November 17, 2022

How to measure your marketing in an ID-less environment

A decline in addressable inventory is one of the biggest challenges facing brands—but Yahoo is building solutions to predict conversions across environments where ID isn’t present.

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In our recent Identity blog post, we discussed how a decline in addressable inventory is one of the biggest challenges facing brands today. We touched on the implications of how brands must navigate the ID-less open web to find their target audiences—but that’s just one side of the identity equation. In environments where no third party cookie or device identifier is available, brands need solutions to  measure the effectiveness of their marketing spend.  

At Yahoo, we’re forecasting that by the end of 2024, 75% of ad opportunities across the open web will have no Identity attached to them (today, that number is already at 30%¹). In other words, brands are running across non-addressable environments where traditional measurement and attribution methods simply won’t work. That’s why it’s crucial to understand to what extent this may be influencing current campaign KPIs and business outcomes.

A range of alternative attribution methods are already at play across the industry. One of the most common tactics for preserving conversion attribution in environments where third party cookies are not available is to leverage a click ID. With the help of some ad landing URL adjustments, a click ID can be automatically generated when a user clicks on an ad. That ID is then stored in the website’s first party cookie and the browser’s local storage for a limited period. When a user converts the click ID is then passed back to the respective ad platform for post-click conversion attribution.

Browsers and operating systems are also developing their own solutions. We anticipate the biggest shift in measuring campaign success will come with the increased adoption of modelled attribution solutions to help fill in the gaps. This is where machine learning, based on sample sets of known, factual conversion data, will power predicted conversion reporting across environments where ID is not present. Our Next-Gen Solutions are designed to work across ID-less environments. Next-Gen Attribution, for example, allows brands to see modelled conversion data directly within our DSP, providing a holistic view on campaign performance. So what other methods should brands be looking to get familiar with until then? 

Apple’s privacy-compliant framework, SkAdNetwork is perhaps the most well-known example available today. It ensures that brands running app marketing campaigns across iOS can still measure attribution effectively in cases where their ad platform does not have consented access to a user’s IDFA (device ID). Google Chrome’s suite of solutions for their Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to preserve reporting and attribution measurement for ads delivered in non-addressable web environments. It’s still some way off launch, however, following announcements at the start of Summer 2022.

For more information about Yahoo and how you or your client can start exploring our identity solutions in your market, please reach out to your local Yahoo sales rep or contact us.


  1. Yahoo Internal Data, 2021
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