Cookiepocalypse = Death of Programmatic? What a Cookieless Future Means For Advertisers

Cookiepocalypse = Death of Programmatic? What a Cookieless Future Means For Advertisers

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By: Kimberly McClellan, Media Planner

Since Google announced it would join Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari in their decision to phase out support for third-party cookies, the digital community has been forced to face the inevitable reality of a cookieless world. What does this new era of consumer privacy and the end of cookies mean for advertising strategy and targeting capabilities?

First to understand the issue, we should clarify the importance of third-party cookies and their common use cases. Typically, cookies are used to identify and target users based on behavior. These codes or pixels track users or their devices across sites collecting data and building a profile of interests, recent online activity, and demographics.

As you can see, cookies are a big deal for marketers looking to reach the right audience. But these platforms are faced with a growing negative consumer sentiment surrounding their approach to privacy. This negative sentiment psychologically harms the brand in the mind of the consumer and pushes platforms to position themselves as the secure choice. Marketers need to anticipate these changes in targeting if they want to keep up.

The first thing brands should consider is a way to collect their own first-party data. Second, they should focus on strategies like contextual and keyword targeting, which will remain available. Walled gardens like Facebook and Google will benefit from this as they already hold ample first-party data. This will also change the way we utilize programmatic advertising.

Along with these changes, we should anticipate a restructuring of the publisher/advertiser relationship. According to AdAge, “As publishers and advertisers realize that they need to work together more closely, they will also discover less need for so many intermediary partners and resellers. We see this strategy already in play, with large publishers such as Hearst and Business Insider cutting partnership ties.”

Intermark is prepared for this change 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 buys. Intermark is closely monitoring all developments surrounding “cookiepocalypse” including new platform solutions and strategies. As an agency, we’ll continue to embed psychological insights with data driven strategy to predict consumer behavior and generate performance.