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4 Warnings About the Death of Cookies from a Leading AI CEO—and What to Do About Them

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Marketers are facing a brave new world—a world without third-party cookies.

As Big Tech companies make announcements to retire third-party cookies and implement new privacy features, brands need to be prepared for what’s coming.

The death of third-party cookies is good for consumers. But it also limits how well brands can target audiences and personalize messages. As a result, the death of these cookies is projected to have billions of dollars of impact on unprepared companies.

To make sure you’re not one of them, we talked to Assaf Baciu, cofounder and SVP of Products at Persado, an industry-leading AI generation platform. Baciu is an expert in marketing and AI who is heading up a charge to save marketers from the death of cookies. 

He outlined for us four big things about the death of cookies that you need to consider—and what steps you need to start taking now.

1. Personalization is going to change…

Advertisers are used to targeting specific users with specific cookies to better personalize offerings, says Baciu. That’s going out the window.

“Without third-party cookies, you won’t be able to target consumers as you used to,” he says. That means you’ll have significantly less insight into specific groups and audiences, which will reduce your ability to target consumer segments.

Any brand publishing content is going to suffer, too.

“Publishers won’t be able to offer as robust of personalization capabilities on their sites, which some analysts believe will drive a $10 billion reduction in revenue across the industry,” he says.

2. …But there’s still plenty of hope for precision targeting.

Personalization may be changing, but a more evolved type of precision targeting is going to offset those changes, says Baciu.

Instead of relying solely on third-party data, companies like Persado are using a new type of first-party data which can more than offset the impact of the death of cookies. This new type of first-party data is all about precision in content—that is, talking to customers the way they want to be talked to across all your brand messaging and offers.

This type of precision messaging is possible only thanks to sophisticated artificial intelligence. Platforms like Persado use AI to deliver content and messaging that is personalized to individual users based on their first-party interactions with your website—making the death of cookies not as scary as you might think.

3. Say hello to a flood of generic ads.

Brands rely on third-party cookies to create compelling, non-intrusive experiences that encourage consumers to build brand relationships and loyalty. Enjoy it while it lasts. 

The death of third-party cookies is going to limit the control advertisers have over ad frequency, says Baciu. You may want to target consumers multiple times with an ad, then ease off the gas once they form a relationship with your brand or make a purchase. But that relies on tracking consumer behavior through third-party cookies.

“Without third-party cookies, you won’t know who anybody is, so they will get ads indefinitely,” he says. That could result in a flood of generic ads that don’t work as well as personalized offerings—and risk damaging brand perception.

It’s not all bad news though, says Baciu. You will still have targeting options across certain social platforms. Not to mention, key players like Google are rolling out new ways to target customers like Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). 

4. Bid farewell to effective attribution.

The death of third-party cookies also means a dramatic loss of ability to measure ad performance using view-through attribution. 

View-through attribution is one way to judge the effectiveness of display advertising—and it often requires third-party cookies to be truly useful, says Baciu.

Without view-through attribution, many advertisers will find it much harder to justify ad spend, determine what’s working, and claim results produced by their campaigns.

What you need to do about it...

“The biggest thing you can do is build first-party data,” says Baciu. That’s your brand’s own set of data. You get it by collecting information on people who visit your site (with their permission, of course), then using that data to personalize advertising and marketing campaigns.

This is critical because the death of third-party cookies means the death of precision targeting in advertising. The only way to counter that is by gaining precision targeting in your own site content using first-party data.

To do that, your CRM data becomes critical. It forms the foundation of your first-party data. You can then layer on behavioral and demographic data (sometimes called zero-party data) to build a comprehensive picture of site visitors without third-party cookies. 

Using artificial intelligence, you can then unlock the power of this data.

An AI-powered platform like Persado actually uses first-party data to personalize marketing and sales language specifically to each visitor on your site. That means the platform finds the best language that visitors respond to, then uses it to serve visitors that language so they take actions that drive them through the funnel and lead to conversions.

It’s a new way to personalize your marketing and advertising efforts. And, in an era where third-party cookies are gone for good, it may be the only way to deliver the right messages at the right time to consumers.

You can learn more about the human + machine future of content in an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 12pm EDT.

Join content marketing pioneer, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, Assaf Baciu, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Persado, and Paul Roetzer, Founder of the Marketing AI Institute, for an exciting webinar covering:

  • How to use empathy in marketing to reach consumers on a more personal level, using consumer data, emotion, and AI.
  • What AI-first actually means, and what steps market-leading organizations must take to prepare for this innovative new approach.
  • Why marketing leaders need to upskill employees and prepare them for working side-by-side with AI before they get left behind.

Space is limited. Click the button below to register now.

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