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In a recent post, we explored how cookie-based reach and frequency measurement were distorted due to device proliferation and cookie churn. Now we turn to the question of device sharing, when one device and one cookie correspond to more than one person. In a typical environment with shared computers, such as a library or an Internet café, the same cookie could span dozens of people throughout a day. This may cause cookie-based measurement to under-estimate reach and over-estimate frequency for an ad campaign.
We’ve all heard that cookies are “broken” and that advertising is quickly moving to a post-cookie world. Though cookies will probably be around for some time to come, they are far from perfect as a measurement and targeting mechanism, and marketers will need to employ other tools alongside cookies to make sure they are measuring effectively.