What do digital marketers need to do to prepare for the cookie-less world?

Digital Marketing for the Cookie-less World.

Over the past 10 years or so, Digital Advertising has seen tremendous growth in media spends and has had a massive impact on consumers’ purchase decisions. In the process, brands have identified many innovative ways to identify prospective customers and are becoming aware that digital advertising can drive growth for their brands. Consequently, they have started increasing media spends on digital.

One of the primary reasons for the success of digital marketing (and, in a manner, the uniqueness) is the usage of cookies. Cookies identify audience information so that brands can deliver a more customized user experience. Cookies play a major role, since they collect user behavior on websites – such as visits to a specific webpage, adding a product to the cart, completing a transaction or not, filling up the lead form or not. Cookies used to collect data from properties such as search engines, helping brands to target the audience by their interest, age, gender, location, among other things.

cookie less digital marketing
Cookie Based Targeting

Reaching the audience with right targeting is critical for any successful marketing campaigns, in which cookies play a very vital role, helping brands by ensuring that their ad dollars are not wasted in reaching a non-relevant audience and thereby, allocating the monies to the right audience to drive more ROI from their digital marketing campaigns.

To track audience behavior, a small file is generally dropped into consumers’ browsers when they visit websites using the internet. Every activity done by the user on the site will be tracked and stored to use for marketing by bucketing the audience basis their internet behavior. Because of this, consumers and internet users became scared of “privacy” breaches and “being tracked”, which lead the browsers to re-think about their activity of placing cookies, leading to greater restrictions.

Ever since Google announced its intention of not supporting third-party cookies in the next 2 years (which might probably begin by the end of 2021 or early 2022), digital marketers have started thinking about what they need to do to be prepared for the cookieless digital advertising environment, so as to reduce the impact on their business

So, what do marketers do in their digital marketing activities to ensure they can survive in a world without third-party cookies.

1. Build content that attracts your audience: Building great content is not a new thing. we all know how important the content is for any brand.  It is going to be critical for any brand to identify the unknown needs of their potential customers and attract them with great content. This also helps brands increase their first-party audience data, which is a new mantra of marketing.

2. Don’t over depend on First-Party Data:

first party data - veerender
First Party Data for cookie less world

Browsers such as Chrome announced they will continue supporting first-party cookies, as it is a user’s choice to visit a particular website (making it fine for the website owner to track their website visitors’ activities). However, it is not good for the brands to solely depend on first-party data to improve their performance, you will end up reaching the same audience repeatedly, giving them a bad overall experience and incorrect brand perception. Brands still need to limit their frequency caps so that their audience is not overexposed to brand communication.

3. Shift to Contextual Advertising: Since audience-based targeting has become critical for performance, most digital marketers reduced focus on contextual advertising and did not see the impact of contextual advertising.

contextual advertising for cookies less world
contextual advertising for cookies less world

It is time for marketers to start going back to the older days and start improving their performance through their online campaigns. For example, instead of reaching an audience on low-quality websites because they visited a mobile phone page in Amazon, brands can now start reaching audiences on a website comparing mobile phones or while reading a review about mobiles on the internet.

4. Build Contacts with Publishers to Target Logged in Users: With most top publishers giving an option for users to create accounts and login to their porta.

times points
image source: times points

On top of Contextual targeting, Audience targeting can be further narrowed down by creating a customized targeting strategy basis user data the publishers are collecting from their registered users. Most Large Publishers are encouraging their visitors by giving redeemable points so that they can create an account, log in, and read the content so that they can then be served customized ads. The image showed here is taken from times points managed by Times of India.


5. Build Loyalty:

As expectations from customers are increasing constantly, it is important for brands to over-achieve their expectations constantly. This will help gain brand loyalty among your audience and constantly get new loyal customers.

6. Re-Look at the MarTech Stack:

martech stack: image credit – davechaffey

There are hundreds are various martech products solving many problems of marketers with technology, However, now brands need to constantly assess their MarTech stack and capabilities to adapt to the new market trends. They need to keep adding new MarTech products which are solving the latest and real-world problems and remove the ones that are not adding any value or low valued products.

Final thoughts: Though there is a lot of uncertainty (since third party cookies are not ruled out completely) and there is no clear way forward from the companies such as Google, Mozilla, Safari, etc. there might be a completely new ecosystem on the horizon which can benefit all stakeholders in the eco-system starting from customers, publishers, digital marketers, tech companies and digital marketing agencies as well.

Digital Marketing professional with hands on experience in Digital Marketing, interactive strategy, media planning and performance marketing for achievement of top line & bottom-line targets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.