”

And we will walk that road together!

Thanks, Lincoln, for the chat!