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4 min

Everything You Need to Know About Cookies

by Jennifer Lill August 9, 2023

Cookies have caused quite a buzz over the last few years. Although Cookies are not inherently harmful, the sheer volume of unregulated Cookies on millions of websites means that there is potential for them to access sensitive data, which poses a threat to people’s fundamental right to privacy.

This is why there is a concerted effort to remove cookies from the web browsing experience—and an estimated 60 percent of global web traffic is expected to go Cookie-less this year.

First things first—What are Cookies?

Cookies are small files containing information that websites send to your device in order to monitor and remember information about you, your behavior, and your preferences. This could include tracking things like which items you put in your shopping cart, which pages of a site you’ve navigated, your login information, etc.

There are three different types of Cookies to consider:

  • First-Party Cookies: These cookies allow website owners to collect analytics data on their users, remember language settings, and perform other valuable functions that provide a good user experience upon subsequent visits.
  • Second-Party Cookies: These cookies provide the same types of data you have in your first-party listings but are purchased from a second-party data provider. Generally, these are searchable and customizable in a marketplace, such as the Oracle Data Cloud ecosystem.
  • Third-Party Cookies: Placed on the user’s computer via their browser, third-party cookies allow social media companies, advertisers, and other website operators to track users’ browsing and online activity at other sites.

Google recently announced plans to phase out third-party Cookies from Chrome all together by 2024. With this shift, and because Chrome is such a dominant browser, marketing strategies with a heavy reliance on third-party Cookie data—such as search history, product purchase, IP addresses, and geographic locations—will no longer be viable going forward.

Acquiring new customers in a Cookie-less world

To succeed in this new reality—while also protecting consumer privacy—Marketers should thoughtfully leverage their best resources, capitalize on their data and build strong relationships whenever possible. With such preparation, there is no doubt that Marketers, Advertisers and Publishers will succeed in a world without behavioral data.

Here are a few high-level strategies to consider:

  1. First-Party Data Strategy: Build up first-party data for both your prospective and current customers in order to retarget your brand.
  2. Personalize on Available Data: Personalize your web experience based on available first-party customer data and incentivize authentication.
  3. Create Look-a-Like Audiences: Utilizing the data you currently have, share that information with advertisers such as Meta and Google, and they will build audiences that look like your current customers.
  4. Contextual Targeting: Place your brand advertising near directly relevant content that will be viewed by potential new customers.
  5. Experiment with Identity Graphs: Identity graphs are the new way to provide a unified view of customers and prospects based on their interactions with a product or website across a set of devices and identifiers.
  6. Build Second-Party Data Partnerships: Find partners who are relevant to your brand and start targeting based on the data that those partners provide.

Cookie-less marketing strategies to consider moving forward

With the introduction of intelligent tracking prevention protocols, it’s now necessary to reorient our perspective on previously traditional full-funnel marketing strategies. Your new approach will need to depend on the type of business you run as well as the way in which you engage with your customers.

Here are a few options to consider:

Awareness Strategy

Locate your audience based on their interest to raise their awareness about your brand. This strategy focuses on creating a connection with your customers, planting a seed that grows over time and allows purchase decisions to be made with your brand in mind.

This strategy leverages the following data sets:

  • Cohort Data: this utilizes a user’s browser data to create targeting while still allowing the customer to keep their data private.
  • Second-Party Data: this is provided by trusted publishers and is focused on contextual analysis, content or audience behaviors.
  • Proprietary Contextual Data: this is available via a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) and is based on natural language processing and website content analysis. It should be used in conjunction with contextual analysis.
  • DMP/CDP Data: analyzes data about user interactions with your brand. Then targets potential customers with higher engagements in your advertising.
Web Performance Strategy

This strategy’s focus is on web results, such as building traffic to your website, converting e-commerce visitors into new customers and optimizing the experience of current customers to maximize revenue.

This strategy leverages the following data sets:

  • First Party Advertiser & Publisher Data: Creates interest groups of those who are considering your brand or who have higher engagement with your existing advertising.
  • DMP/CDP Data: Creates a single view of the customer that includes all known information about each user—their demographics, their purchase behavior, payment patterns, interactions within and across channels, cross purchase across brands over time, loyalty, price sensitivity, etc.—and utilizes this information for targeting purposes.
  • Conversion Data: Utilizes first-party advertiser data from both your landing page and CRM to retarget your audience.
Hybrid Strategy

Looking to reach a larger number of new customers while optimizing your web property’s utilization as a parallel path? You can mix and match aspects of both strategies to create just the right mix.

Regardless of which strategy you choose to employ, two critical aspects of any full-funnel marketing strategy are the teams and technologies you choose to partner with, as they will ultimately determine your success. And it’s important to reiterate that there isn’t currently a singular beaten path to take. As the landscape continues to evolve, so should your efforts.

For many, that journey feels daunting. But you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—do it alone. If your team is unsure of where to start or could use a partner to guide them along the way, we can help. Click the button below to get in touch with us and learn more about how One North can support you as you tackle this Cookie-less future we’re entering.

Photo Credit: Ashkan Forouzani | Unsplash

Jennifer Lill
Lead Technology Strategist

Jennifer is an accomplished strategy professional, passionate about problem-solving and human-centered innovation. With a background in CX, marketing technology, and a master’s degree in education, Jenn has honed her skills in developing cutting-edge solutions for complex technical challenges. She is exceptionally talented in facilitating change management, stakeholder education, and creating scalable growth strategies for her clients.