In 2020, Google announced that they would end third-party cookies in major web browsers. This caused panic among marketers and advertisers who rely heavily on cookie-based advertising. Although cookies have been the industry standard for quite some time, there are now many alternative options for audience targeting without cookies.
Google’s Cookie Phase-Out: Why All the Fuss?
While the original cookie phase-out was announced just over three years ago, it’s making headlines once more as Google released an update to their plan in July 2022. They stated they will extend plans for the phase-out to 2024. This update’s announcement is a relief to many businesses worried that their cookie-based advertising plans would be adversely impacted by the company’s decision to end third-party cookies. This was done to help protect users’ privacy. Nearly 81% of Americans stated that they feel they have very little control over what data is collected about them, and 81% noted that the potential risks of having personal data collected outweigh the benefits.Many brands rely quite heavily on cookies for audience targeting. Marketers and advertisers can use third-party cookies to store data about a user’s online habits and target specific users on the internet based on their interests and behavior. With cookies, you can target potential customers who may be interested in your product or service and convert users into customers.Unfortunately, when Google announced its plans to end third-party cookies, marketing and advertising teams were left scrambling to find innovative solutions to audience targeting without cookies. Without tracking user behavior through cookies, how could you gather the necessary data to target specific your audience on the internet? While it can be difficult to break old habits, the good news is that there are plenty of new ways to collect the necessary consumer data to target users for an effective marketing campaign. Finding what works best for you just takes a bit of time.
Audience Targeting Without Cookies: 5 Solutions Worth Considering
While cookie depreciation has been delayed, it’s crucial to understand that now is the time to start planning for a cookieless future.Amanda Martin, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Goodway Group, a preferred E29 media partner, made a great point when she stated, “While it is easy to acknowledge the uphill battle Google faces to depreciate third-party cookies now or in the future, we must recognize that third-party cookies are not a solid foundation to continue to rely upon nor build upon.”Yes, audience targeting without cookies is possible, and it’s not as difficult as you might think. If you’re stumbling to find a way to target audiences without cookies, then you’ll want to consider the following solutions:
1. People-Based Solutions
One solution that you may want to consider is people-based where you append your opt-in, first-party data with hundreds of lifestyle and demographic segments in a privacy-compliant way. E29 is proud to partner with Goodway Group who is providing our clients with a database of over 300 million consumer profiles. Through a solution called Passport One™, our advertisers can continue to reach targeted audiences through their digital campaigns. This unique solution to privacy and cookie deprecation allows advertisers to continue to discover, reach and understand their audience as the industry continues to evolve. Even without your own first-party data, this database can be used to reach 95% of US consumers for a targeted and efficient campaign.
2. Contextual Targeting
Contextual targeting is a method of online advertising that delivers ads to users based on the content of the web page they are viewing. This type of targeting allows you to analyze the text on the web page to determine its topics and deliver relevant ads. This technology has been around for a while, but thanks to advancements in machine learning and the rise of the mobile web, it’s now more accurate than ever. You can use it to deliver highly relevant ads to users.
3. Panel-Based/Model Solutions
Panel-based and model solutions use a panel of customers who have agreed to share their data in exchange for rewards. You can then use the data from these panels to create models that can help you target other users who have similar characteristics.
4. Authenticated IDs
Authenticated IDs are generated when a user logs in to a website or app using their credentials. Once the user is logged in, the website or app can use the ID to track the user’s behavior. This is a terrific way to identify users and understand their interests and needs. It can then also be used to target them with relevant ads and content.
5. Data Clean Room
A data clean room is a solution that allows companies to collect and use data in a privacy-safe way. This solution anonymizes data so it can’t be linked to an individual user. The data is then used to create models that can be used for targeting. Companies often use data clean rooms to comply with data privacy regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).Google offers a data clean room service for advertisers and marketers. Google’s Ads Data Hub is a cloud-based service that allows you to download and upload data in a privacy-centric data warehouse. You can use this data to have a better understanding of your audience and what they are doing on the web without collecting any personally identifiable information and risking the exposure of your customers.
Base Your Future on the Right Data
As the industry looks for solutions to the impending demise of third-party cookies, marketers and advertisers should keep an eye on the solutions being developed to replace cookies. The most effective solutions will be those that are based heavily on consumer research. You can research your consumer by tracking and analyzing the online behavior of your current audience.At E29 Marketing, we can help you conduct the necessary research to help you generate crucial insights to help you reach your goals.Ready to see how we can help you move forward in a cookie-free world? Contact us today and learn more about our available solutions!