Blog Post

How to Plan for a Cookieless Future Despite Delays

03/21/2023 - Carley Wells

With every delay in Google’s cookie depreciation, it becomes easier for advertisers to question whether third-party cookieless advertising will actually come to be. The reality? The cookieless future is still coming. While it seems like every other marketing headline is about the removal of third-party cookies, the industry and technology have been actively moving toward replacing cookies as the main currency in advertising for a while now.

Even though there have been multiple delays, the facts have never changed: Consumer privacy and consumer experience are both top priorities.

Consumers are only becoming more vocal about privacy concerns when browsing the internet. Choosing not to develop a plan for the cookieless future could result in falling behind the competition and losing consumer trust, which affects everything from sales and reputation to brand awareness.

Ultimately, advertisers who accept these realities and learn how to prepare for the cookieless future now will feel less of an impact when third-party cookies are inevitably phased out.

Understanding a Cookieless Future

While the term “cookieless future” is widely used, it isn’t the most accurate. Not all cookies are going away, only third-party cookies. So what exactly is the difference between the tracking tools that currently exist? Let’s break it down:

Third-party cookies: This is data gathered using code from vendors (such as a Trade Desk Universal Pixel or a MediaMath pixel) that can only be read by the vendor that drops the cookies. These cookies track the user as they move through the browsing experience and can be used for cross-site tracking, retargeting, ad serving, and other forms of segmentation.

Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA): A device identifier used by Apple to identify a user’s device without revealing personally identifiable information (PII), an IDFA can be used to find target users, deliver customized advertising, measure campaign performance, and more.

First-party cookies: This is data dropped directly by the domain or website visited. These cookies allow website owners to track visitors, compile analytics, remember user preferences, and perform other useful functions that provide a consumer-first experience.

Moving forward, first-party data will be the most valuable data set. Not only will it be one of the only solutions to keep implementing personalized and relevant consumer experiences without third-party cookies, but it is also the best way to obtain accurate, dependable data.

How to Successfully Move Forward Into a Cookieless Future

Although timelines to move away from third-party cookies continue to be delayed, now is the time to start planning new strategies, building strong first-party data applications, and testing additional solutions in a low-risk environment. The following tips can help you craft an actionable plan for the cookieless future:

1. Think in terms of first-party data.

Finding alternatives to third-party cookies can be daunting, but you might already have exactly what you need to succeed in a cookieless future. Brands either have or have access to valuable consumer data, including downloads, behavioral data, location, and social conversions. The only problem is that you might not be utilizing it to get the best results.

Think about every activity that happens on your website or within your organization, such as:

  • Subscribing to your newsletter.
  • Filling out a contact form.
  • Downloading content.
  • Signing up for exclusive promotions.
  • Placing an order.
  • Creating an account.

Every action and interaction provides high-quality data that’s valuable to your brand. However, it is only as valuable as the tools used to organize and implement the data to move consumers down the funnel.

Once you learn how to collect, organize, verify, analyze, and implement first-party data correctly, you will be on track to a more stable future in the cookieless world of advertising. You will reap the benefits of better targeting, more suitable audience modeling, and more profitable consumer interactions that are all data-driven.

2. Test new capabilities.

Another delay of Google’s cookie depreciation means you now have more time to think creatively and look into other tactics and resources that are often overlooked as quality tools, such as walled gardens, contextual targeting, and purchase/transaction data.

Ultimately, you should take advantage of this time to be innovative, explore options, receive insight from technology professionals, and discover what is best for your brand.

3. Stay updated on cookieless news.

Advertisers must stay in the know about when and how cookies will be changing. It’s easy to tune out every marketing update on a repetitive, buzzworthy topic — however, keeping up with cookieless news is the best way to know about the latest strategies and tools developed for privacy-safe tracking. Staying up-to-date on the cookieless news can help you build future-proof advertising campaigns.

Ready to Take the Next Step in Preparing for the Cookieless Future?

Now is the time to get a step ahead of your competitors. Remember, it’s not a matter of whether the future will be cookieless, but when. While it might be tempting to delay action, now is the time to get ahead of the transition to ensure the best possible outcome for future advertising campaigns.

At Digilant, we know how important the cookieless future is for brands. That’s why we continue to grow our advertising strategies and partnerships to ensure your business is poised for a successful future, no matter what advertising solutions are available.

If you’re ready to begin preparing for the cookieless future, contact our team today and discover all of the tools we have available for your brand’s success.

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