Where did all the cookies go?
Since the mid 90’s, using cookies to target audiences has been a staple in online advertising. As you kick off your New Year’s resolutions, not only will your diet see fewer cookies, but so will your advertising. While the nature of cookies and how they’re used is changing, marketers will still be able to put your brand in front of the right audience – with more accuracy and better results than ever before.
Besides snacking, what are cookies for?
Cookies are small text files that are downloaded on your browser as you visit different websites. Cookies remember your preferences on websites, like what local news you read on AL.com or your city’s forecast on Weather.com. They also track when and where you saw an ad and whether you clicked on it. Cookies revolutionized digital display advertising by allowing advertisers to take advantage of online data to reach individuals based on location, demographics, and behavior.
Why are cookies changing?
Cookies work differently depending on the device, whether it’s a desktop, mobile browser or app. Because mobile apps can’t share information with each other or with a mobile web browser, cookies are less effective on mobile than on traditional desktop. As smartphone and tablet usage continues to grow, traditional cookies are becoming less relevant and the rise of other targeting technologies will become more widespread in 2018.
What to expect in 2018 and beyond
Unique Device ID targeting: This type of cookie-less targeting is standard practice for location-based targeting like geo-fencing. Expect Unique Device ID targeting to grow in use and capability and adopt more sophisticated targeting options. Due to their hyper-local relevance, unique device ID targeted ads often receive higher response rates than traditional display ads. If you’re next to a coffee shop and receive an ad about a new beverage, wouldn’t you be more likely to visit the coffee shop than if you received the ad while at home?
Environment Targeting: Where will you find sports fans? In the sports section. This type of logic has remained relevant for events, newspapers, websites, and most recently, apps. With or without traditional cookies, classic advertising methods aren’t going anywhere. App and Device-specific targeting, as well as fixed ad units on specific site pages will increase in 2018.
Data’s Reign as King Continues: Data is currency, so information that is uniquely collected by websites (First-Party Data) will remain invaluable. In 2018, expect an increase in targeting based on a universal login (like how you log in to Spotify or Snapchat using Facebook). Also expect, self-identifying data to have a resurgence. Though you may not realize it, when you visit websites like AL.com, you often set your location, and read articles, and take actions to identify location and interests.
As we venture into 2018 and beyond, your body and your advertising will be healthier with fewer cookies. Advances in precision targeting will make ads more relevant for customers, contributing to higher engagement and response rates for advertisers. The future is bright, so go have a cookie . . . while you still can.
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