Marketers and advertisers have long been relying on (and using) third-party browser cookies for advertising campaigns and user targeting. After Firefox and Safari, Google has announced that it is all set to ban third-party cookies from Chrome by 2022 to make the internet and browsing private and secure.
This news has serious implications for both advertisers and publishers. There has been a lot of debate across the internet on how this change will impact users, advertisers, and publishers both in the short and long run. There are some serious implications for marketers because they have been using third-party data for years. In fact, marketing campaigns are now powered by data with an increase in personalization. According to the State of the Marketing report by Salesforce, the highest performing marketers use Data Management Platforms and rate them as their most important marketing technology.
Data is essential for marketers but in the absence of third-party cookies, what alternatives marketers and advertisers have to power their campaigns and to serve personalized and highly targeted content and ads is an essential question.
What is a Third-Party Cookie?
A cookie, according to Google, represents a file created by the website a user visits. These cookies are used for personalization and improving user-experience. There are two types of cookies:
- First-party cookies
- Third-party cookies
The first-party cookies are the ones created by the actual website a user is visiting. Third-party cookies are created by other sites that a visitor doesn’t visit. As long as the website a person is visiting creates cookies, it is fine but when other non-visited sites collect data and create cookies, that’s an issue for browsers. This is what’s being blocked forever.
The BMW ad you see on a cat food website is due to third-party cookies because you might have visited the BMW website or have searched about one of their cars earlier that day. Clearly, it is one of the many ways to serve users with personalized ads that are extremely relevant. Nobody likes seeing irrelevant ads. In fact, it is irritating when you see ads of products that you are not interested in.
Personalization Techniques that Don’t Require Third-Party Cookies
Third-party cookies do help marketers in serving relevant ads to their audience, but it isn’t the only way. Since these cookies are banned and you won’t be able to use them by 2022, its time to look for other better alternatives to advertising.
Why wait for 2022?
Why not start today…
Here is a list of the best ways to keep your marketing collateral personalized, relevant, and effective without relying on third-party cookies:
1. Contextual Advertising
The first thing you should do is switch to contextual advertising. It ensures that the ad on a website is relevant to the website’s content instead of the visitor’s interest. If a person is visiting a weight loss blog, he will see ads of weight loss products.
The keywords, in case of contextual advertising, are identified by the advertiser. You can choose to display your ads to people who are interested in weight loss products and related keywords. Advertising networks like AdMaven provides advertisers access to hundreds of publishers and the ads are served contextually with no third-party cookies. It has been focusing on advertiser-publisher relationship to serve relevant ads to the right people.
AdMaven’s AI optimization technology uses algorithms to serve the right ad at the right time to the right visitor to boost CTR and conversions. AI powered contextual advertising is what makes personalization easier than ever. This helps publishers monetize their websites with relevant ads that don’t ruin UX and advertisers get their ads published on high-quality relevant websites.
2. First-Party Data Collection
First-party data collection should be your brand’s top priority. This is what’s going to help you provide your customers with personalized collateral and offers on and off your website. This is the data that you own and can use in any way you like for improving personalization and UX.
The first-party data includes web analytics data, behavioral data (e.g. purchase history), data from your CRM tool, and any data that customers have shared with you (e.g. name, address, location, address, phone number, etc.). Your CRM tool is the best place that integrates all the data that you have and lets you personalize user experience.
Here are a few ways to use first-party data for marketing and advertising:
- Use web analytics data to improve content and pages that are performing poorly.
- Send a targeted email to customers based on their recent interaction with your website and the pages they have visited.
- Segment customers to improve personalization and targeting.
- Use CRM tool to send messages and/or emails to users who are in your business’s delivery radius.
- Sending direct mails to customers is a perfect way to increase customer lifetime value.
First-hand data can be used in unimaginable ways. It doesn’t matter how much data you have, it comes down to how you use it.
3. People-Based Marketing
People-based marketing (also known as cross-device marketing) focuses on targeting people across multiple devices by relying on unique identifiers. This is the approach that Facebook uses. It tracks and targets people instead of devices. There are three main elements of people-based marketing:
- Identification: Identifying users based on the devices they use.
- Data: It refers to the collection of data across all the channels.
- Automation: People are then targeted based on data irrespective of the device they use without any use of cookie-tracking.
People-based marketing and targeting is the future of marketing as its more accurate and authentic as compared to cookie-tracking. Third-party cookies and even first-party cookies track behaviour that could be related to the person being tracked. What if a person mistakenly clicked an ad or visited a webpage? Cookies don’t consider these types of mistakes, people-based marketing does.
Serving your audience with products, ads, content, and messages that are targeted and personalized is the priority of marketers and will remain so even in the absence of third-party cookies. Marketers and publishers will eventually find other ways to reach their target audience in time.
The question is when?
Do you want to wait and see how things settle or you will take a leap and switch to an alternative now?
The earlier you do it, the better.