No More Cookies? New Targeting Methods in Marketing

No More Cookies? New Targeting Methods in Marketing

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By: Kimberly McClellan, Media Planner

We are one year closer to 2022, the year cookies disappear. As a full-service marketing agency, we’ve been preparing for the loss of cookies ever since Google announced the end of cookies for their browser, Chrome, as part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative. The loss of cookies means that when marketers are looking to place ads, they will have a more difficult time keeping track of users across the internet, so this has been a hot topic for us and the rest of the marketing world.

A recent survey from Digiday highlights marketers concern with the loss of cookies. They found out  that there’s a lot of consternation over this with both brands and agencies. Each group thinks it is going to disrupt business, but brands particularly are concerned about these changes. This is reflective of the amount of dependency we have on third-party cookies for tracking individuals across the internet. Many are wondering if their advertisements will continue to be effective and if they will continue to keep the ability to reach targeted audiences.

Fortunately, groups are already highlighting new targeting methods in marketing that will help make up for the loss of third-party cookies. These options include first party data as well as the alternative FLoC, which stands for (Federated Learning of Cohorts).

While FLoCs do not sound as appealing as those sweet treats that go well with a glass of milk, they do offer an alternative to tracking and targeting individuals online. FLOCs work by grouping users into similar interest groups based on shared interests and behaviors. With FLoCs, you won’t know much about the individual, but you’ll be able to advertise to that individual as part of a lookalike or a cohort group. Google sees this as a move toward providing more privacy for users, and marketers are happy to worry a little less about the loss of their beloved cookies. This replacement will join the other existing targeting methods advertisers use today including contextual, first-party data, and device IDs.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox and FLoC have not been without criticism. FLoC will undoubtedly give Google more control over the digital ecosystem but still may not adequately address privacy issues surrounding sensitive cohort data such as gender or race. In addition, there has been some concern over changing internet privacy policies, in general, since advertising funds access to free content across the web.  Ad revenue is essential for the current digital ecosystem, and we expect more developments as platforms provide advertisers targeting solutions.

Intermark Group is prepared for these changes with user profiles consisting of device IDs, opt-in emails, and physical addresses as well as 1st party and 3rd party data partnerships that can be applied to programmatic advertising buys. If you’re looking for help from our programmatic media experts give us a call at 800-624-9239 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help.