Digital marketing teams have been reliant on third-party cookies for many years. But, as we know, change is the only constant in this world, and eventually, the cookie starts to crumble
Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox currently disable third-party cookies, and Google recently announced that it would no longer support cookies in its Chrome browser and ad networks.
This shift away from cookies is mainly motivated by privacy concerns. Furthermore, the implementation of stringent consumer-protection legislation and tracking-disabling features sends a clear message: we’re on our way to an online world without cookies.
Without a doubt, this has enormous ramifications for PPC marketing. Marketers are on high alert as they try to create a future-proof strategy centered on consent-based advertising.
What does this actually mean for marketing teams, and what can you do to keep your business running smoothly even when you’re not using cookies?
Keep reading to find out.
WHAT ARE COOKIES?
Cookies are bits of code contained within a web page that are kept on the user’s browser when they visit your website. It’s worth noting that there are two cookie types: first-party cookies and third-party cookies.
First-party cookies enable website owners to save basic user data such as usernames, passwords, and language selections. They are typically unable to trace users’ activities on other websites and instead focus on simplifying the browsing process. These cookies are necessary—for example, you wouldn’t be able to add several products to your shopping cart if first-party cookies weren’t there, and you’d have to deal with the pain of logging in each and every time you visited a website.
Third-party cookies contain the same code as first-party cookies but are produced by third-party websites. Their goal is to track user activity across several websites to create user profiles that may be used for remarketing and lookalike audience targeting.
WHAT DOES THE END OF THIRD-PARTY COOKIES MEAN?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have imposed significant limitations on the usage of user data. These changes have prompted web browsing firms to phase out third-party cookies from their digital targeting system.
Although this is already the case for Apple, Safari and Firefox, the update for Google Chrome is scheduled for 2023.
WHAT DOES A PPC MARKETING STRATEGY WITHOUT THIRD-PARTY COOKIES LOOK LIKE?
In 2022, all marketing agencies and e-commerce retailers should pre-plan for a cookie-free future. This change will strongly influence Google Ads targeting strategies such as remarketing, in-market, and affinity user targeting (Text Ads, Shopping, YouTube, and Display).
It stands to reason that this can impact PPC marketing campaign performance results and, ultimately, your bottom line if not carefully planned and adjusted.
So, how can you adapt to this new way of doing things and still maintain profitable results from their Google Ads? Well, by building a solid cookieless strategy, of course!
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR CREATING A PPC MARKETING STRATEGY WITHOUT COOKIES:
1. PLAN YOUR PPC MARKETING STRATEGY
To build a robust PPC marketing strategy that will withstand a future sans third-party cookie, you’ll need to collaborate and work closely with your in-house paid team or PPC marketing agency. Ensure that everyone knows what they need to do to keep things running smoothly.
You should create a media strategy built around first-party data and audiences with shared characteristics. You’ll also need to understand how to leverage this to meet your KPIs.
2. SCRUTINIZE YOUR TRACKING
Ensure that the correct tracking is in situ on your website to increase data accuracy across major media platforms and that there are various ways to go about doing this. Make sure your team reviews your current tracking and prepares a full tracking audit.
3. INTEGRATE AI TECHNOLOGY
You can target cohort audiences instead of individual users by leveraging the most recent AI technologies developed by major media publishers/owners. You can also help alleviate consumers’ trust and privacy concerns by using a transparent data agreement and open-source reviews to demonstrate current clients’ satisfaction.
4. USE AI-BASED BIDDING
AI-driven bidding evaluates which keywords and trends create the greatest conversions by evaluating search data. Then it optimizes your bids in real-time, boosts ad spend efficiency, and improves your ROI.
Google’s AI-based Smart Bidding feature provides bid strategies based on conversions. Consequently, you will be able to make targeted bid selections for each auction in which your advertising is submitted.
Basically, this means that you can achieve more consistent results without relying on guesswork. These automatic bid decisions are based on information regarding current location, device, enabled languages, remarketing list, operating system, and any other pertinent details.
5. RETHINK KPIS
Key performance indicators (KPIs) track progress toward ad campaign targets, so the success of your PPC marketing campaign is typically determined by what you’re measuring. So, these KPIs may need to be reviewed to better align with your business goals when marketing without cookies. For example, you might want to pay closer attention to conversion figures.
Understanding, adjusting, and leveraging your KPIs may help you make better marketing decisions, especially as you navigate the new realm of cookieless marketing.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some FAQs about marketing without cookies:
WHY IS GOOGLE GETTING RID OF THIRD-PARTY COOKIES?
Google’s getting rid of third-party cookies is part of a larger strategy to build a privacy sandbox in which users may be tracked (for marketing purposes) while safeguarding their privacy.
HOW WILL THE END OF THIRD-PARTY COOKIES IMPACT MARKETING?
The end of third-party cookies will impact marketing in that most marketing teams were accustomed to launching marketing campaigns utilizing third-party cookies. Better ways and approaches may need to be discovered to acquire information (first-party data) and customize ad campaigns without relying on cookies.
WHAT IS THE GOOGLE PRIVACY SANDBOX?
The Google Privacy Sandbox was launched to create web standards that allow websites to access user information while maintaining privacy. Essentially, it allows for online advertising without the need for third-party cookies.
WHAT DOES COOKIELESS MARKETING MEAN?
Cookieless marketing means marketing less dependent on cookies and other marketing approaches. This necessitates leveraging first-party data and personalization to improve ad campaign performance.
NAVIGATING THE PPC MARKETING LANDSCAPE WITHOUT THIRD-PARTY COOKIES
At first glance, marketing without third-party cookies may appear to be a challenging task—but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. As a marketer, your best bet right now is to keep abreast of developments relating to third-party cookies and other data privacy issues that may influence your business.
If your advertising strategies rely on third-party data, you should start thinking about alternatives. As you keep up with the news on the cookie’s phasing out, you should also investigate any solutions that might assist you in better migrating away from it.
Google’s Privacy Sandbox, for example, could still offer a viable option for ad targeting. You may also think about tactics or tools that can help you better harness first-party data.
You may even reinstate earlier tactics, such as contextual advertising. While third-party data allows you to display ads in front of people who match specific user profiles, contextual advertising enables you to distribute PPC ads on websites that rank for similar keywords as your ad.
Finally, to protect your business against future governance or monopoly-related restrictions, work on developing basic techniques for reaching your consumers even without cookies, hyper-targeted adverts, or massive volumes of data. This will make you less vulnerable to technology, even if you have access to innovative tracking software.
You can optimize your ad campaigns without depending on third-party cookies to achieve marketing success if you follow the guidelines given above.
The coolest thing is that by realigning your approach, your brand will be prepared to endure—if not prosper—in the aftermath of this significant shift in the world of tracking and PPC. To add to this, you’ll gain more control and precision than with cookie-based marketing, which requires you to share data with your competitors.