Thriving as a Media Company in a Cookie-Less World

posted by Daniil Tarakanov on 02.09.2020

Cookies are a powerful tracking tool, long perceived to offer mutual benefit to consumers and advertisers alike.

However tracking cookies have gained a bad reputation in recent years, often viewed as a violation of user privacy. The Facebook data privacy scandal exposed the issue to the masses, where it was revealed data could be easily harvested by third party companies.

No one likes the idea of being spied on, where a single purchase can lead to a mass of targeted ads which are often unwelcome. The cookie marketing concept was introduced under the premise of customized ads being good for the consumer, and advertisers making more money.

But with many consumers waking up to this problematic issue, Google recently announced it would cease using third-party cookies by 2022. This has left many media company professionals to contemplate how they’ll thrive in a cookie-less world.

The prospect of changing your strategic approach can be a daunting one, especially when you consider we’re creatures of comfort accustomed to doing things in certain ways.

Believe it or not, by embracing new strategic marketing approaches, in some cases entirely overhauling practices, there could well be light at the end of the tunnel.

Take Dutch media giant NPO, for example, a company who banned cookies and experienced a 60% revenue increase in January and February of this year.

A Retro Marketing Approach

Utilizing an old-school ‘contextual advertising’ approach, NPO uses ads that match the topic of an article the user is reading. For example, if you’re reading about the best places to eat out, NPO will attempt to sell you food options.

Media companies like NPO will need to become more creative with their page layouts, serving contextual advertising based on data collected themselves. 

Fortunately, expert services like exist to help you trial and implement optimal approaches for monetization.

Many organizations are seeking a cookie alternative, in an online ecosystem where Google gobbles more than 30% of revenue from the targeted-ad market.

Since companies like NPO are waking up to the feasibility of alternative marketing methods, you too can capitalize from this awakening and steer clear of the cookie monster!

The New York Times and Conde Nast are testing cookie-free diets too, selling to consumers based on their reading history and nothing else.

How Have Cookies Started to Crumble

  • Google is a strong advocate of cookie use, last year releasing a report suggesting cookies can boost revenue by 50%. However, recent evidence suggests the bounce is closer to zero!
  • Firefox is beginning to block a great share of its cookies, signalling a transition to a cookie-less operating environment for businesses.
  • Though Google might phase out 3rd-party cookies in Chrome, it can still use your chrome history to target ads accordingly.

The sooner you accept and embrace the benefits of cookie-less marketing, the more successful you’ll be.

But how else can you thrive in a cookie-less world? Here are four new approaches which are strong components of today’s digital awakening:

Focus on Behavioral Analysis

Relying on cookies is nowhere near as powerful as analyzing customer behavior. You’re much more likely to experience success with a customer behavioral data set.

By investing in this concept, you can examine and simplify individual behaviors which new customers can adopt. This aligns with the widely accepted concept of shifting consumer behavior patterns to be more successful.

Build Direct Relationships

Being as cookies will be phased-out over the next few years, you’ll have ample opportunity to grow and adapt with the times. With acceptance and an embrace for new philosophies at the heart of digital transformation, companies will look to capture direct attention and build customer relationships.

However, relevant advertising will remain, meaning you’ll still be able to remarket via Google.

Retarget Your Targeting

There is likely to be a pivot to a much larger ad spend on social and organic. Remarketing and relevant ad personalization will probably still be prominent in social media environments.

By pivoting your efforts to the right platforms and embracing new forms of targeting, you’ll be positioned to thrive in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.

Account-Based Marketing

As cookies are somewhat phased out, there will be an increased emphasis on understanding your target market.

You can identify your target demographic with competent research, and build campaigns which target the accounts you want. Splattering your message across various mediums and hoping for the best is an antiquated focus.

A more results-driven, account-based marketing approach will emerge, one which emphasizes discipline. is a full-service design and technology agency that specializes in creating innovative solutions for hotels. These can transcend your company’s business model while adding significant value to the customer experience.

If you think we can help your business, please contact our founder Daniil Tarakanov at​

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