Third-party cookies, the principal means that marketers have relied upon for 25 years for targeting, retargeting, display advertising and general behavioural marketing, have effectively become obsolete due to new tracking prevention technologies, a leading AI-powered marketing solutions provider has claimed.
Writing in SearchEngineLand.com, AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform Invoca puts the demise of third-party cookies down to powerful new cookie-blocking technologies such as Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) and Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) solutions, which are included in all their browsers as a default.
However, there are other “cookie assassins” in widespread use too, including third-party ad-blocking apps and exacting new regulatory frameworks such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (COPA).
Now, search giant Google, whose Chrome browser accounts for more than 60% of browser market share, is including an opt-in version of its own ITP.
Between them, these initiatives have consigned the old cookie to history – so how can marketers engage with new prospective customers?
Surprisingly, keyword-based contextual advertising is making a comeback. Behavioural targeting had some limitations: it often resulted in ordinary consumers getting ads for martech platforms and advertising agencies – fine for marketers, but an irritation for someone interested in, say, fitness.
The latter won’t be remotely interested in ads for Marketo, but will be far more warmly disposed towards ads for sporting supplements and running shoes. Contextual targeting ensures that the ads that consumers see are based on the content they’re looking at.
Facebook’s people-based targeting, which uses unique user identifiers instead of device identifiers or third-party cookies, is also rising in uptake. A big advantage is that its people-based marketing automation allows brands to meet customers at the places and times they want to engage.
Last but not least are machine learning-based predictive analytics solutions (such as Invoca’s Signal AI) that allow you to harvest first-party customer data from your call centre, analysing conversations and allowing you to use them as actionable marketing intelligence.
The demise of the cookie for marketers may seem a frightening development given how heavily we’ve all relied upon them, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that they’ve been around for a quarter of a century. There are new ways of going forward on the marketing journey.