Marketers have been predicting the death of cookies since 2017, and yet it’s still holding on. Safari and Firefox already block third-party cookies by default, and Google Chrome is soon getting the controls to follow. This has been regarded as the “nail in the coffin” for cookies, meaning the end is finally in sight.
What exactly does this mean for digital marketers that have been relying heavily on cookies for so long? If that includes you, there’s no need to worry. Marketing as we know it will survive. There are a number of more effective data sources being developed, as well as plenty of tactics to break and replace the cookies habit.
People-based marketing combines real-time behavioral data with first party brand data to create a cohesive marketing system, centered around the individual consumer. This behavioral marketing method does not rely on third-party cookies. Instead it allows brands to use a proactive approach, creating a marketing strategy that’s ready to meet the user wherever they choose to engage.
A successful strategy includes three key elements: Identification, Data, and Automation.
Identification: This is the process of identifying and connecting consumers and their devices, with the ultimate goal of ensuring persistent, cross-device recognition for a single view of the customer. This is necessary because most consumers do not spend time online on a single device. A typical consumer navigates through various devices – desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets, while looking at the same products. If the full customer journey is not tracked well, it could lead to incorrect assumptions about their behavior. These assumptions can cause inaccurate data, ultimately resulting in poorly designed marketing campaigns.
Data: Brands have an abundance of data on each customer, from purchase data to email engagement to device information. Until recently it was impossible to actually put this data to use, due to limitation certain channels have put on it. With the identification-first approach, we can now tap into the dunes of dark data since it all ties back to the first identifying point – the email address. Now, brands can organize all their data the “people-based way,” attributing every piece of data to the single individual in question. And it’s not just historical data, brands can refer to real-time behavioral data like their device, their interaction with your website, their carts, as well as the products and categories they visited while browsing. Linking together these data points allows brands to get a singular view of the customer.
Automation: Instead of relying on cookie-based data, people-based marketing automation relies on first party-based targeting. Brands unlock a singular view of consumers, one that anchors all of the data discussed above to a single email address. As a result, brands can automate their marketing approach across all devices and all channels under a single cohesive marketing strategy. The power of people-based marketing stems from the fact that it looks at the business’ lowest common denominator, the consumer, as opposed to a specific channel or device.
In the simplest terms, contextual advertising is advertising on a website that is relevant to the page’s content. In traditional contextual advertising, automated systems display ads related to the content of your site based on keyword targeting. This is not a new strategy, but keyword contextual based advertising is one of the best options to cookies-based behavioral targeting. The downfall to behavioral targeting is that you may be getting shown ads for things you would never really buy as an everyday consumer. With contextual advertising you’re only shown ads based on the content you’re looking at, not your overall behavior profile.
Google AdSense is the ideal platform for this type of advertising, giving you the ability to place, images, videos, or text ads on pages of participating sites. You can put dynamic content in front of people that weren’t necessarily searching for you, but were already interested in your field of industry. YouTube advertising, which is a part of the Google Ads System, is another contextual advertising opportunity. For example, you could show a brief video game ad right before a video game tutorial YouTube video.
The move to contextual targeting will also mean a move back to focusing on producing and distributing relevant content. Extremely specific ads need to be created for equally specific keyword groups and site pages. User relevancy should be maximized, which in turn maximizes clicks, conversions, and ultimately ROI.
The disappearance of third-party tracking may be unsettling at first, but most marketers are starting to believe tracking cookies are no longer needed. Apple’s Safari and the GDPR made the method increasingly unattractive and the expectancy of stricter privacy regulations is why Google is planning on joining the “cookies ban” bandwagon. Moving forward it’s going to be all about exploring new technologies, innovation, and striking a balance between profit and privacy choices to avoid another wave of consumer backlash. Utilizing first-party data that you can get when people intentionally engage with your brand is the first step toward accomplishing this.
More From Onimod Global
While there’s no avoiding the changes to come, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Onimod Global is here to help, with expertise in every area of digital marketing, including SEM, SEO, Social, Web Dev, Graphic Design, and more. Receive the highest-quality customer service, 24/7, at an affordable rate. Learn more about what we do, and start your project today.