• Matt Rob

Digital Ads in Cookieless World

Digital ads in a cookieless world: How it works

Ah, cookies. They’re the scrumptious little bits of data that have powered digital advertising for the last three decades - and their days are quickly crumbling.

Each time you visit a website, a small bit of data called a cookie gets sent to your computer and stored inside your web browser. Third-party cookies have been the key ingredient for targeted ad campaigns and personalized web content, but they have also posed some pretty big privacy concerns.

There are also first-party cookies, which generally collects and saves data about a specific web session such as language preferences or items in an online shopping cart. Those cookies are staying put.

Google announced in August 2021 that it will phase out third-party cookies in 2023 and Apple now has opt-in defaults for information sharing on its iOS devices.

The end of third-party cookies means digital marketers and advertisers will need to make some fundamental changes to how they strategize and operate.

Here’s how digital advertising will work without cookies

Evaluation techniques for ad campaigns will change

Cookies have allowed marketers to understand who purchased a product or service after seeing an ad, making it possible to understand nuanced audience demographics and collect detailed data on consumers.

A cookieless world gives marketers much less information to work with, but they’ll still be able to track the number of people who made a purchase after encountering a digital ad. Marketers will also need to work more closely with brands to leverage their first-party cookie data.

Without individually targeted ads, collaboration and audience research will be critical

Marketers will need to do more research on audience demographics to understand who a brand’s customers really are and when each customer will be most receptive to an ad.

Some of this research can be used with first-party data, which can include a user’s location and transaction data to build projections and gather general audience traits, according to Marketing Week.

Advertisers will need to focus on their core brand identities

Targeted advertising has led some brands to hone in on a very specific market segment rather than trying to appeal to a wide audience with consistent branding.

Without targeted advertising at their disposal, advertisers will need to reinvest their time and efforts into creating solid, memorable brand identities to attract customers organically.

Affiliate marketing will be key for targeting customers

In order to reach a specific market segment, brands can build partnerships with content creators and publishers to launch affiliate marketing campaigns.

Leveraging affiliate marketing will give brands a more direct line to consumers who are already consuming content about a brand’s products or services, according to Forbes.

Brands will need to be transparent and trustworthy to leverage first-party cookie data

According to Fast Company, brands will need to offer more granular information about how user data is used and stored if they want users to trust them.

If consumers are comfortable with a brand, they can sign up or create a user account with a site. This will make it possible for brands to collect first-party cookie data, which can give further insight into user preferences.


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