Cookie-less Marketing: What Experts Recommend You Do Starting Now

Cookie-less Marketing: What Experts Recommend You Do Starting Now

Imagine that you’re a boutique salesclerk. For every customer that comes into the store, you would like to know the products they’re looking for, the colours they prefer, the styles they are fond of, and the products they typically buy together. Wouldn’t that greatly help you when assisting them?

So, you decide to take note of all the information you can about each customer (maybe even the customer’s name) so you can add a personal touch the next time they visit your store.

That is pretty similar to how cookies are used marketing. But can marketers adjust when third-party cookies get phased out? Keep reading or jump ahead by clicking below:

How do cookies work?

A cookie is a small file that carries information about the people who visit your website. That file gets saved in their computer or other device so when they go back to that site on another day, the cookie “reminds” the browser of their preferences the previous time they were there.

Cookies thus help websites load faster and make it easier for visitors to use the website. A user does not have to enter their login information or choose website preferences every time.

Cookies are also used to collect anonymous data about website visitors (such as location, browser used, device type), for the purpose of analysing website traffic and optimise website performance.

From a security standpoint, cookies can be used to authenticate the user’s identity and protect their account from being accessed by unauthorised users. This is one way to detect and prevent fraud and security threats.

How are cookies used in marketing?

Cookies are used to track browsing behaviour and show “targeted ads.” This is important in marketing in at least three ways.


Cookies can be used to track users who previously visited your website but did not complete a desired action (i.e., make a purchase). You can use the cookies to display targeted ads to these users even as they browse other websites, to encourage them to complete the desired action on your website.

Behavioural targeting

Because cookies can track users’ online behaviour and interests (the kind of sites they visit, for example) advertisers serve them ads that are more relevant to their interests and preferences.

Cross device targeting

Cookies can be used to track user activity across multiple devices. Advertisers can show targeted ads regardless of the device a user is using, whether a laptop or a smartphone.

Why are third-party cookies getting phased out?

Over time, the power of cookies has been utilised to the max. However, cookies also put users’ privacy at risk and are even used in cyber-attacks.

A 2019 study by Microsoft Advertising revealed that 87% of people in the US believe that data privacy is a right.

Google announced in 2020 plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome, as “users are demanding greater privacy.” Chrome engineering director Justin Schuh wrote, “We are looking to build a more trustworthy and sustainable web together.”

Infosec Resources cited the risks associated with cookies: “Third-party cookies can represent a severe risk to privacy, but that’s not the only problem. There are several types of frauds and cyberattacks based on exploiting cookies vulnerabilities, and that may lead to severe security incidents.”

According to Kaspersky’s Resource Center, “While most cookies are perfectly safe, some can be used to track you without your consent. Worse, legitimate cookies can sometimes be spied upon if a criminal gets access.”

By the end of 2023, Google will cease to support third-party cookies on Chrome. Firefox has already started blocking third-party cookies. Other browsers are on the same path. This situation is expected to affect targeting, tracking, personalisation, and optimisation.

“Ad targeting, buying and optimisation processes will be disrupted and constrained, especially for performance-oriented campaigns and custom audiences,” according to Gartner Research & Advisory.

How then can marketers cope with a “cookie-less” world?

What can smart marketers do in a cookie-less age?

Digital marketing professionals need not panic. Here are some experts’ recommendations for surviving the “death” of third-party cookies.

1. IBM Watson Advertising: Leverage machine learning.

IBM Watson Advertising suggests using AI-powered predictive messaging and predictive analytics, plus:

  • Utilising live chat for conversational marketing
  • Personalising via geo-targeting and time-based messaging
  • Improving first-party data collection methods
  • Contextual advertising and cultural marketing

2. Gartner: Invest in market research.

Gartner recommends diverting cookie-related media spending to other areas like:

  • Market research
  • Media
  • Technology
  • Data capabilities

3. Deloitte: Use first- and second-party data.

William Grobel of Deloitte Digital notes that advertisers can utilise advertiser-owned data (first party cookies) and tech- or publisher-owned data (second-party cookies). He adds that these can also be supplemented by “clean, fully GDPR-compliant, and transparent non-cookie-based third-party data.”

4. Microsoft Advertising: Connect, expand, future-proof.

Whichever strategy you adopt, Liam Mackessy of Microsoft Advertising advises marketers and advertisers to start planning now on how they can:

  • Adopt a new data strategy
  • Invest in a first-party data strategy
  • Tap into publishers with scaled first party data
  • Utilise technology that does not need third-party cookies

5. Plan your strategy with a digital marketing expert.

A reputable digital marketing services business like B2Me Marketing would be better updated about cookie-less marketing. B2Me’s fresh perspectives, in particular, help them create bespoke marketing roadmaps for businesses. Contact B2Me today to enquire about how your business can do digital marketing in a cookie-less world.

Prepare your cookie-less marketing strategy now

The best time to prepare for the death of the cookie was yesterday – the next best time is today. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you will recalibrate your marketing strategy right now. Remember, the goal is to keep delivering personalised, relevant marketing experiences to your audience while respecting their privacy and reducing security risks.

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