3 Practical Steps Advertisers Can Take to Win in a Cookieless World

Third-party cookies have long been the backbone of online advertising, providing valuable insights into user behavior and enabling targeted, personalized campaigns. However, privacy concerns and evolving regulations have led major browsers like Safari and Firefox to limit or eliminate third-party cookie tracking. The next major milestone is upon us as Google is now testing a cookieless experience for 1% of randomly assigned Chrome users. Given that Chrome makes up nearly two-thirds of the global web browser market, this 1% signal loss will send shockwaves throughout the marketing and advertising ecosystem. 

The eventual full deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome will create a new era within marketing and advertising, as advertisers scramble to find new ways to understand and engage their audiences. However, amidst these challenges, there’s a silver lining. Instead of relying on outdated — and arguably inaccurate — tracking methodologies, the coming “cookieless world” instead presents opportunities for advertisers to forge stronger connections with customers. Marketers and advertisers should strive to go beyond just navigating signal loss to create parity with the results they saw in a world of third-party cookies. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to thrive in this new paradigm. Below are three practical steps to advance beyond the limiting world of third-party cookies. 

1. Accelerate your first-party data strategy

One of the most essential steps in adapting to a cookieless web is prioritizing and maximizing your first-party data. Advertisers need to create a fair value exchange for consumers to share their first-party data through explicit consent mechanisms. We’ve seen many brands and advertisers on Snowflake create incentives for consumers to provide their consented contact information in exchange for personalized content or exclusive offers.

Building robust first-party data sets in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations not only reduces risk but also provides a legal safety net, allowing advertisers to foster a direct, value-based relationship with their audience. By leveraging this data effectively and transparently, marketers can enhance their ability to deliver relevant and personalized experiences that sustain customer loyalty.

2. Invest in AI and machine learning

As third-party cookies begin to fade into the background, advertisers must turn to advanced analytics, AI and machine learning (ML) to glean insights from their own customer and marketing data. Traditional AI and ML models can help identify patterns, preferences and trends within first-party data, enabling advertisers to understand their audiences on a deeper level as well as align on the right message, the right time and the channel with the highest conversion probability to maximize return on ad spend (ROAS). Building look-alike models based on known audience attributes can help advertisers expand their reach to those most likely to engage with their messaging and offering. 

By accurately predicting consumer preferences, marketers can deliver personalized offers without sacrificing precision. Investing in AI and ML will be crucial for staying competitive and maintaining advertising effectiveness in the absence of third-party cookies.

Check out our predictions for AI and ML in media, entertainment and advertising for 2024.

3. Collaborate securely to preserve privacy  

Collaboration is key to success in an ecosystem without third-party cookies. Advertisers should consider forming alliances and partnerships within the industry to share insights and collectively address the challenges posed by the new advertising landscape. Collaborative efforts could also involve exploring new technologies and standards that facilitate effective ad targeting without compromising user privacy. By working closely with media partners, adtech and martech providers, and business partners, advertisers can navigate the complexities of the cookieless future more successfully.

Critically, collaboration shouldn’t come at the expense of governance. Technologies such as data clean rooms provide an environment for partners to securely collaborate and perform joint analytics without revealing the underlying data. At Snowflake, we’ve seen both media sellers and media buyers leaning into data clean rooms to provide essential data collaboration capabilities while preserving the standards of governance and consumer privacy. NBCU, Disney Advertising, Indeed and others have leveraged the collaborative power of data clean rooms, giving them the ability to personalize marketing and advertising without sacrificing data privacy and governance controls.  

Learn more about Snowflake’s data clean room solutions for marketing and advertising.

Snowflake and the Data Cloud offer a path forward in a cookieless world

The cookieless advertising ecosystem is a reality that advertisers and marketers must embrace. By prioritizing a unified first-party data strategy on Snowflake, investing in advanced analytics and machine learning, and collaborating securely across ecosystems, advertisers can proactively adapt to signal loss and enhance performance. The key lies in selecting an effective technology foundation and approaching these changes not as obstacles but as opportunities to build more ethical, transparent and effective advertising strategies that prioritize user privacy and deliver value to both consumers and advertisers alike. As the digital landscape evolves, marketers who navigate these changes with agility and innovation will emerge as the business leaders of tomorrow.

Snowflake Marketplace has a robust ecosystem of data and app providers that will help you thrive in a world without third-party cookies. Check out some of our providers here

The post 3 Practical Steps Advertisers Can Take to Win in a Cookieless World appeared first on Snowflake.

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