Cookie Deprecation: 3 Survival Tips for Advertisers

There’s a lot to be said about how publishers will be impacted by a cookieless world, but advertisers are in a similar boat: They’re also faced with the task of revamping their ad targeting strategies and finding new, data-rich channels through which to drive engagement.

According to a recent study from Epsilon, 80% of marketers are still reliant on third-party cookies and 83% expect their advertising efforts to be affected when those cookies go away. Yet less than half are “very prepared” for this inevitable shift.

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Evidently, advertisers have some work to do in preparation for cookie deprecation. They need to be at the ready with innovative approaches for surviving a world where Google stole the cookies from the cookie jar (i.e. disabled third-party cookies from its Chrome browsers).

On that note, here’s what advertisers have to know about cookie deprecation — and what to do next.

What is cookie deprecation?

  • Cookies. In this case, cookies refers specifically to third-party cookies. While they might sound delicious, they’re actually just a catchy word for small pieces of personal data stored by web browsers. They tell browsers which users visited which websites and content pages. Advertisers then use these tracking cookies to better understand what their audiences want and how to target them with relevant campaigns.
  • Deprecation. According to Miriam-Webster, “deprecate” means “to withdraw official support for or discourage the use of (something, such as a software product) in favor of a newer or better alternative.” Google recently announced its plans to deprecate third-party cookies on its Chrome browsers by 2022 in an effort to create a more privacy-safe web experience.

Combine those words together and you have cookie deprecation: the phasing out of third-party cookies from browsers across the Internet.

In fact, Google is actually a bit late to the party. Safari and Firefox have already disabled third-party cookies on their platforms. The big deal here is that Google Chrome is responsible for a whopping 64% of global browser market share, while Safari only covers 19% and Firefox covers 4%. Understandably, Google’s announcement set advertisers in motion, challenging them to prepare for advertising without cookies.

Just to clarify, advertisers can also use first-party cookies to track audience behavior. The difference is those cookies are created by and stored by an individual website — such as a publisher tracking its own readers. They’re not tied to a specific third-party browser, like Chrome or Safari, so they can’t be accessed by other websites across the internet.

What does cookie deprecation mean for advertisers?

With cookie deprecation on the horizon, here’s what advertisers can expect:

  • They’ll need to find new data channels. Advertisers will no longer be able to count on tracking solutions and data-driven channels that rely on third-party cookies to operate. They will need to reconsider how they’ll continue collecting customer data, segmenting audiences, and targeting people on different websites.
  • They must rethink how they work with publishers. Advertisers will have to start nurturing direct relationships with publishers in order to launch campaigns on their sites. They will have to be extra careful about how they vet publishing partners for targeting capabilities, brand safety, and audience relatability.
  • They have important opportunities to build consumer trust. Consumer privacy was commonly breached when third-party cookies were the norm. Now that they’re going away, advertisers can invest in more transparent, trustworthy, and consumer-friendly methods of data collection.

Get ready for the end of third-party cookies! Click here to get your solution in place.

What are helpful solutions for advertising without cookies?

They just have to put in a bit of leg work now to prepare for the shift.

Specifically, here are best practices advertisers can use to survive cookie deprecation:

  1. Start harnessing the power of first-party data. Gathering first-party data (and working with publishers who also do this) is one of the only fool-proof ways for brands to shield themselves from the repercussions of a cookieless world. This data is collected directly from the customer, so it’s transparent, opt-in, and in your control. A prime example of first-party data is the email address, which can be used to launch personalized newsletters and on-site experiences after login.
  2. Focus on contextual targeting. While third-party cookies fueled behavioral targeting, which uses a customer’s actions across the web to target them with relevant ads, contextual targeting is the process of displaying ads that are relevant to the surrounding content on a website. So when a customer visits a sports website, they’ll see a sports ad. Or when they read an email with keywords related to fashion, they’ll see a fashion-related ad.
  3. Rely on trustworthy partner platforms for automation. Even with an understanding of first-party data and contextual targeting, advertisers can lose precious hours and resources on manual tracking, audience segmentation, and campaign targeting. That’s why it’s important to find reliable, multichannel platforms that can automate these processes and help build those one-to-one audience relationships.

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Our fully managed service also puts the power back in your hands and gives you peace of mind with access to detailed reporting and optimization strategies. So you always know you’re making the most of your advertising campaigns.

Take a second and think: Are you truly prepared for a cookieless world? Contact us for a demo to make sure.

This article originally appeared here.

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