Disruption or revolution is always followed by innovations and changes. If something is breaking down, another thing will be built at its place. And this is not anything new, this is how the universe functions.
If we talk about the ever-changing online and technical world, there is a new invention every second day. Some like it some don’t. Some play smart and take advantage of it and some are left far behind in the race.
Like it or not, this is how it works and will keep working in the future as well. So it is better to adapt to the new changes and mold your strategies accordingly. Now when we talk about strategies, usually all the companies plan their quarterly strategies. So, even if there is some major change, they can include it in the next quarter.
You probably might have penned down your strategies for the first quarter of 2020. However, it is not too late if you missed paying attention to one of the much talked about change by Google – Killing the cookies.
I am sure it cannot have missed your mind, this being an important update and you must have worked through it giving it some space in your first 2020 quarterly plan. If not, you can always do it now.
Today, I am going to dive deep into the flashing update of Google killing the cookies. I don’t know how you have taken this news or how it has affected your business. But this move is definitely going to be a piece of good news for the marketers.
Wondering how? Well, keep reading and you will understand.
Before going any further, let us first understand…
What is Cookie-Based Targeting?
Technically, cookies are the data gathered by some third party site, storing your data, analyzing your interests and finally popping up display ads based on all of this. If I have to explain this in simpler terms it would be something like – ‘You visit a restaurant regularly. The waiter knows what is your taste and what you like to eat. And even before you order he suggests you to have something that you had last time or maybe interested to try.’ Or maybe you saw a stranger, you liked his fashion sense, complimented him about it and since then, he crosses your path every day to give you suggestions about fashion.
Basically, knowingly or unknowingly, you visit a site and the next moment you start seeing advertisements about that site everywhere. This can be a little annoying sometimes.
This can be good, but not always. Imagine you being attacked by display ads every minute and that too about the product that you mistakingly clicked or have already purchased. I mean for how long a person can be interested in the same thing or buy the same products or services.
This exactly is the reason Google planned this step to kill the cookies. It has already been ages that we heard about the user’s being frustrated with the cookies. And this high level of discontent among the Internet user more or less drove the advertisers away from these display ads using cookie data. But this also meant increased inventory scarcity, lower return on investment and of course higher price.
This indignation on part of the online users has basically led Google and other major browsers to take a firm step. After all, customer satisfaction is all that we are all working for. According to the resources, many major browsers are either completely done away with cookies or have limited it.
But like I said earlier, innovations and changes are not adapted well by all. Since the cookies were the base for many online advertisers, this change brought with it challenges like targeting audience, measurement, fraud detection and attribution.
However, there is nothing to panic about. If you look otherwise Google killing the cookies is actually good news for marketers. Let us see how…
Marketing Strategies without Cookies
This step of restricting third party site to use the data and forming cookies has raised a lot of questions. Ad-tech companies are worried about the future of cross-site tracking, ad-servicing and retargeting. Currently, the situation is that every time you hit a domain there are hundreds of third-party sites tracking your data.
However, this is soon going to end. Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering, said that “We are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.”
Earlier in August 2019, Google had announced a new initiative called the ‘Privacy Sandbox’. This initiative was taken basically to enhance online privacy and make the web a more secure and safe place for the users. But Google does not plan to leave behind the advertisers and publishers. Once this approach is reached, the big giant also plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.
Right after this announcement, hopes of many AdTech companies crashed. Talking about the new change, Greg Paull, co-founder, and principal at consultancy R3, said, “Retargeting focused AdTech companies such as Criteo were most likely to face instant obstacles. They have to adapt by fundamentally changing their business and moving away from the third-party data ecosystem. There might be an immediate loss of some programmatic revenue which is third-party cookie reliant, which could be a big hit for some publishers, but in the long-term, it improves their bargaining position.”
So, it may be disturbing for now but will be beneficial in the long term.
Now let us get to the point of how you should plan your marketing strategies without having to worry about the cookies.
Dayparting means to know about the time of the day when you have the most active users. Basically, it is to know the timezone of someone. Once you know this, you will automatically understand how to use this tactic to your advantage. This trick can be especially useful for retailers that have fixed opening and closing times. Travel businesses, who advertise on the basis of the ever-fluctuating moods for traveling. Entertainment industries, who launch their new releases based on the most suitable time.
The only thing that you need to understand about this tactic is how and when to use it. Preferably focusing more on the ‘When’ part. After a thorough analysis, shoot out your ads based on day and time you can get the most engagement and you will soon see the results.
Just like time, or dayparting, location also plays an important role. And moreover, location targeting is one of the most creative and relevant strategies. If you analyze smartly, you will know which location brings in most customers. So accordingly shift the advertisement tide to that location precisely.
Implementing location targeting helps you publish personalized ads just according to the needs and tastes of the customers in that particular location. Being focused on one place is better than trying your luck everywhere.
Another benefit of location targetting is you can advertise about your products or offers precisely when the customer is near around a certain radius. Or you can experiment with changing the pattern and design of your advertisement based on the location. This will give a more personalized feel.
Being contextually relevant has proven to increase customer loyalty. If you act and advertise according to the situation and feelings of the buyer at each step of its ‘Buyer Journey’, obviously you are likely to be their hero in comparison to others.
Try using site keywords to target your customer. This way you can still reach out to the right potential or existing customer without having to rely on cookie-based segments.
What more? Contextual relevant advertisements are more authentic for customers. They consider it seriously and not get frustrated with them.
Weather and Environmental Conditions
If you think this is not important, think again. Weather and other surrounding environmental conditions are equally important like time and location. You cannot be selling summer wears in a place where you have snowfall all year round.
So the publicity of your product also depends on the weather condition of the location that you are advertising in. When advertised about preferable products on the basis of weather and environment, in fact, it results in higher receptiveness and purchase intent of the consumer.
You do not have to be direct in your advertisement. Simply adding a creative message based on certain criteria related to the weather will also consciously or subconsciously increase the customer’s interest.
This tactic can be specifically beneficial for a certain business. For example, if you are in the travel industry and at this time of the year it is extremely cold in your region, you can promote packages of places where people can enjoy the sunshine. People will automatically show interest to go travel to someplace warmer.
So, these were a few points which will help you keep your advertisements alive and not frustrating. End of the role of cookies does not mean the end of AdTech industry. In fact, if you see the other side of the coin, now you can focus on just the target customer, instead of flashing ads on the faces of anyone, who might have just mistakingly hit your domain.
Now, the ads will actually reach to only those people who are genuinely interested in seeing and not be a pain for others. Pump yourselves up and include marketing strategies for this quarter and the coming ones, which do not depend on cookie data. Because sooner or later, cookies are going to lose this survival battle which, technically they have been fighting for the past 25 years.
Cookies or no cookies, you need to keep on with your display ad, only that now it will be more planned and target-oriented.
Stay tuned for any more updates on ‘Google killing the cookies’ and how it will affect your marketing strategies. Do not forget to share your views in the comment box below.
I try my best to come up with the latest updates, but if you want to read about something particular, your suggestions are more than welcome.
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