Goodbye cookies

SUMMARY: New privacy rules are taking effect as third party cookies say goodbye to targeted marketing at a time when brands are throwing more money into digital marketing.

Marketers and publishers have already been bracing for Google’s cookie phase-out. Not only will these changes wipe out how marketers aim ads at people, but it’ll also force them to change how they measure ads and attribute them to sales.

So what’s next? That’s anyones guess but my feeling is that the digital mega giants like Google and Apple will replace cookies with a technology that makes them a lot more money.

Different cookies

First-party cookies are directly stored by the website (or domain) you visit. These cookies allow website owners to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform other useful functions that provide a good user experience.

Third-party cookies are created by domains that are not the website (or domain) that you are visiting. These are usually used for online-advertising purposes and placed on a website through a script or tag. A third-party cookie is accessible on any website that loads the third-party server’s code.

What next?

Digital marketers are going to need to really understand their audience beyond demographic targeting via contextual targeting. Where is your audience online, and what are they looking for? What content offers you an opportunity to leverage users with ads?

Online advertising has been in the trash for a long time. Online ad fraud is rampant, and impressions don’t mean a damn thing in an age of instant gratification and page scanning.

You can bet your bottom dollar that eventually Google will offer brands a great way to target consumers without infringing on their privacy, but there are sure to be some bumps along the way. Third-party ad vendors will not just pack up their tents and go home when there is so much money to be made.

More brands will also be creating data-driven display advertising, and there will be less concern about ROI at the expense of creativity. Good online marketers understand that creative digital ads get a higher engagement level than repurposed print and TV ads. It will be less about impressions and more about quality metrics like clicks in relation to pages viewed and time on site.

Make no mistake both on and off line marketing are changing quickly. Brand marketers need to ditch the mass marketing mentality and instead focus on quality metrics.