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  • Ben Portnoi

Revolutionise Your Advertising Game: Unveiling Targeted Ad Strategies Post the 2024 death of the cookie

As the digital marketing landscape undergoes a seismic shift with Google's impending deprecation of third-party cookies in July 2024, marketers face unprecedented challenges.

Tracking campaigns, deploying retargeting, and understanding marketing mix efficacy will become more intricate, demanding a strategic overhaul.

There is a long road ahead and marketers need to start urgently thinking about the alternatives...

The impact of this change is significant:

  • Reduced clarity on digital marketing effectiveness

  • Increased spending in isolated silos

  • Elevated importance of media partnerships and sponsorships

  • A surge in brand and contextual targeting

Amidst these changes, brands must explore alternatives to the cookie. Here are the viable options and our thoughts on these;

1. Trust in the Google AI to reach the right audience – without hyper-targeting, but instead using their data

  • Google's Protected Audiences API (formerly FLEDGE) assigns users to interest groups based on behaviour, allowing advertisers to bid for targeted ads.

  • The Topics API labels participating websites, enabling targeted ads based on users' most browsed topics.

  • There are currently 469 topics and privacy is prioritised, with all data stored on users' browsers.

Not fully developed alternative solution, however, is likely to be workable by July 2024.

Relying on Google to deploy the best solution could prove effective on larger budgets, however insights are expected to be limited.

Readiness and effectiveness – 4

2. META and Social Targeting

  • Social media platforms offer rich first-party data for effective segmentation and targeting.

  • Based on interests and content that has been engaged with in platform

  • For instance the Meta Conversion API (CAPI) sends events directly from advertisers' servers to Meta, facilitating retargeting based on user behaviour.

Social targeting will be far less effective, expect measurement challenges here though.

Readiness and effectiveness – 8

3. ID Matching Solutions

  • Ad tech providers like The Trade Desk, ID5, and LiveRamp are developing cookieless identity solutions using hashed email addresses.

  • Solutions such as UID, ID5 and RampID are effective but have challenges with scale.

  • Lookalike audiences, relying on similar interests and behaviours, remain effective, especially with server-side tracking.

Great option, however provides limited scale and is unlikely to reach critical mass in 2024.

Readiness and effectiveness – 3

4. First-Party Data Targeting

  • Leveraging your own first-party data through retargeting and lookalike audiences is crucial for future-proofing advertising strategies.

  • While first-party data may lack scale, it remains a reliable targeting technique.

Highly targeted and a powerful tool all marketers should be embracing urgently.

Facilitates multiple others applications. However, scale is an issue.


Readiness and effectiveness – 9

5. Second Party Data Sharing

  • Companies can collaborate to share first-party data.

  • Creating new audience segments and targeted advertising opportunities.

Also based on first party data and can be very effectyive with the right partnership, however is based on the right partnership and agreement.


Readiness and effectiveness – 7

6. Contextual Advertising

  • With the demise of third-party cookies, contextual advertising gains prominence by placing ads next to related content, ensuring effectiveness and privacy-conscious user acceptance.

  • This is how ads have traditionally been brought pre digital, yet the digital landscape has largely preffered to opt for audience targeting using a number of different data sources.

  • The re-growth of contextual targeting is great news for both premium publishers and brands with great assets and stories.

Provides large scale and will become the predominant way of reaching sizeable audiences. Encourage brands to drive relevance and standout.


Readiness and effectiveness – 8


In conclusion marketers should urgently;

  • Build first party data

  • Develop a good understanding of the right contextual environments

  • Start aligning with media partners and sponsors to leverage 2nd party data

  • Explore The Google alternative targeting measures and ID matching solutions

  • Prepare everyone in the business for a significant change in measurement and targeting


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