Is theme-based advertising the future in cookieless world?


By Sameer Makani, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Makani Creatives

The internet is advancing, propelling the digital world towards a bright future. It has grown into one of the most important sources of information, transforming the world into a global village that is interactive. However, because advertisers and marketers monitor users’ digital footprints in order to deliver a more personalised experience, internet users’ privacy has become a major concern. Since Google’s announcement that third-party cookies will be phased out, brands and marketers have begun to develop their own data infrastructure to leverage first-party data.

Third-party cookies are being phased out to address privacy issues, which is not new information. Browsers like Safari and Mozilla were the first to introduce cookie blocking in 2017 and 2019. As a result, brands were anticipating a similar announcement from Google. However, phasing out cookies has an effect on ads, albeit not as significant as is currently thought. Since advertising is the internet’s primary source of revenue, it’s only reasonable to assume that if you’re going to be subjected to advertisements, they should be relevant and interesting. To comprehend the mechanism of cookies, one must first comprehend the distinction between first-party and third-party cookies.

All About Cookies

Cookies enable websites to track user behaviour, which can enhance the user experience significantly. Third-party cookies are used to monitor a user’s digital footprint through various websites, while first-party cookies are used to improve the user experience. This data can be used to create a profile based on a user’s digital behaviour, which can then be used to target ads and campaigns.

Third-party cookies are currently being phased out, but there are no plans to fully remove cookies because the use of first-party cookies increases the user experience.

Can advertisers survive without third-party cookies?

Universal id, DigiTrust, and others provide an alternate method for defining individual users rather than devices to imitate a cookie-based targeting engine. Given Google’s dedication to privacy, it’s too soon to say which of these options will actually work with Chrome. With 60 percent of the global user base using Chrome, it’s important for marketers to know if the recommended alternatives are compatible with Chrome in order to maximise the user base.

On-ground Impact:

Simply put, any current online marketing that relies on third-party cookies is in perilous territory. There is no ambiguity on that issue. Yes, there are alternatives, but there is no guarantee that they can succeed in the long term, given the inevitability of regulation to “protect” individual users. Google is expected to release new solutions in the future that will enable advertisers and marketers to build highly targeted advertising. Furthermore, since Google will know which places the user has visited from its search results pages, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) should still be possible. As a result, marketers should still be able to contact visitors to the site but only on Google’s own websites.

The future is Theme-based advertising.

Rather than targeting specific users, ads can be sold based on how relevant it is to the content of any given web page. Users will be exposed to ads that are relevant to the topic of the news article rather than being bombarded with advertising. This will lead to a theme-based approach to online advertising, in which marketers and publishers work closely together to maximise the value of their first-party data, resulting in contextual advertising.

New technologies will arise to help marketers meet consumers more efficiently as we change for the better. Paid search will continue to outperform display ads, and the money saved on remarketing promotions can be used to improve the brand’s organic profile, resulting in a wider customer base and higher engagement.


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