How Programmatic Marketers Can Prepare for a Cookieless Future

Who would have imagined in 1994 that today programmatic marketers would be considering a cookieless future? In 1994, Lou Montulli, a skilled programmer from Netscape, revolutionized web surfing with “persistent client state object”, a solution that could track users’ actions on sites. 

This concept of cookies was a “big bang” in the history of the web, but it appears the time has come to bid it adieu. This waxing wave of cookieless future will change the digital marketing landscape yet again. B2B programmatic players and practitioners are already adapting. Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox have already blocked third party cookies, followed by Google Chrome’s declaration to do the same in the next two years.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles! Dealing with change

That website you visit directly creates and stores first party cookies about your time there. These allow website owners to gather customer data for analytics and to optimize settings for a positive user experience at each touchpoint. 

Second party cookies are transferred from one company to another by data partnership. They provide behavioral and demographic attributes for more effective marketing decisions.

Next come third party cookies, which let B2B programmatic marketers collect user data like location and online behavior. These get placed on websites you visit by adding scripts or tags. 

Consumer privacy acts like GDPR and CCPA ensure data tracking is transparent and takes place with your full consent. Keeping user data security in mind, walled gardens like Facebook and Google decided in favor of removal of third party cookies from internet browsers.

How removing third party cookies affects programmatic marketers

B2B marketers have long relied on third party cookies for ad targeting and retargeting. Scrapping the same brings a new set of challenges, but also opportunities. It’s one more example of the ongoing digital disruption. 

Let’s see how things are changing in programmatic advertising:

·        For Publishers: Supply Side Platform (SSP) and ad exchanges will not identify users on websites in the same way they do now using third party cookies.

·        For Advertisers: They used third party cookies to gather user information and accordingly target audience segments for higher engagements and conversions. Without these cookies, frequency capping, conversion tracking and displaying relevant ads will be obstructed and force new alternatives.

·        For Data Management Platforms: Third party cookie crumbling means changes in how DMPs create audiences that advertisers can later use for audience activation, targeting and retargeting.

Overcoming the Challenges of Scrapping Cookies: 3 Tips

Tip 1 – Creative contextual ads: You can reach the right users at the right time using creative contextual ads. The ad content resonates with the content of the site the user is visiting. Displaying relevant ads on suitable websites will result in higher click-through rates and conversion rates. For example, insurance companies show ads on websites that have content related to tax saving options. DOOH, mobile, connected TV etc. are all trending programmatic media channels, and all of them are cookieless.

Tip 2 – Attractive, relevant, and engaging content: You can grab audience attention by designing relevant and engaging content. If your message is eye-catching enough, your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) will fall. Placing interactive chatbots to interpret queries is a popular user engagement method. 

Tip 3 – Live Intent: A privacy-centric solution that can come in handy at this juncture is live intent. With the phasing out of third party cookies, you can still target and retarget consumers effectively using data about their live intent and advanced on-page entity analysis. With live intent, you understand what prospects are looking for and what solutions will be relevant for them.

Death of third party cookies | Rebirth of first party data

With the demise of third party cookies, B2B programmatic marketers will turn towards first party data to identify audience segments. Data collection, analysis and quality remain prime concerns among B2B programmatic marketers. This article by our COO, Craig Weiss, shares more perspectives: “The Future of Display Ads Without Third Party Cookies.”

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