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The Death of the Cookie Has Been Greatly Exaggerated in Targeted Marketing


For as detailed and specific as you can get with advertising targeting, there are still restrictive rules, regulations and hoops to jump through. In this ever-more-confined space, the creative is what is going to drive success for your advertising campaign.

Targeted marketing using cookies and other tracking data has become a hot topic in recent years, as laws and regulations around the use of this data continue to expand. You may have noticed websites notifying you of their cookie policy when you visit, or your iPhone asking you to allow individual apps to track your location, browsing data and the like.

This is because these sites and apps want to use your behavioral and location data, to sell it to advertisers so that they can serve you a targeted ad, specific to you, based on the information you consciously or subconsciously or even unknowingly gave permission for.

But things are changing in this space. A few years back, nobody asked you for implied or direct consent to use your private data. It was “the wild west” regarding regulation to protect user privacy and pretty much anything you said or did online can and would be used to target you with ads.

Users have begun to smarten up and force tech companies to respond.

Meta (Facebook and Instagram), after concerns about the potential destructive power of hyper-targeting ads, set up stricter policies and limitations about who could advertise and what you could say in those ads. Google has been shouting about the “death of cookies” for years, but has been reluctant to pull the trigger on banning them from their Chrome browser. Apple has been leading the charge on user privacy by imposing strong restrictions about consent on their devices. 

Others don’t trust the tech giants to self-police, the European Union and various states in the U.S. have taken matters into their own hands and passed legislation to limit the ability of data aggregators to obtain and sell users’ private information.

It’s important to note that the laws and regulations around targeted marketing using cookies and other tracking data can be complex and difficult to navigate. Advertisers must stay up to date with the latest developments in this area, and be prepared to make changes to their practices in order to comply with these laws. As an industry, we are forced to adapt, pivot and evolve.

The benefit (one of many) of working with an advertising agency is expertise and strategy that can be sculpted to utilize the available data and targeting capabilities to reach the client’s audience. The reality is that targeting is getting less and less detailed across the board, but there are still very effective ways to find your specific audience.

At ABC Creative, It’s our job to get the client’s message to the right people at the right time in order to drive, awareness, clicks, site visits, sales, whatever.

And while there have been a lot of changes in the space there are still effective ways to do that while abiding by the restrictions put in place and protecting user privacy.  

But, back to the moral of the story … If you’re fortunate enough to work with a good agency that knows how to traverse this data minefield, you will certainly have a leg up on your competitors who don’t. 

But, targeting alone doesn’t guarantee success, even if you have a strong grip on your audience, how will you stand apart from competitors in that space? The creative of course! 

Having a unique ad that grabs the attention of the users and speaks to them in a way only your business can is what makes the difference. Our whole process revolves around the “idea” and how we can translate that idea across multiple media platforms to get your message to the masses in an authentic and conversational way.

We want your target audience – as specific as rules and regs allow us to make them – to interact. Have you ever “liked” an ad? It’s not uncommon, according to our data. And it tells us when we’re on the right track. When you visit a website, you may get a retargeted digital ad. Perhaps you’ve found this convenient because it’s seemingly tailored to your interest.

So, while all this exchange of data can seem scary and make it seem like your phone is listening to you at times, it actually makes things more interesting and personalized for you.

Ultimately, we’re trying to appeal to your interest and make it easier to find the products and services you want or need. We want to have a conversation.

Let an agency navigate the rules and regs to deliver that right message at the right time in the right places so you can sell more to more people more often. It’s this creative approach to marketing tactics that our data shows time and again makes the difference.

About The Author

Andrew is a master strategist with more than a decade of experience on both sides of the media equation. He’s an expert in planning, buying and executing marketing strategies with analyzation and reporting skills to match.

Andrew’s career has been filled with certifications, awards and accolades since graduating from LeMoyne College with a degree in communications. As the leader of media management at ABC, he’s the ideal client advocate when it comes to tactics and placement within any size budget.

He was drawn to the creative-forward setting of ABC, where he subscribes to the idea-based ethos of putting the message and client first.