Surviving the Post-Cookie Apocalypse: How Digital Marketers Can Adapt and Thrive

Photo by Taryn Elliott

12 June 2023

Not a fan of content written by AI? Maybe this one isn’t for you, because this entire article was created by FRED, the world’s pre-eminent marketing AI solution. Why was it created? Because one of our team (hi Eric!) asked FRED “How can I prepare to make sure my digital marketing tracking doesn’t get effected in the coming future?“.

If you’d like to see the entire conversation Eric had with FRED, scroll down or click here.

Ok, onto FRED’s advice for digital marketers about Apple’s recent announcement that they’ll be removing URL parameters from Safari and Google’s announcement that they’ll remove cookies from Chrome in 2024.

How Marketers Can Thrive Without Traditional Tracking

The digital marketing space has shifted and will continue to change due to technological advancements and growing consumer privacy concerns. Changes to popular web browsers, such as Safari and Chrome, forewarn a post-cookie era where marketers cannot depend on standard metrics to track their campaigns’ effectiveness. Even beyond the browser era are a growing focus on consumer privacy and data rights, which could render traditional tracking methods obsolete altogether.

In the face of these challenges, digital marketers need to assess new alternative approaches and implement innovative solutions, or risk losing potential customers or tracking data. The following tips can help digital marketers adapt and thrive in a post-cookie marketing world:

1. Shift Focus to People-Based Marketing

It is time for marketers to shift their tracking focus from cookie-based tracking to people-based marketing. Instead of tracking cookies that indicate what users are doing, people-based marketing focuses on who is doing it. It provides a deep understanding of target audiences, allowing improved targeting and personalized content development which can increase engagement. This method also helps brands understand how customers engage with their content across devices while providing insights into which devices lead to conversions. A shift towards collecting first-party data like email addresses and customer information that can be obtained through offering incentives such as discounts, promotions or surveys is an important step in people-based marketing.

2. Utilize Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)

CDPs help companies to collect and unify customer data from different sources, providing a single view of the customer. By leveraging CDPs, digital marketers can use the collected data to create more personalized experiences for their customers and increase engagement rates, leading to better user experiences. With CDPs, marketers can now look at the big picture by enabling them to see all interactions from customers across different channels – including social media, mobile apps, and web usage.

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Taking AI and Machine learning solutions into consideration can help marketers leverage a wealth of data to provide personalized experiences to users while providing insights into behavior patterns. AI enables the creation of digital marketing campaigns that adapt in real-time based on customer behavior, driving more conversions and better user experiences. This kind of solution helps marketers embrace the new era of marketing with greater insight, automation, and adaptability, resulting in valuable customer relationships.

4. Create Engaging and Compelling Content

In the absence of cookies, engaging and compelling content can help keep your brand top of mind. Creating content that holds your audience’s attention allows you to build your brand, increase engagement, and provide value to your audience. Such content can transcend a single visit to a website or social channels and create long-term interactions with customers.

5. Focus on Building a Strong Brand

In a post-cookie era, an effective brand strategy has become even more important. Establishing a strong brand helps establish customer trust and makes customers more likely to return to your site through a direct search. Building a strong brand involves creating an emotional connection with customers. This connection offers businesses the chance to extend engagement beyond mere financial transactions and provide meaningful and valuable experiences, making businesses more attractive to potential customers.

6. Secure Good Internal Skills and Knowledge

With the post-cookie era looming, digital marketers need to take the time to expand their knowledge base. Training and education programs that tap into digital marketing trends and provide an understanding of consumer data privacy requirements are crucial for staying ahead of the curve. Obtaining internal technical skills also allows brands to keep their engagement under tight control, minimizing the potential for data breaches that compromise customer data and trust.

Final Thoughts

The changes in Safari and Chrome are just the beginning of a broader industry trend towards digital privacy. Digital marketers must adapt and evolve their strategies and deploy new technologies to stay competitive in the post-cookie era. The continued use of traditional metrics and methods will be a losing strategy. Instead, shifting to a people-based marketing approach, utilizing customer data platforms, and using AI and machine learning tools should be a necessary

Check out the entire conversation we had with FRED, before we asked him to write this article:



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