When Third-Party Cookies Become Obsolete
3 Strategies for Advertisers to Use in the Post-Cookies World
Digital advertisers and marketers have used the “cookie” technology since 1995, within a year of its creation. However, the world of digital advertising as we know it is about to change. McKinsey & Company reports that starting in mid-2023, Google’s Chrome browser is expected to block third-party cookies, which are already blocked in Safari and Firefox. Since Chrome is the leading browser in large parts of the world, this policy will directly result in a drastically changed digital landscape, putting an end to cookie-based advertising.
As we head into the new year, now is the time to learn, adapt, and prepare your marketing strategy.
Mixing the Cookie Dough
Cookies are small pieces of code added to users’ web browsers as they visit different websites. This code remembers the users’ previous actions and settings (e.g., location, search history, items you put in your cart, etc.) and uses this information to deliver a more tailored web browsing experience. Advertisers utilize cookies to collect user data that ultimately helps them deliver the most relevant and targeted content to specific audiences.
Cut Out the Cookies
Get a head-start in refreshing your advertising strategy by implementing these three strategies.
1. Use Consumer Points to Collect First-Party Data
First-party data refers to data that is collected passively, meaning with the users’ consent but without their direct participation. Browsing behavior, content consumption, location, device, and time of day are all examples of first-party data.
Your business, brand, or educational institution should intensify efforts to collect data at the consumer touchpoints you control, such as your own websites, and use analytics to fill in the blanks where the data sets are incomplete. If you require information about a user’s intentions, preferences, and lifestyle, you can convince users to identify themselves and share this kind of information, called zero-party data, by giving them something valuable in exchange.
2. Create Partnerships to Leverage Second-Party Data
Since first-party data is not enough to achieve broad reach goals, marketers can build partnerships with other companies to exchange data that users have cleared for certain purposes. Such partnerships are most effective in maximizing the value of data when both parties pursue similar interests but aren’t direct competitors.
3. Learn Contextual Advertising & Interest-Based Targeting
While cookie-driven approaches display ads based on a user’s browsing history and inferred interest, contextual advertising is based on the current content a user is viewing. New contextual targeting tools rely on natural language processing and image recognition, allowing algorithms to understand the context of web pages and apps. This enables marketers to display ads in an environment that is both highly relevant for their potential customers and safe for their brands.
A new approach promoted by Google as an alternative to cookie-based targeting, internet-based targeting uses Google Topics. The idea behind this allegedly more private tool is that a browser learns about users’ interests as they surf the web and shares their top interests with participating websites for advertising purposes. When a user visits a website that supports the Topics API, the browser will choose up to three topics on their device from their most frequent ones (one for each of the last three weeks). The website and its advertising partners can then use these topics to determine which ads to display.
Baked to Perfection
Cookies or not, 5 Horizons always strives for perfection and knows how to capture unique leads for your business or institution. With over 9 years of expertise, we specialize in digital marketing and can assist with any of your advertising needs.