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The future of a World without cookies

Ever since third-party information exists, advertisers have had open doors for their advertisements being directed to the right people, at the right moment in a personalized and a quite assertive way.

But in a world where it is increasingly important to prioritize user privacy and transparency in the use of their data, what is going to happen to advertisers and consumers once the change takes place to eliminate cookies?

It will definitely be a significant challenge to find information about the audience without cookies, so it is critical that advertisers anticipate these changes and prepare for what is coming, by developing a strategy with first hand data as the main core.

Google recently announced that in order to replace the gathered information through third-party cookies, it proposes a new method called Topics from the Privacy Sandbox initiative. It consists of the browser detecting the topics which the users have interacted on websites classifying them into different categories. This process will only take place within the User’s device, without third-party intervention. Users will be able to choose from their browsers which themes to deactivate. These categories will work in a much less granular way than third-party data. There is a strong need for advertisers to start evaluating new ways to build first hand audiences, so their ads remain effective when targeting the correct users.

Among the problems that the elimination of cookies could bring to advertisers is greater difficulty in monitoring campaigns, as well as less detailed segmentation due to having less data, which would cause less advertising impact on the audience, and less control over how often brands need to show ads. However, these problems can be counteracted with strategies focused on primary data collection. Among these alternatives are the use of CDP’S, subscriptions and social networks. Currently the data obtained through these channels has a lot of value because it is more reliable and accurate than the data that comes from second and third parties. A promising option that could be aligned with primary data is contextual targeting, which, with the help of predictive models through machine learning, can ensure ads are placed in adapted contexts where the audience is browsing.

The impact of difficulties of a cookie-less world could vary depending on the size of the website and the advertiser. For major websites that offer relevant information to the user in exchange for a subscription, the collection of primary data would not be as complicated as for smaller websites. An alternative for the latter could consist of strategic alliances with other companies that are dedicated to gathering this type of information. Another alternative for advertisers to consider is the use of universal ID’s, which are built by using primary and “offline” information. A great advantage with these ID’s over cookies, is that thanks to them, duplicate users could be eliminated and the loss of information that usually occurs when information must be synchronized across various platforms.

As an example, Data Talks a company that develops digital strategies based on data and 4am Saatchi & Saatchi Costa Rica, in its role as pioneering agency in the field -as well as many others-, have chosen to anticipate the constant and challenging changes the World of User Information brings. They have focused on making advertisers and publishers aware of the relevance of investing as of now, more time and money on strategies for collection of primary data aimed at personalized, assertive and precise segmentation of the audience which is the functional target of ads. Ultimately, this will benefit advertisers in the long term and users in the short term, in a more transparent digital ecosystem where advertising is capable of adapting satisfactorily to the changes that society and technology demand.


Fernando Rodriguez

Innovation & Tech Director at 4am Saatchi & Saatchi Costa Rica

Antonella González

Paid media at 4am Saatchi&Saatchi Costa Rica

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