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    The Cookie Apocalypse Is Near. Are Your Campaigns Future-Proof?

    The days of third-party cookies are coming to an end… Anxiety and fear are creeping in, with many marketers anticipating the doom and gloom that would ensue. What are the alternatives?

    In their latest Global Ad Spend Forecast, dentsu predicted that 2024 is expected to be the year when third-party cookies are finally deprecated after having been an inherent part of targeting and measurement since the inception of digital advertising. So, it makes sense to collect relevant information and take decisions in order to stay resilient.

    Curious about the impact of third-party deprecation on your campaigns? Here are some valuable insights to help you adapt to the cookieless landscape and secure your campaign strategy with the necessary tools: 

    • Preparing for the cookieless future. According to dentsu, the deprecation of third-party cookies in the leading web browser, Google Chrome, is set to finally happen in the second half of the year, after several postponements. So far, it affects a randomly selected 1% of Chrome users as of 4 January 2024, but it’s going to roll out to everyone in Q3 and Q4 of this year. Based on data from Statista, this will apply to over 3.22 billion internet users. In the dentsu survey, more than three quarters (77%) of advertisers anticipate 2024 being at least as turbulent as 2023, with almost half (46%) anticipating 2024 being more turbulent. Brand safety and suitability will be more critical than ever to protecting ad investments. 
    • Ditching the flawed measurement. According to this Marketing Week article, the cookie apocalypse can be viewed as an opportunity to ditch flawed forms of measurement in a quest for greater accuracy. Right now, 65% of marketing departments rely on last click attribution even though it’s acknowledged to be unreliable. The loss of cookies removes a route for fixing that and it forces already busy marketers to adapt, innovate and implement new things. It turns out that using last click, and making sub-optimal choices about which media channels to buy, means leaving 35% of possible achievable sales for your budget on the table. What does it mean in terms of ad money? According to Marketing Week, across all advertisers in the UK and US, it’s an extraordinary waste. Some £74bn worth of sales that could have benefitted advertisers totally lost. That’s more than the GDP of Slovenia and a lot more than the entire UK defence budget.


    • The ugly side of cookies. Third-party cookies can track users across multiple sites to serve them targeted ads, raising privacy issues as they compile detailed browsing histories and online profiles without user consent. This causes legality concerns as the use of third-party cookies is becoming more complex and legally challenging due to changing data protection regulations, requiring website operators to be transparent about their cookie usage and obtain user consent. The lack of control over data collection and user tracking limits marketers and makes it essential for businesses to explore alternative online advertising and marketing strategies. A potential security risk exists, especially if third-party cookies are not properly secured, contain personally identifiable information, or are shared without authorization. As a result, user resistance arises: With increasing privacy regulations and the rise of ad blockers that often block third-party cookies, users may opt-out of allowing these cookies, hindering marketers’ ability to deliver targeted digital advertising effectively. 
    • The bright side of having no third-party cookies. The most prominent positive consequence of the elimination of third-party cookies is enhanced privacy – the process aligns with the increasing demand for improved user privacy, reducing individual online behaviour tracking. Other benefits include: reduced data collection without explicit consent, reduced ad fraud and inaccurate targeting, fostering  innovation in the industry by stimulating the development of new, secure advertising technologies, including the use of reliable zero-party data where users voluntarily provide information to a site or platform. The shift away from third-party cookies can encourage businesses to adopt more transparent data practices, ensuring that user data is collected and used in a more ethical and secure manner.
    • Looking ahead – what’s next? According to Marketing Week, for many econometrics/MMM (Marketing Mix Modelling) will be the answer. It can evaluate marketing that appears at any stage in the purchase journey and doesn’t need cookies. But Econometrics/MMM done well looks and feels different to MTA (Multi-touch Attribution) or last click and, because of that, marketing people will need to use new skills and work differently.

                Other alternatives include: Contextual Advertising, which places ads based on the content of the page, using keyword and topic-based targeting instead of tracking user behaviour, ensuring that users see relevant ads without compromising their privacy; Universal ID Frameworks: Frameworks like Unified ID 2.0 aim to establish a unique user ID for each user, preserving advertisers’ ability to provide targeted advertising while offering users more control over their data; more First-Party Data Collection – it is more accurate and reliable, allowing you to design a more targeted user experience than third-party data ever could. These alternatives offer ways to continue targeted advertising and data collection while prioritizing user privacy and data security in the absence of third-party cookies.


    Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, offers an innovative mobile media channel that lets your video and static content shine. Want to build trust with your customers and be part of an efficient and reliable advertising ecosystem? Privacy is at the heart of our solution. We obtain our users’ explicit consent before collecting personal data. With us, the user is always in control.

    Need a viable alternative to third-party cookies and a reliable media channel that cuts through the noise? Tired of bots and wanting to reach only humans, in an efficient and traceable manner? You’ve come to the right place. With SmartAdd, you will be positioned for success and your content will stand out. 

    Join our global advertisers who have repeatedly placed their trust in our innovative platform. We are fully endorsed by Mobile Operators and our audience consists solely of humans – verified mobile subscribers. Contact us today to find out more about SmartAdd and navigate the post-cookie era well-equipped!