Post-cookie era insights as WaPo expands network with Project Signal

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A focus on consumption as well as context has driven the Washington Post's 'Project Signal', the publisher's Jarrod Dicker says.

The next-generation advertising product "brings the combination of advertiser and reader needs to the forefront," says the innovation and commercial strategy vice president.

With targeting alongside content in context set to be the status quo, publishers should also focus on and invest in consumption, he says. "Through consumption, publishers are able to tell marketers something they don't yet know about their brand's audience.

"This enables publishers to break out of their standard role and provide new information and insights to advertisers that they are unable to get elsewhere. The relationship with advertisers is no longer a one-way deal. By understanding consumption behaviours, publishers can build richer opportunities for marketers to better understand not just the context a reader is in, but how that type of reader chooses to watch, read and navigate content throughout the entire web."

He says the Washington Post's own search for "opportunities beyond context and with consumption" led to Project Signal. "Collectively, the analysis, results and audience insights will better inform campaigns of the future."

Media buyers who have previously relied on third-party cookie data need to rely more on first-party data insights. "The Post is well positioned to help brands prepare for this industry shift by providing a view of the content their audiences read, the topics that drive interaction and preferred forms of media consumption. This deeper understanding gives advertisers the ability to know the types of content likely to lead to more engagement and conversion with their brands."

He says Project Signal will enable brands to activate insights through a publisher network of first party data, swap out articles based on consumption insights, and tap into opportunities across the Zeus Prime network. "Advertisers will be able to invest, experiment and learn from contextual and consumption insights on The Post and then scale those learnings across the Zeus Prime network of publishers."

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