EDGE Insights

EDGE Insights

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Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

Post Cookie Marketing

The following report was prepared and published by our sister platform SPEEDA—February 2024.

Trend Overview

Regulations Have Led to Shift Away from Cookie-Based Marketing

In the marketing domain, the use of cookies has garnered significant attention in recent years. Cookies play a crucial role in enhancing user experience by identifying users, storing their previous inputs, and retaining shopping cart items. However, their use extends beyond convenience to pivotal marketing strategies.
Marketing can be broken down into three phases: “awareness”, “interest”, and “consideration”. Since a single piece of advertising rarely leads to a purchase, advertisements are placed at different stages of a customer’s journey through a website or other media. Many websites create a file known as a cookie, which is stored on the user’s device when they connect to the site. The use of ad retargeting (advertisements displayed to users with a history of site visits) via cookies serves as an important means of encouraging purchases over the “interest” and “consideration” phases. Meanwhile, in the “awareness” phase, cookies also can be used to acquire data on the attributes and characteristics of users, which can lead to more accurate targeting of potential customers. Furthermore, cookies are critical in tracking conversion paths, such as purchases or downloads, by identifying the advertisements users interacted with along their journey. Historically, cookies have been indispensable in marketing for these purposes.
Cookies are divided into first-party and third-party types (see table below for details on the differences). However, from a technical perspective, they contain the same information and perform the same function. Cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, which can be used to compile data about site traffic and to remember user preferences for a more customised browsing experience. They can also be used for advertising and marketing purposes (e.g. retargeting ads) by tracking and analysing the user’s online behaviours.
However, efforts to enhance the protection of personal information, such as the phasing out of third-party cookies in browsers and the tightening of the use of device identifiers in apps, have created a need to shift away from cookie-based marketing to what is known as post-cookie marketing. This has allowed companies to establish a new industry standard, which, if successful, could place them in a dominant position in the marketing industry.

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