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How will the end of the third-party cookies impact advertising?

Since Google announced the end of third-party cookies within two years’ time, the sector has begun to react and propose alternative ways to reach audiences. As a result there are movements and speculations of possible partnerships. Many say that advertisers will depend more on publishers as those will have more power as the gatekeepers of audiences.

However, a certainty, for many professionals with whom we have been able to speak is that creativity will have a positive impact on what some call the "chaotic post-cookie-pocalypse landscape". “Many people have been up-in-arms about the death of the cookie, but without addressing the impact on creativity”, said to us the commercial director EMEA for Beeswax, Cadi Jones.

In an article published in the Better, Faster, Cheaper Customer Insight report, of The Social Intelligence Lab, the CEO of Audiense states that in the coming cookie-less world, creativity and audience-first marketing are at the heart of the solution, mentioning that according to Nielsen, creative is the main reason for why advertising campaigns are successful (47%), way above targeting (9%).

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Getting back to develop great ideas

The senior insights and strategy manager at Rankin, Laura Cooper, agrees that there will be more freedom for creatives to innovate in a market without third-party cookies. “More brands will be able to stay true to who they really are vs chasing results or deep data analytics that may convince them to stray out of their core identity.” Laura also states that there are many platforms that are and always will be cookie-less, such as real life experiences, print publishing, TV and radio. “We might see greater focus and spend spread to these channels in the future”.

The biggest change will be that creative HAS to get better, in the opinion of Cadi Jones. “It’s fine for anyone to see a duff creative once, but sitting through the same terrible creative 100 times in a row would just be awful!”.

On the other hand Michael White, CEO and founding partner at Lively Worldwide, thinks that the creative industry will not be affected by this, but only the tech companies and media agencies driving programmatic advertising will suffer. “Cookie's only helped us influence audiences and drive a form of digital direct marketing. Now we can get back to developing great ideas and targeting them through understanding what media channels they consume and creating relevant and engaging ideas.”

The ability to understand consumers will remain

The associate director at Convosphere, Tamara Lucas, shares the vision that moving to a cookie-less world is an open door to explore and innovate: “it shouldn't be considered as losing any personalization capabilities”.

For Tamara, as marketers we may lose the ability to hit a potential buyer through the entire internet but “we won't lose the ability to understand the consumers that talked about or/and bought our products in the last month, the messages they are using and their interest and behaviours, allowing marketers to develop campaigns that mix digital customer insights with other personalization variables”.

More brands doing research projects

Another movement we are seeing is that advertising agencies have started to receive fervent pitches from market research companies, which are selling hard since Google’s announcement. The cognitive-behavioural economist Leigh Caldwell, partner at Irrational Agency, touches this point saying that, with less data from cookies, the data scientists might know what customers are doing, but they will have even less idea of why. “To bridge this gap, we will see more brands doing research projects to overlay a new layer of richness and understanding on top of existing passive data”.

According to Leigh, it will force insight teams to find new ways of combining passive behavioural data with primary research into customer needs and desires. “At the moment, the analytics team in a company is often separate from the market research team: they compete to answer the business questions of their marketing stakeholders.”

What about you? Will the end of the third-party cookies affect your job? How will a cookie-less world impact creativity and advertising, in your opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Original pic by David Fedulov on Unsplash

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