He thinks the challenges posed by the search for alternatives to third-party cookies add up to a “holy mess”. But Raja Rajamannar isn’t sorry.

The chief marketing officer of Mastercard’s health business says the quest for user privacy is right-on.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Rajamannar explains which replacements may work best, and how advertisers should respond.

Privacy is right

“I completely agree with a statement which Tim Cook had made brilliantly, ‘Privacy is a fundamental right’,” he says.

“There are so many data breaches that are happening. If you guys don’t know how to protect my data, you have no business collecting my data.

“As a marketer, I have to behave in a very responsible way to my consumers.

“I think it’s a good decision that they have taken, but we need to find solutions.”

Safety in numbers

Vendors across the industry are racing to cook-up alternatives to third-party tracking cookies – not only as Apple has reduced its own identify offering but with Google’s deprecation of Chrome cookies now looming by 2023.

Rajamannar sees three categories of replacement emerging:

Cohorts – “It is one step better than blindly bombarding all consumers with all kinds of ads. It’s a step better, but still not good”

Vendor-specific alternatives – “You’ve got companies like Trade Desk, LiveRamp and a whole bunch of other companies out there, they’re coming with their own solutions, which we need to see how they are.”

Broad-based initiatives – “ANA is working on some solutions at the industry level, which I think is the smartest way to do, taking advantage of the scale that all of us collectively bring to the table.”

How to act

Regardless of what comes after the cookie, the Mastercard CMO thinks brands don’t have to wait; they can take two key steps now:

1. Minimise the collection of data

“What information do you really need to know about the consumer? Do you really need to know all this stuff? Or can you actually come up with the same decision, with the same precision, knowing a lot less data?”

2. Reach the user right

“How do you then track the consumer, or how do you contextually serve the right advertisement in a non-intrusive non-repetitive fashion that makes sense to the consumer?”

Production Notes:   This video is an except from an extended conversation which will be published 10.11 on the BeetCast, the podcast. The BeetCast is sponsored by TransUnion.