By the end of the year, cookies will be a thing of the past.
Dan is armed with some major knowledge, a sweet ride, and all the post-cookie world survival tips you’ll need to thrive in this new frontier of digital advertising.
WHOA. Hey! It’s ok. Breathe...everything is ok! We’re fine. Everything is fine.
My name is Dan. And don’t panic but... you’re in a post-cookie world. I know this is jarring, but stay with me.
I know a lot of questions are probably running through your head. How will we target?! What does this mean for the future of advertising? Is my job safe? Don’t worry. I knew this was coming... OK, no. Not in a weird Mayan Calendar way. I just have an eye on this kind of stuff because I’m the VP of Advertising at Terminus.
But today, just think of me as your post-cookie world guide. We’re going to go through everything together. Here’s my survival guide for a post-Cookie world.
First, let’s remember why we’re here: cookies. Cookies were developed in the 1990s as a way for websites to tell advertisers how many visitors they got. With the power of these little pieces of data, advertisers now could report on a page’s unique visitors, instead of just the page hits (i.e. - one person visits the page dozens of time, or dozens of people visit the page one time). Then, eCommerce companies saw potential with these cookies–originally, they used them as a way to keep shopping carts up to date, and give users the ability to log in and stay logged in as they browsed eCommerce sites.
A Brief History of Cookies
Cookies were created to help track data across a single publisher, or website. As the technological capabilities and use cases started to grow, things got a little...opportunistic. Over the last couple of decades, we’ve realized the power of these little cookies, and started to expand their definition and uses. Now, instead of just keeping your carts up to date, cookies are responsible for for some really cool and useful things, like:
Measuring ad performance and fraud prevention
Intent tracking and personalization
You’re booking a Disney Cruise. The Disney Cruises websites then share your information with Southwest, so they can advertise different rates to someone who has booked a cruise knowing the local airport terminus. This is how second-party cookie data is being used today.
Second and Third-party Cookies In The Wild:
But, here’s where we started getting a little dicey: companies started partnering up to swap cookie data (second-party cookies), and, taking it a step further, those companies started layering data about a user from multiple sites and publishers across the web (third-party cookies).
Imagine this scenario:
Thanks to the combined data powers of second-party and third-party cookies, we’ve reached creepy-levels of knowledge about any given user, which is a privacy issue for web users (and the reason we’ve seen a rise in data privacy acts like GDPR, LGPD, and The California Consumer Privacy Act). And, for marketers, there’s a huge issue around inaccurate data, too! While the benefits of using user cookie data to create personalized marketing experiences cannot be overstated, we also know that these data sources are not perfect, and a well crafted and well intended piece of personalized marketing material can result in some misfires. All that to say, we may be targeting a super specific segment of users according to their personal cookie data, but that end user might not even actually fall into the category we’re trying to target.
And...Where Are We Exactly?
Here–let’s take a look at my own cookie data, and I’ll show you what I mean.
The last Russell Crowe movie I watched was “Les Mis”...so... it’s been a minute.
Click these cookies to learn more.
I have never owned an Android phone...
I’ve never lived and I’ve never been in my entire life to Seattle.
I do love Publix — I shop there almost every day.
Very into cameras and computers, so this one tracks.
Like all technologies that are leveraged beyond their intended purposes, cookies have taken on a life of their own that can lead to hit-or-miss targeted campaigns and can negatively impact the user experience. Which is why a lot of browsers have been tossing the cookies (...sorry) over the past couple of years, all leading up to Google Chrome’s promise to end their use of third-party cookies by the end of 2021. Which brings us here–to a post-cookie world.
Moral Of This Story
Basically, it means the way we’ve been targeting and segmenting our audiences for advertising is changing in a big way–and we’re definitely OK with that, because it needed to happen. But, we realize that this has stirred up quite a bit of chatter amongst digital marketers. We have known for a while that cookies are a flawed solution, but we also know that they are a really important part of our job, it was just going to be a matter of time before the best solution was developed. But never fear! The Terminus team has been keeping an eye on cookieless solutions for years, and working on our own solutions to ensure you can get the best ROI on your digital ads in a cookie-less world. But first, let’s take alook at the data that’s out there for us to utilize:
How Does this Affect Me?
Without cookies, highly targeted and segmented digital advertising is still possible–in fact, it’s better! That’s because it’s forcing us to rely more on first-party data, AKA the data your customers share with you willingly (think: using their email addresses, or retargeting people from your website). This is a way better way to target your audiences, because not only are you reaching them in highly-targeted ways, but you’re also building trust in your relationship by only using the data they want you to. So the key to cookieless survival is going to be first-party data. Here’s how we at Terminus plan on gathering and leveraging this data:
First-party Data Is The New Hero
Location, location, location. It’s more important now than ever, with so many companies transitioning to remote and nomadic work. Where we used to be able to target a whole company based on a few static IP address (the ones associated with their office), we now are dealing with one company having potentially thousands of IP addresses that are constantly changing based on where their employees are working from on any given day (coffee shop, lakehouse, home office, etc.) It makes advertising feel more like trying to hit a moving target...literally.
IP Data for Location
Our top priorities when collecting IP data? Privacy compliance and accuracy. And with many workers being nomadic now, we’ve taken targeting a step further by breaking out location data based on household and corporate IP addresses for each user. Here’s how we’re doing it now: Every time one of your prospects opens an email with a Terminus-powered email banner, or chats using Terminus-powered chat, we can gather that prospect’s residential IP address (provided that you’re in an area that is legal to do so, of course).
How Terminus Is Collecting This Data:
First up is finding out who the user is. This was mainly done by cookies in the past, but now the new gold standard is Unified ID 2.0. This is an open source standard originally developed by the TradeDesk (the platform Terminus is built on.) It’s what most advertising solutions will use to ensure you’ve got all of the identifying data you need to continue targeting the right people. But the upgrade? Now, you can target ads across the web based on a list of emails. (Sure, this was done with cookies before, but in the cookieless world it requires the user to be logged in to the website we target them on, ensuring near 100% accuracy.)
Unified ID for Identity
Without getting too in the weeds here... we were early to this party. Unified ID is an open framework that we’ve been working directly through the TradeDesk to adopt. We knew this data fit in perfectly with the modern ABM strategy, so we wanted to make sure we had it integrated in our platform as soon as it was available. (We’re predicting that will be before the end of 2021, by the way.) Unified ID is a “consent-first” framework, meaning we get this data from users who have given their consent for data collection on the publishing site.
How Terminus Is Collecting This Data:
We’ve already got a lot of great data at our fingertips when we know their location and identity, but you know what they say: Context is key–even in data. It gives us the ability to dig even deeper into who the user is and what they’re interested in. Contextual data is data surrounding the specific topics a user may be reading about. It helps you get a fuller picture of propensity to buy, interests, etc.
Contextual Data for Context
Terminus utilizes contextual data and layers it on top of IP data for a 360° view of who a user is and what they’re interested in. This enables 1:1 targeting, and insane accuracy. Think of it this way: Terminus’ technology can layer a person’s location with the type of content they consume to ensure that your ads are going to the exact person you want to target–instead of sending ads out to a huge group of people that you hope the person you want to target is in.
How Terminus Helps You Utilize This Data:
First party data–such as retargeting audiences on your website–will continue to be possible. Moving forward, all ad platforms (like Terminus) will get rid of using third-party cookies to collect and target these audiences, and instead migrate to cookieless audiences, by directly matching to an identity graph.
Email and Chat for First-party data
Terminus utilizes contextual data and layers it on top of IP data for a 360 view of who a user is and what they’re interested in. This enables 1:1 targeting, and insane accuracy. Think of it this way: Terminus’ technology can layer a person’s location with the type of content they consume to ensure that your ads are going to the exact person you want to target–instead of sending ads out to a huge group of people that you hope the person you want to target is in.
How Terminus Is Collecting This Data:
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So now you know that survival is possible in this post-cookie world–as long as you stick with Terminus (I’ve gotta get a shameless plug in there. After all, this is my post-apocalyptic themed cookie eBook).
Here’s Our Game Plan
We deliver targeted ads based on Identity, Location, Context, and First-party Data to ensure the highest reach, viewability, and quality of target. Terminus customers will have the ability to choose how to use this data on the campaign-level, meaning with every campaign you create in Terminus, you’ll be able to choose exactly how you want to spend your budget to achieve maximum ROI. We do this using a data “waterfall” approach.
Priority Ad Groups and B2B Unified ID
Here’s what we’re working on.
Here’s an example of what a campaign with a $500 budget could look like.
Terminus Priority Ad Groups
Future Bidding — Priority Ad Groups Customer Has $500 / Daily To Spend on Advertising
B2B Unified ID
Chat / Email Residential IP
B2B Unified ID + Identity Alliance
• Most Accurate Data • Based on Customer SF data / Sales Intel • Smallest Reach due to login restrictions.
• Business IP Is Super Accurate • Context gets us accuracy + job function
Limited By Contextual
• Household IP has some deterministic qualities. • Context gets us accuracy + job function
Limited By Contextual
• Most Accurate Data • Based on Customer SF data / Sales Intel • Largest reach due to expansion to Identity Alliance.
*Each Step In This Process, Terminus will spend the most money it can of the customers budget. If they spend 100% on step 1 Terminus will give them the best value for their ad spend.
So, it turns out we’ll be just fine in this post-cookie world. Now, I think you’ve got the tools and knowledge to set out on your own.
All of that to say, with our new Priority Ad Group and B2B Unified ID functionality, you’ll be able to:
Further control your ad spend
Maximize your ad ROI
Ensure that your ads fall in front of the right eyes every single time
But if you need me, I’ll be right in that little chat window down in the corner.
Download the PDF
Confidently Go Into A Post-Cookie World