How to Plan for a Cookieless Future.
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How to Plan for a Cookieless Future

Marketers and advertisers have long used third-party cookies to collect and analyze the necessary data to serve personalized ads. However, with ongoing privacy concerns and internet browsers’ new efforts to protect users’ information, third-party cookies are, unsurprisingly, undergoing a massive transformation.

To future-proof your marketing efforts, it’s critical to find new ways to plan campaigns that won’t be disrupted by how the third-party cookie crumbles. That said, here are five things you can do right now to plan for a cookieless future.

5 Things to Do to Prepare for a Cookieless Future

1. Understand the implications of the loss of third-party cookies

Firstly, it is essential to understand what precisely third-party cookies provide your business. This way, you can clearly understand where the gaps are now that they are no longer an option for collecting data and serving personalized ads.

What to do now:

An excellent place to start preparing for this change is analyzing and understanding your current audience and market needs. Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know their demographics, interests, wants, and needs when it comes to engaging with your brand? It’s time to find answers to these questions, stat

2. Learn more about how to use first-party cookies for advertising

First-party cookies aren’t going anywhere, which means now is the time to strategize using these cookies to improve your advertising. The data you do collect about your customers via first-party data (such as email addresses and phone numbers) should become the foundation of your advertising efforts moving forward. 

What to do now: 

Start beefing up your first-party data collection efforts. Put strategies in place to increase your subscriber base, email list, and engaged followers. You can then serve these audiences with personalized content through other forms of advertising that don’t require in-depth data collection.

3. Identify tools to replace third-party cookies

What will replace the cookie? No one knows yet. There are claims of new tools and systems being created. One that Google recently announced it would be using is FLoC, which creates “cohorts” of people based on their online viewing habits. These “cohorts” are identifiable, but the individuals within them are not, which is a solution to the privacy issue that started this change in the first place. However, it is unlikely that a one-size-fits-all solution will arise quickly. It takes time to understand and test the effectiveness of such systems.

What to do now:

Here are the tools currently rising to the top that marketers can try — take the time to learn about them!

  • Privacy Sandbox (FLoC): presently being tested 

  • Real-Time Profiling: uses context to gain insights and relevant information about an audience 

  • Publisher’s First-Party Data: uses relevant data from publishers to better understand your target audience

  • Unique ID: uses login information

4. Invest in more meaningful and engaging content 

While contextual targeting should have always been part of your marketing and advertising strategy, now is the time for it to take center stage. After all, it’s an A+ way to deliver relevant information to your target audience via advertisements without having to track their behavior.

What to do now:

To create a meaningful contextual targeting campaign, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Use first-party data and other insights to learn about the contextual signals (time and day of a search, device models, etc.) to increase personalization.

  • Create personalized visual and written content to engage your target audience further. The need for eye-catching visuals and engaging messaging is greater than ever before. Even without third-party cookies to personalize your content, you can still achieve outstanding results with the right creative elements.

  • Use contextual targeting alongside audience targeting, compare results and make adjustments as needed.

  • A/B test different contextual targeting strategies and campaigns to identify which works best for your brand.

5. Strategize your short-term and long-term approach to the cookieless future

While there will be challenges as you begin to navigate the cookieless future, you can get ahead of the game by strategizing your short-term and long-term approach to these changes — and ensuring everyone on your team is on the same page.

What to do now:

Beyond simply researching and learning everything you can about advertising in a post-cookie world, you will also want to explain your findings to your marketing team. The use of third-party cookies affects many different departments, so everyone should understand the changes and need for patience as a new way of tracking audiences and serving advertisements arises.

In your research, be sure to gather information about what new tools and projects are being developed to support targeted advertising in a post-cookie world. Then, choose a few solutions you want to test and focus your efforts on which direction seems to be most beneficial for your business. Because this is a new way of doing things that impacts anyone and everyone who advertises, cross-collaboration is vital.

Ready for a Cookieless Future? 

The loss of third-party cookies can be a scary prospect to marketers, but luckily, we’ve got your back. Get started with AdRoll to make sure your marketing efforts continue running smoothly no matter what gets thrown your way — our AI-powered solutions are the key to fantastic campaigns and even better ROIs.