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Charting a New Course and Leading Advertisers Beyond the Cookie

By Mareena Maki on March 12, 2024

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Mareena Maki

Senior Manager, Marketing

Up until very recently, more than half of marketers did not believe that Google would deprecate the third-party cookie in Chrome. But here we are: The time is upon us. The long-foretold deprecation is indeed underway.  


The full effect of cookie deprecation isn’t being felt within campaigns yet—but it will soon. As a result, marketers must now proactively reassess their strategies to adapt to the imminent changes brought about by the phase-out of third-party cookies.  


The progression of restrictions on third-party cookies by Google signals a significant shift in digital advertising and highlights the urgency of adaptation. Despite the four-year runway up to cookie deprecation, we’re now seeing a spike in recognition of the importance of privacy-minded marketing strategies. Let’s block out all the other cookie-related noise around Google anti-trust issues and underlying intentions and focus strictly on how today’s (and tomorrow’s) advertisers can begin developing a winning strategy.  


Proactive adaptation involves a thorough reevaluation of data practices and measurement methods, with a renewed focus on expanding first-party data capabilities and implementing robust third-party data strategies. Let’s dig deeper into both areas.  


Expand First-Party Data—But Don’t Stop There  

One of the first steps to safeguard your marketing for a cookieless world is to prioritize and maximize the value of your first-party data. Most marketers have heard this advice at this point. But there’s some nuance to be considered. 


First-party data, derived directly from consumer engagement and purchases, offers unparalleled insights into their preferences, behaviors, and needs. By cultivating and expanding first-party data sources, businesses can build deeper connections with their audience, deliver more personalized experiences that drive higher engagement.  


First-party data is a strategic asset for any business. However, while first-party data is essential for understanding and nurturing existing customers, it can be limiting from a customer acquisition and retention standpoint. A brand’s first-party data also doesn’t account for how their customers purchase and engage with products, services, and brands outside of their endemic category. If first-party data is the only source of insights being put to use, the same people will be targeted again and again, with no opportunity to expand the customer pool. If marketers want to find new customers (which, let’s be honest, is essential to business growth and sustainability), they need help identifying new individuals and segments to target. That’s where quality third-party data and strategic partnerships come in.  


Establish Strategic Partnerships for Third-Party Data 

The impact of Google's move to a cookieless digital ecosystem limits a lot of traditional digital targeting and measurement capabilities in a fundamental way. However, that doesn’t mean the role of third-party data is going away. On the contrary, third-party data is now more important than ever when it comes to driving business growth.  


Access to high-quality third-party data is essential for businesses aiming to maximize customer retention and new customer acquisition. While first-party data offers valuable insights into existing customers, augmenting this data with reputable third-party data enhances the depth and breadth of understanding about target audiences. In the absence of traditional tracking mechanisms like cookies, high-quality third-party data enriches customer profiles by providing additional demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information, facilitating more effective audience segmentation. Leveraging data from trusted sources and partners, businesses can identify potential customers who share traits or behaviors with their existing customer base. This data-driven approach enables more targeted and efficient marketing campaigns across various channels, maximizing the chances of acquiring new customers who are likely to be interested in the brand's offerings. 


The key to success with third-party data in the new cookieless landscape is to seek out solutions and partners built upon ethical data practices. 


Enter Alliant, a leading data provider of solutions designed to empower marketers in a cookieless world and enable future-proofed marketing efforts against tightening regulations. Data cooperatives like Alliant represent a crucial mechanism for marketers looking to navigate the challenges of identity resolution and effective ad targeting, while maintaining privacy compliance and bridging the gap left by third-party cookies. 


Through advanced data modeling and machine learning, Alliant can accurately identify and targets relevant audiences across channels, without relying on third-party cookies—and we’re not just asking clients to take our word for it. Alliant’s commitment to ensuring data quality and compliance has been independently verified through Neutronian’s Cookieless Certification program, which confirms a data provider has “future-proofed” its data and processes for a cookieless world.  


Don’t Fear a Cookieless Ecosystem 

Above all, marketers need to keep one thing in mind as they move forward in a post-cookie landscape: Not all third-party data requires third-party cookies. Third-party data will always be essential to better understanding current customers and discovering new customers to drive a business forward. Partnering with a data cooperative to utilize first-party data can lead to more powerful marketing outcomes, as it manages and enriches data from numerous brands to extract deeper insights and targeting attributes. 


Embracing change and proactively adapting strategies will be essential to success in the cookieless advertising landscape. Ethical data practices and innovative data solutions will drive the future of targeted advertising beyond third-party cookies, especially amid growing privacy regulation. 


Alliant’s compliance-by-design approach ensures proper anonymization and protection of PII for ethical marketing practices, and our future-proofed solutions can help marketers stay ahead of regulatory changes and consumer privacy expectations. Reach out and let us help you prepare for a cookieless future today! 

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