Advertising in a Cookie-less World

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    Marketers have been genuinely concerned about how they will reach their ideal consumers in a new, cookie-less world.

    We’re not implying there’s a shortage of the edible buttery, chocolate chunk variety to accompany your next glass of milk. The growing awareness of privacy issues and laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States and GDPR in the European Union, have spurred web browsers to begin blocking digital cookies and prevent them from being dropped on your computer by the websites you visit. What does that mean for startups and emerging companies that depend on internet advertising?

    How the Cookie Crumbled

    We realize most people in 2020 were talking about the global pandemic and U.S. presidential election. But those weren’t the only things on the minds of marketers. Traditionally, cookies have been the primary tracking system used to digitally collect consumer behavior data.  They allow data owners & providers to pool these consumers into specific audience “buckets” based on their behavior data – such as rock music streamers, ice cream lovers, etc. so they can be targeted with programmatic advertising campaigns.

    The trend of restricting cookies is not new. But Google’s announcement last year of its intention to block third-party cookies in Chrome web browsers by 2022, certainly accelerated the development of new ad tech. Marketers want to make sure one of the main benefits of internet advertising — the ability to target fans and prospects by behavior, interest and action — is protected.

    Consumer Tracking and Behavioral Targeting in a Cookie-less World

    Multiple tech solutions are rolling out to combat the death of the cookie.  Major organizations have invested considerable time, money, and resources in new technology, and in leveraging their own first party data, collected through non-cookie means.

    One solution focuses on tracking and reporting a lot of the same behaviors that cookies have traditionally tracked, but uses “contextual signals” to do so.  Another solution works like cookies, but allows for full collection consent & verification.  If a site asked permission to show you ads in exchange for viewing free content online, would you say yes?  We’re betting there’s enough people that would.

    Digital Marketing 3.0

    Digital media’s broad consumption among consumers and digital advertising’s unique ability to target audiences beyond demographic and geographic values make it a very attractive option for marketers. Our media buyers are vetting and testing multiple new solutions in partnership with our vendors. It’s important to find the best privacy-forward solutions that use new methods of granular targeting that are secure, transparent, and fully consented.

    Marketers have identified digital marketing as a key component in their marketing arsenal in 2021.  TEC Direct Media remains committed to our values as we collaborate with our media partners to ensure a safe environment for our clients.

    As we evaluate these solutions, rest assured, we are working to ensure that our clients’ digital campaigns can continue uninterrupted so they can target, excite and connect with their customers.  We will continue to keep our clients informed of this progress. If you are a marketer or agency looking for a media partner to help, please let us know.  



    Our team is ready to work on your next digital campaign.


    Web browsers are blocking digital cookies, which have traditionally been used to track consumer behavior for targeted advertising. Privacy laws and restrictions on cookies, like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, have further accelerated the need for new ad tech solutions.

    Multiple tech solutions are being developed, leveraging first-party data and new methods of tracking consumer behavior without relying on cookies. Contextual signals and consent-based approaches are among the solutions being explored.

    Digital media has broad consumer consumption, and digital advertising allows for precise targeting beyond demographic and geographic values. It offers unique opportunities for marketers to reach their audiences.

    A cookie-less world refers to a digital advertising landscape where traditional tracking cookies, which collect consumer behavior data, are limited or blocked due to privacy concerns and regulations. It requires marketers to find alternative methods for targeting and tracking consumer activities.

    The absence of cookies affects digital advertising strategies by limiting the ability to target specific audiences based on their browsing behavior. Marketers need to explore new technologies and approaches that rely on contextual signals, consent-based tracking, or first-party data to deliver personalized and relevant ads.

    Contextual signals in advertising refer to gathering information about the content and context in which an ad is being displayed, rather than relying on individual user data. This allows advertisers to deliver ads based on the relevance and nature of the content being consumed by the user at that moment.

    Advertisers can adapt to a cookie-less world by leveraging first-party data collected through direct interactions with consumers, implementing contextual advertising strategies, exploring consent-based tracking solutions, and utilizing privacy-forward technologies that prioritize user consent and data protection.

    Privacy-forward advertising solutions prioritize user privacy and data protection while still delivering relevant and personalized ads. These solutions build trust with consumers, ensure compliance with privacy regulations, and create a more transparent and respectful advertising ecosystem.

    The effectiveness of advertising in a cookie-less world may require new metrics and measurement approaches. However, it also presents an opportunity for more meaningful and relevant advertising experiences that respect user privacy and preferences. Advertisers can still achieve their goals by focusing on quality content, creativity, and audience engagement.


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    We plan and buy media for agencies, brands, and artists so they can generate awareness, acquire new customers and drive sales.  As a top media agency in Chicago, we use media, and the data derived from it, as the power vehicles delivering great messages to audiences that want to discover, advocate for and purchase your product or service.

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