Article: 4-min Read

Life after the death of cookies: Re-imagine your media toolkit.

Roundel Ad Products

There are a few soul-searching questions advertisers must ask themselves, or risk losing key capabilities when the cookie apocalypse hits.

You’ve heard the echoes: Third-party cookies will disappear by 2024. But if we don’t prepare for the oncoming cookie calamity, then many of us could lose essential advertising capabilities, like automation and personalization. 

To face the change and navigate the necessary transformation, start by asking: 

How is the death of cookies going to impact my digital advertising in 2024? 

Am I prepared? 

Today, in a cookie-based world:

All of the traditional ad technology for demand-side platforms in search and display is hardwired for cookies. Cookies have been the tagging device by which marketers can track online behavior and digital footprints to better detect potential buyers and create custom data and reporting.

This approach, married with the automation capabilities of third-party cookies, opened the doors to personalization in online advertising, allowing marketers to tailor their ads for targeted audiences and prove cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Consequently, today’s consumers value and expect personalization in their buying experiences. In fact, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.1

But what happens when the foundation (cookies) that the AdTech industry and marketers have built this personalization upon … disappears?

From rumor to reality—cookie apocalypse is coming.

From Q2 2019 to Q2 2020, Target saw:

Rumors of the death of third-party cookies have circulated for years until Google announced it was phasing out support for third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022, before pushing it back to 2024.

When the cookie apocalypse hits, it will wipe out the current way the industry has built audiences and the performance measurement capabilities used to measure the effectiveness of those audiences. If you don’t have real database and identity resolution tools at the ready to build targeted audiences and measure closed-loop media performance, you will suddenly find yourself relying on pre-digital proxies and methods of measurement.

What a cookie-less world will look like in 2024:

As a marketer, there is no need to panic. Nor should you wait until the day cookies die to devise your backup plan. The death of third-party cookies presents an opportunity to create value from higher-quality data in online advertising.

In digital display marketing, value is created through viewability and being able to minimize fraud on your exposure. That may change.

Imagine if you could verify delivery at a human level (which is what search and social media have been able to do because they are human-based), and verify a purchase online or in store. That’s what the future of advertising holds. And the future is here, now.

Here’s what it looks like:

Access to first-party data in a secure, privacy-controlled environment to replace the “walled garden” approach to data

Flexible, real-people data that can be used to build custom audiences and glean insights for real-time campaign optimizations

Closed-loop measurement that can prove true ROAS and justify the impact media had on actual sales

Are you prepared for the death of cookies?​

What you do now will impact your advertising ROI and bottom line moving forward. Ask yourself these four questions:

1. How do I re-imagine the data ecosystem my business needs?

2. What types of data am I transacting today?

3. What types of data should I use going forward?

4. Does the capability I need strengthen through the use of strategic partnerships?

Now is the time to re-imagine how we track and measure media.

Understanding the validity and quality of the data you have access to is the first step. Determine if your business overly depends on third-party cookies for advertising and if so, what higher-quality data pools (first-party or real-people data) you can access. Most marketers will fall under two options:

A. I have a solid data infrastructure to plug in first-party data.

B. I need a managed service to access higher-quality data while I build stronger internal capability over time.

When you start to invest in first-party data solutions that consist of both high-quality data and a modern tech stack, it pays to work with partners that are changing media for good.

Roundel™ has already connected hundreds of brands to an incredible Target guest base built on real-people data. First-party data meets scale (audiences built on the shopping behaviors of millions of adult consumers) to deliver audience insights and closed-loop measurement for clarity on true ROAS. Yep, our data can do that, and that can be applied to growing your business!

So, yes, there is life after the death of cookies. And it is likely to be a better life. How you prepare now—and who you choose as key partners—just might determine how quickly your business is set up for success. Now is the time to re-imagine how we track and measure media.

Roundel™ Media designed by Target

Roundel Ad Products

Designed for better relationships. Designed for bigger results. ​

At Roundel, we believe that relationships are key to getting more from retail media. That’s why in everything we do, we’re true to our Target guests and the brands we work with. ​

Through collaboration and an unparalleled understanding of the Target guest, we design considered, intuitive, and human media experiences that engage audiences on their terms. Which means every placement is more relevant and every connection more meaningful. So your brand can grow sales, right alongside lasting loyalty.​

For more on our solutions — including CTV, display, influencer, video, programmatic, search, and social — please contact us. 

Further Reading

Reducing buying complexity: The push for greater standardization
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Driving retail media innovation: Self-service, standardization, and tech enhancements
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The importance of a curated experience amidst constant change.
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1Epsilon, “The power of me: The impact of personalization on marketing performance,” (accessed July 8, 2020).