The way organizations identify and market to their customers in the digital landscape is undergoing a massive shift. We are in a new privacy-first digital landscape, and with the deprecation of the cookie, marketers are grappling with new techniques to track and target their consumers. The future is going to be all about finding optimal solutions that work for specific brands and audience segments. This article talks about the alternatives available to marketers as they make the shift to a whole new reality.
First party data
The death of the cookie has further opened up the space for first party data. It gives publishers an opportunity to build their own audience segments and delivers high accuracy targeting capability to advertisers. Moreover, with data enrichment and lookalike modeling, advertisers can go beyond first party data alone and scale reach of their campaigns. Modern data platforms have become key to leverage first party data for addressability - unifying, managing, activating, and governing this data at scale.
A tried and tested targeting method, contextual means targeting a consumer base on the page they are visiting. Expensive and not quite as precise as other methods, contextual does have its benefits. For one, it gives marketers the ability to target ads without the need for PII. Nor does it require consent and is device-agnostic. Contextual audiences are built based on the back of the subject matter the user consumes. advances in data technologies means that the effectiveness of contextual targeting has potential for higher effectiveness.
While "cohort" has been quite the buzzword since Google announced its Federated Learning of Cohorts, grouping audiences based on interests is not an entirely new concept. Applicable at the top of the sales funnel, cohort-based gathering of identity data and grouping audience segments is far more accurate than the cookie. However, user privacy is a question in this method along with the challenge of limiting brands to a walled garden.
Non-authenticated identity or device-based targeting
This method assigns a cluster of devices to an ID that can then be moved into activation channels. The publicly available signals include IP address and time stamp. The data is probabilistic and minimized, so no hashed emails, home address, or phone number is required for non-authenticated identities. With this technique, marketers have at hand a precise targeting mechanism that works in a device-agnostic world.
Authenticated identity or deterministic targeting
This technique targets precisely using authentication in the form of email. It delivers privacy through opt-in and delivers easy data tracking. However, the challenge with authenticated identity is that only a small number of users register or login with sites and apps.
Before we go:
At this point, it is hard to say which one will prove to be the silver bullet solution and the most optimal, widely-used alternative to the cookie. What we can say for certain is that many privacy-compliant and accurate means of targeting are available to brands in this new normal. Instead of worrying about the death of the cookie, what marketers need is to start looking at addressability with a solution focused mindset. Help is at hand.