Why You Should Embrace Cookieless Solutions for Your Marketing Plans

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, cookieless marketing is quickly becoming the name of the game. As privacy concerns heighten and regulatory bodies reinforce data protection norms, traditional cookie-based targeting is less reliable, less effective and more restricted.

In fact, cookieless solutions are offering marketers a huge opportunity for growth. Adopting cookieless solutions is not only more privacy forward, but it is also the primary means for brands and advertisers to build transparent and trustworthy relationships with consumers - ones that are built to last.

In this blog post, we will discuss why marketers should embrace cookieless solutions as part of their advertising strategies. We will discuss the current state of cookieless marketing, plus new alternatives, including contextual advertising, and what marketers can do to build up their cookieless marketing plans.

The Current State of Cookieless Solutions

Google dropped some big news recently—they're phasing out third-party cookies by 2025. That's a game-changer for advertising because those cookies have been the backbone of how advertisers track users across websites. Without them, marketers can't rely on the same level of detailed targeting and personalized ads.

Instead, Google's pushing for more privacy-friendly approaches like using first-party data, data clean rooms, alternative identity solutions and the Privacy Sandbox. It's all about respecting user privacy more, which is great, but it means advertisers will have to get creative with how they reach their audiences.

It's a shift that's shaking up the whole digital advertising playbook, forcing everyone to rethink strategies and find new ways to connect with consumers without compromising their privacy.

The Third Party Cookie Deprecation Timeline & Its Effect on Advertising Strategies

Are marketers ready to embrace cookieless solutions?

The cookieless era is fast approaching! Here's how marketers are feeling about it:

How Marketers and Publishers Feel About Letting Go of Third Party Data & Aggregated Data of Consumers

Why You Should Embrace Cookieless Solutions

Types of Solutions Without Third Party Data (Including Alt. Identity Solutions, Data Clean Rooms, Zero Party Data, etc.) and Their Benefits for the Customer Journey

1. Helps You Reach Users in the Right Frame of Mind

When a person is browsing content about a specific topic, it signals their intent at that moment. For example, if a user is reading a blog about coffee, they are in a receptive frame of mind when it comes to content and ads related to coffee. 

With cookieless targeting, that user could be served ads for coffee beans or coffee makers, as it’s likely at that time the user is thinking about coffee-related products. A person’s content consumption signals intent at a specific moment in time, and with cookieless targeting, you can reach them in that moment. 

2. Helps You Target Niche Audiences

Contextual advertising also provides the opportunity for marketers to target niche contexts by specifying a topic or a collection of keywords. For example, a marketer who is running a campaign for a mascara product may want to create value alignment between users and the mascara by highlighting that the mascara is vegan. 

Cookieless targeting would enable them to indicate keywords related to vegan makeup to precisely target a niche customer profile. This strategy is effective because it ensures your ads are served to consumers who are receptive to the niche attributes of a product or service. 

3. Provides Real-Time Metrics

Since contextual advertising campaigns are served programmatically, you can review real-time metrics and optimize for maximum performance. With the right programmatic platform, you can verify your ads served on relevant domains pre- and in-flight. This gives you the ability to revise your selected topics and keywords in real-time to improve the performance of your campaigns.

Optimizing your campaigns in real-time strengthens your live campaign’s performance which ultimately improves the outcome. And, being able to make in-flight changes means you’re able to make adjustments that will reduce any ad dollar waste. 

4. Promotes Brand Safety and Builds Brand Affinity

Now more than ever, consumers care about where they shop, and they are increasingly conscious of the environments where brands choose to advertise. Contextual advertising addresses the need for brand safe advertising while also building brand affinity, leveraging content rather than user data to reach the right audience. You’re able to connect with consumers who are receptive to purpose-driven messaging and are looking specifically for brands that align with certain values. 

For example, a consumer who is interested in reducing their environmental impact will likely browse online for content that provides insights on sustainable living. With contextual targeting, a brand that is promoting their zero-waste products can target the key phrase “sustainable lifestyle” to appear next to content that covers related topics. This strategy ensures that the brand is reaching consumers who will align with the brand’s values. 

Understanding the Types of Cookieless Solutions

Cookieless targeting uses first party data, anonymized data points and AI and machine learning to target ads to users without compromising their privacy or violating regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

When it comes to cookieless advertising, there are three main methods most digital marketing teams use:

Authenticated Targeting:

Authenticated targeting is when an advertiser gains explicit consent from a user—often through a pop-up, login screen, or sign-up form—to use their data for advertising purposes.

Anonymous Targeting:

Anonymous targeting doesn’t use personal identifiers, like names or email addresses, and instead relies on alternative methods to segment and target specific audiences anonymously.

Contextual Targeting:

Contextual targeting uses AI and machine learning to deliver ads based on the context of the webpage the user is viewing, with advertisers using keywords, topics, or categories to target their ads.

Why Contextual Targeting is a Vital Cookieless Solution

Contextual targeting is like hitting the bullseye without needing a GPS. It the only cookieless solution that focuses on understanding and targeting the mindset of what audiences are doing now whereas others still attempt to build user profiles and target audiences on what they did before - much like cookies!

Contextual targeting relies on the content of web pages rather than user data. By analyzing the context in which ads are displayed, such as the themes, topics, and keywords of a webpage, advertisers can effectively reach relevant audiences without relying on invasive tracking mechanisms. This approach not only respects user privacy but also ensures a more accurate alignment between ad content and user interests based on the content they are actively engaged with.

Moreover, contextual targeting offers resilience against regulatory changes and evolving privacy concerns by providing a sustainable advertising method that prioritizes user trust and data protection. As such, it stands as a vital tool for marketers looking to maintain effective ad campaigns in a privacy-conscious digital landscape.

3 Steps to Get Ready for a Cookieless Future

Illustration of 3 Steps to Get Ready for a Cookieless Future

1. Prioritize Contextual Targeting

Advertisers and marketers clearly understand the need for contextual advertising. But there’s a gap between acknowledging the need for it and adding it to their repertoire.

The widespread adoption of cookieless advertising solutions like contextual advertising is coming. Marketers should prioritize the implementation of contextual targeting tactics to ensure they don’t get left behind. 

2. Educate Yourself About Cookieless Advertising

Digital marketing requires creative thinking and staying on top of the latest trends, technology, and channels. The best way to get ahead of industry changes is to invest time in learning and development. 

Educating yourself and your media buyers on how to be successful in a cookieless environment could be the difference between continued campaign success and a dip in performance. 

3. Find the Right Programmatic Partner

Programmatic platforms that provide cookieless advertising, especially those that leverage machine learning and AI, are the best resources in times of uncertainty. They’re experts in the field, and know the best ways to learn and ramp up. 

Your partner should understand the nuances of the industry and how to foster success in the post-cookie landscape. You’ll want them to have expertise in all areas of digital advertising, including which channels, data providers, and ad formats to leverage and prioritize.

GumGum’s Cookieless Solution

We’ve been running successful future-proof cookieless solutions since 2009. As pioneers of contextual targeting, we capture and measure your audience’s attention by effectively placing your ads when they are in the right mindset.

GumGum's Cookieless Solution to Protect Consumer Privacy, Protect Customer Data and Drive ROI

This level of insight allows your brand to identify insights and trends, determine suitability and brand safety, expand your reach and future-proof your targeting.

We Set the Industry Standard in Cookieless Contextual Targeting

GumGum’s advanced contextual technology, Verity™, works by using AI to go beyond keywords and uniquely process web content signals across Text, Image, Audio, and Video - all without cookies.

Verity™ is the first advanced contextual platform to receive MRC’s content-level accreditation for contextual analysis, brand safety and suitability across CTV, desktop, and mobile web.

How GumGum's Contextual Targeting Works to Reach Consumers

Verity™ identifies a full suite of contextual signals, allowing both the buy-side and the sell-side to truly define and implement brand safety and suitability.

In a Dentsu Aegis Network study, Verity™ was 1.7x more accurate than other contextual vendors. Verity™ also achieved a 48% lower cost per click and a 41% lower cost per viewable impression than behavioral targeting.

Verity™'s cookieless solution is giving brands a massive opportunity for brands to leverage advanced contextual tech that has the power to drive better performance and user experience.

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