March 24, 2023

Ways to Market in a Cookie-less World

By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
As a marketer, you’ve been anxiously, perhaps hesitantly waiting for the clock to tick into 2024, when the world of third-party cookies will have slowly crumbled away.

Major browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox will have phased out third-party cookies — one of the chief tools in advertising and search marketing for decades — by then. You and your company are digging for ways to avoid that third-party cookie jar and sample other digital marketing options that can help you target, measure and optimize your advertising campaigns.

Here are some options for digital marketing in a cookie-less world that you might explore.

First, Check Out What the Big Boys and Girls Are Doing

First, you should know some of alternatives to third-party cookies that are being developed by some of the industry’s key players:

  • Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC): This is Google’s proposal for a new way of grouping users based on their browsing behavior without revealing their individual identities. FLoC uses machine learning to create cohorts of users with similar interests and preferences that can be targeted by advertisers.
  • Unified ID 2.0: This is an open-source initiative led by The Trade Desk that aims to create a common identifier for users across different platforms and devices. UID2 uses encrypted email addresses as the basis for creating pseudonymous IDs that can be used for targeting and measurement purposes.
  • Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS): This is a solution offered by LiveRamp that enables publishers to collect first-party data from their logged-in users and share it with advertisers in a privacy-compliant way. ATS uses secure identity tokens that can be matched with advertiser data for more relevant and effective advertising.

These examples of pending solutions to replace third-party cookies with more privacy-friendly alternatives are not yet widely adopted or standardized, though — be aware that they may face regulatory or technical hurdles in the future.

What You and Your Marketing Department Can Do

While the key players seek the above alternatives to third-party cookies, you and your company’s team should focus your attention on other digital and search marketing options that do not depend on third-party cookies at all.

These might include:

  • First-party data: This is the data that you collect directly from your own customers or prospects through your website, app, customer relation management system or other sources. First-party data is valuable because it gives you insights into your audience’s behavior, preferences and needs. You can use first-party data to create personalized experiences, tailor your messaging and offers, segment your audience and measure your performance.
  • Contextual advertising: This is a form of advertising that matches ads to the content or context of the web page or app where they appear. Contextual advertising does not rely on user-level data or tracking technologies; instead, it uses keywords, topics or categories to determine the relevance and suitability of ads. Contextual advertising can help you reach audiences who are interested in your products or services based on what they are reading or watching online.
  • Content marketing: This is a form of marketing that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant and engaging content to attract and retain customers. Content marketing does not involve direct selling; rather, it aims to educate, inform or entertain your audience while building trust and credibility for your brand. Content marketing can help you generate leads, increase awareness, drive traffic and boost loyalty.

These are just some of the best digital marketing options in a cookie-less world that can help you achieve your objectives while respecting user privacy.

Rather than being anxious or hesitant about the eve of 2024, embrace this time as an opportunity to innovate and improve your company’s digital marketing practices — without a jar of third-party cookies sitting around.

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Houston, TX
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