Impacts of a Cookieless Future

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In late 2023, brands and publishers will no longer be able to rely on third-party cookies for targeting purposes. Initially slated for 2022, this new time frame gives teams a longer preparation period to adapt to the radical changes ahead in targeted marketing practices.

You don’t have to let the cookieless future impact your marketing KPIs. Now’s the time to kick off your strategic planning for a smooth transition into this new reality for advertisers. 

The deprecation of cookies closes the door to third-party data strategies that were foundational to campaign personalization and targeting. This doesn’t mean you’ll be unable to deliver personalization and targeting with your campaigns after they’re gone. 

Instead, we’re entering a new era that requires deliberate shifts in your marketing team’s strategy, execution, and tools. 

Preparing for the end of third-party cookies now enables you to take advantage of the benefits of the alternative approaches available to you. The sooner you start, the better equipped you’ll be to minimize negative impacts on your marketing KPIs — and even find new ways to grow. 

Opportunities in a Post-Cookie World

Don’t wait until late 2023 to start thinking about your transition. Several strategies for cookieless targeting are available to marketers who plan their transition thoughtfully. 

First-party data represents a valuable asset to your marketing strategy — today and after the deprecation of third-party cookies. If you’re not taking full advantage of first-party data strategies yet, you’ll need to start considering your options right away. 

Effectively leveraging first-party data offers your business a competitive advantage. It enables you to deliver highly-targeted, personalized messages to customers and prospects. 

Additionally, at the core of first-party data collection is building and sustaining trust with your data subjects. 97% of people have concerns about organizations misusing their data. As a result, trust is becoming increasingly integral to a sound data strategy. 

Finally, if your organization decides to invest more resources in a first-party data strategy, the ROI is often well within reach. First-party data isn’t only some of the highest quality data available to your business — it also can be the most cost-effective.  

Campaign Personalization with First-Party Data

There’s no reason you can’t continue personalizing and measuring your campaigns without third-party cookies. The technology available to support these goals is expanding every day, including cross-platform measurement and attribution capabilities.

Creating your first-party data strategy needs to start with trust. 

You’ll need to help customers understand what they’ll receive in exchange for providing their data. That might include more personalized products, deals, and offers. 

Make it clear what you’ll provide them. The more transparent you can be, the greater your assurance of the quality of your first-party datasets. 

Once your organization deploys new (or enhances existing) first-party data collection points, you can work with intelligent tools to sync data you collect across your martech and ad tech stack. 

Centralizing this effort enables you to activate your customer’s opt-in choices to maximize value. 

Compliance Considerations for First-Party Data

It will be essential to embed compliance into your first-party data strategy from the start. Ensuring you have up-to-date consent records before activating your first-party data will be key. 

Your goal must be to implement a consistent, compliance-informed approach to data collection. Your compliance efforts will require close collaboration across privacy, legal, and marketing teams. You may also need to work with your web or product teams to execute your plans.

The consent tracking process can get complicated if you have data sets collected by and living in different systems. 

Facilitating a smooth transition will come down to planning for a highly-centralized approach. It will also help if you work with tools that allow you to seamlessly activate your data across all your marketing channels in a compliance-centric way. 

Discover New Audiences

As you get more comfortable with your first-party data strategy, you can start to explore advanced approaches. Several available tactics can help you discover new audiences and maximize ROI. 

For example, advanced authentication strategies can help you retarget opted-in audiences without third-party data. If you select a market identifier that integrates with your consent and preference centers, you can enjoy the benefits of cross-channel campaigns formerly enabled by cookies. 

Conclusion: Explore the Positive Impacts of a Cookieless Future

By adding first-party data to consent and preference management, marketers can continue to deliver highly-targeted and personalized campaigns without third-party cookies. 

Marketing automation and technology makes it possible by helping you capture, centralize, govern, and sync data across your martech and ad tech stack. 

When looking for a consent and preference management solution, make sure you have the ability to:

  • Locate your current data sources powered by third-party cookies
  • Capture first-party data with pre-built UIs
  • Provide an engaging preference center to customers for better personalization, segmentation, and hyper-targeted campaigns
  • Sync with leading identity management solutions to activate data across domains, including web, mobile, and CTV devices

With the proper tools, you can deliver the personalization that drives measurable results and a loyal customer base. 

Alex Cash is the Offering Lead for OneTrust Consent and Preference Management and the director of strategy at OneTrust PreferenceChoice. In his role, Cash oversees the global OneTrust PreferenceChoice team and works with emerging and enterprise companies on best practices to drive engaging user experiences and build trust while demonstrating compliance across 100s of global data privacy regulations, including the CCPA, TCPA, CASL and GDPR. Cash is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E) and frequently speaks at industry events, including global PrivacyConnect, PublisherConnect, and MarketingConnect workshops, where he provides deep insight into regulatory issues and practical approaches to compliance.