Is Your Marketing Ready for a Cookie-Less World?

No, not the chocolate chip cookie kind. The tags on your web browser kind.

An odd choice of name aside, cookies have gotten a lot of news in the past few years. From the Facebook-Analytica scandal to an increase in conversations about online security, internet users have become more and more conscious of how their data is being used.

These factors have led internet browser leader Google to announce that by the end of 2021, they will no longer be using third-party cookies. This decision means that there will be some significant changes to how businesses and agencies can use targeting in digital marketing.

Let’s take a look at what this actually means for you, a business, and what you should do about it.

What is a Cookie?

First, let’s define the term we are using. An internet cookie is a piece of data that helps a website keep track of your activities on the web. There are two types of cookies- first party and third party.

First party cookies are what allow you to stay logged into a website and gives websites the ability to perform user experience functions like remembering your language settings or filling in your shipping information.

Third-party cookies are what advertisers use to create behavioral and psychographic targeting, and market across devices. Those ads about something specific to your interests, that you see on both your computer and smartphone? Third party cookies allowed that brand to reach you as its target market.

Privacy, and Google’s Big Announcement

In 2018, when it came to light that the political data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was illegally using the data of 87 million Facebook users, the security of data on the web was brought to the forefront. Facebook, in response to this scandal, took away much of its third-party targeting availabilities.

Google, who has 70% of the global desktop browser share market, announced in late 2019 that it plans on removing third-party cookies in a 2-year phased approach. Internet browsers like Safari and Mozilla Firefox both have their own restrictions and have limited use of cookies.

This means that the abilities that third-party cookies give businesses who want to advertise to a targeted group on consumers are going to be largely limited moving forward.

What You Should Do

So what does this all mean for your digital marketing abilities? Well, it is going to be harder to target your marketing to specific demographics and psychographics of people. But it won’t be impossible.

Here are our top tips on how to make sure your digital marketing is still reaching your customers as we move into a cookie-less world.

1- Find a Premium Publisher’s Audience

Premium Publishers are brands that create trusted, quality content. is an example of a premium publisher with a large and dedicated audience base. Because these brands are able to collect first party data, they own their own audience targeting abilities, and will continue to do so moving into the future. Businesses like yours can advertise through these platforms and reach your target audience easily.

2- Use the Customer Data you Have

If you have data of your own audience, make sure you are using this. The most common form of audience data is email addresses, which can be used for a variety of marketing solutions. Email marketing, for one, can be a hugely successful marketing solution when done right. But it isn’t the only thing email addresses are good for- right now, to help target your marketing, you can upload your email list to Facebook and create a lookalike audience for your paid social campaigns.

3- Differentiate Your Voice

This is our most important suggestion. Your marketing can’t be targeted in the same way it could. Reaching your intended audience is going to be harder. This means that your brand has to stand out more among your competition.

Do you know exactly who you want to reach, and what exactly they are looking for? Take a look at your value proposition: does your marketing clearly communicate why someone should choose your brand? Make sure that the fundamentals of your brand voice are differentiated and clear among your competition.


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