Ben Young
Ben Young
January 12, 2024

Edition #431

How predictive solutions provide a path forward, branded content trends & how are the uncookied Chrome users performing.

In Toolkits themes for the year ahead, we heard from Nativo’s Erin Tye talking on how in a world where the cookie is going away predictive audiences offer an alternative solution. And I think this call is bang on. Where something can’t be directly measured, predictive models will take their place.

And that’s a good thing! Predictive solutions can preserve privacy, but bring in smarter ways of buying & optimizing ads. They help solve the problem of trying to integrate all the data, from everywhere, to – I need something I can work with right now.

I can easily envisage a world where predictive models are the path forward. The challenge is, access to proprietary data, skillset to develop & maintain these models. Culturally though, predictive models keep everyone focused on the aim. I do think at times, deluge of data has distracted efforts from the main thing – drive performance. And predictive helps bring that into focus.

And there is huge motivation! Now that Google has removed third party cookies for 1% of users, we can peek at what’s going on. Paul Bannister from Raptive shared some early data on how the uncookied Chrome users were performing,

I did raise the point, if you have a 30% loss, you need to improve by 45% to get back to where you were.

Nonetheless, this is the point of the slower roll out, to give people time to adjust, to bring in newer solutions. Early peeks like this are super helpful. And maybe accelerate a little, now that the future is solidifying.

Notable stories this week

  • What’s next for brand content: Five themes that will shape 2024.
  • IAS introduces Quality attention, unifying media quality and eye tracking.
  • New rules of brand marketing.
  • Instagram quietly makes share counts public.
  • YouTube Shorts see surge in brand campaigns.
  • Why tech companies pitching publishers are building their own publications.
  • Substack says it will remove Nazi publications from the platform. Identified newsletters had less than 100 readers.
  • Disney adds Innovid & Lucid to its measurement partners.
  • Elon Musk is helping make LinkedIn cringe more attractive.
  • Ad market finally begins to stabilize.
  • OpenAI launches the GPT store. Creators to earn a cut in future.
  • Prime Video Ad Tier CPMs ‘far more’ competitive than Netflix’s at launch.
  • Why E-Commerce conversion rate is stuck at 3%.
  • Paul Bannister of Raptive shared early data on how the 1% of Chrome users without third party cookies are performing.
  • Agencies excited to dive deeper into attention for programmatic ad buys.
  • Dragging on for too long: ad execs sound off on the beginning of the end of third party cookies in Google’s Chrome.
  • Instacart expands in-store shopping cart business to include ads.
  • Personalization at scale with Kraft Heinz.
  • Introducing Gen Alpha.
  • The year of augmentation.


  • Conservative buyers eye The Messenger at a $60m valuation.
  • raises $18m in Series B funding to enhance its AI-drive multilingual content creation.
  • Radio giant Audacy flies for bankruptcy.
  • Luma’s 2023 full year report is out.

Campaign of the week

  • The X CES 2024 Hub, with videos, updates & tweets. This actually has been a super handy ‘hub’ for lack of a better term. The video focus with tweets does make it really good.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “In August, Franklin Morris, former head of content, communications, and brand marketing at Alloy was promoted to run all marketing at the company. He says it’s part of a growing trend: “I’m surprised more content marketing leaders don’t move into head of marketing role,” he wrote on LinkedIn. Morris made the point that content marketers are unique in knowing both how to be creative through storytelling and analytical through their focus on ROI. And, said Morris: “Content marketing has line of sight into every subdiscipline… demand, creative, social, comms…. [as well as] sales, product and customers.”Toolkits
  • “This is the classic “when you’re a hammer everything is a nail.” SQL queries are hammers on data. They don’t make marketers smarter about customers and their preferences.“Jonathan Mendez

Datapoints of note

  • Uncookied Chrome users appear to be monetizing about 30% worse than those with cookies. That seems bad, but it’s far better than the 60% worse performance of Safari users.
  • TikTok shop fees to go up from 2% to 8% in July.
  • Prime Video is coming to market with CPMs in the mid to low 30s.
  • Nearly 50% of marketers frustrated by lack of retail media inventory.
  • Most watched networks/platforms in 2024 according to Nielsen.
  • Disney self-serve ad platform grows to onboarding 4,200 brands, 1,000 agencies.

That’s it for this week.