Gaining a Competitive Edge in a Cookieless World – CMO Talks with Ingrid Burton

There are revolutionary changes occurring in the area of consumer-targeted advertising, and innovative ways to prioritize first-party data. For Ingrid Burton, Chief Marketing Officer at Quantcast, it all boils down to aligning your brand with the purpose of your company and leveraging emerging technologies to reach new and existing audiences.


A software engineer with several decades of experience leading global marketing teams to build brands and create demand, Burton joined ITWC CMO Fawn Annan back in December 2021 for an episode of CMO Talks, a podcast series designed by ITWC to showcase strategies for gaining a competitive edge through the intersection of marketing and technology. Their 45-minute discussion focused on the impact of global AdTech and prospects for a cookieless future.


Letting the Cookies Crumble


“Machine learning is the real science behind AdTech right now and an integral part of our Quantcast platform,” Burton explained. “To

Ingrid Burton
CMO, Quantcast

gether with AI, it creates an opportunity for Quantcast to turn off cookies and use first-party data to identify audiences that were previously overlooked.”


Burton referred to the three Ps of demystifying AI for marketers: patterns, preferences, and predictions. Thanks to AI, a large data set will reveal large numbers of people who have the same kinds of behaviours. Consent-based approaches allow marketers to determine what these like-minded people want and need; and machine learning makes it possible to predict what will happen next and what kind of offers will best appeal to this demographic.

Big Picture Marketing


On the subject of getting the most out of AdTech and MarTech stacks, Burton said she knows what comes in from both advertising and the website because she can see those numbers flowing. She stressed that it is possible to integrate them in a way that provides a holistic picture of the way marketing helps drive the pipeline along.


In reply to a question from Annan, Burton addressed the complexities of inheriting someone else’s MarTech stack. Likening the experience to a forensic investigation, she described how she and her team took a step back to audit, rewrite, and relaunch the company website. “It took us about six months to pull it all together again,” she said, “but now we are seeing results and we’re pretty happy.”



A Team Approach


Burton described the Chief Information Officer as an important marketing partner. As well, she illustrated the important role played by the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Analytics Officer, and the Chief Security Officer.  “All of these people come into play because in marketing we’re touching a lot of data,” she said. “We have to have it consented. We have to make sure that we’re within the bounds of what the regulations are calling for, and we need to be on the cutting edge.”


The Future is Clear


Looking ahead, Burton emphasized the critical importance of coming to terms with AI and machine learning. “I hope my fellow marketers understand that they are going to have to do this,” she said. “There are no two ways about it. If they don’t adopt AI and machine learning into their environment, whether it’s in their MarTech or their AdTech stack, they are going to be left behind.”



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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau is a communications specialist based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where working remotely continues to fuel her passion for new mobile technologies -- especially on snowy days.

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