3 Ways to Succeed in a Post-Cookie World

Maintaining Personalized Experiences Without Cookies

Mar 26, 2024 | Kate Domin - Doximity Marketing Associate

The advertising industry has been forecasting a cookie-less world for years now. Cookies, or small pieces of browsing data that websites store, have long enabled advertisers to target specific consumers. They have been central to the personalized ad landscape users experience across channels. But, they have also been widely criticized for violating consumers’ privacy, resulting in lawsuits and a general public discourse around digital privacy. Now, the digital browsing giants Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox have all decided to stop supporting cookies. Google Chrome, which accounts for 60% of web browser market share, recently announced plans to phase out cookies for all global users in 2024.

This massive change in digital data availability has advertisers questioning: what now? Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal declared: “Google is finally killing cookies. Advertisers still aren’t ready.” Consumers actually prefer personalized ads, and, according to McKinsey, they expect a personalized experience with a brand or organization and get frustrated when they don’t receive it. So, how can brands continue to provide the customized experience that consumers desire and expect in a cookie-less world? 

  1. Collect zero-party data
    As Vlad Gozman advocates via Forbes, zero-party data (quizzes, surveys, or other data users voluntarily share with a website) is a more reliable and privacy-friendly way to collect user preferences. These forms of interactive content can also be powerful and authentic ways to drive active engagement.

  2. Build robust personas 
    Not all users will voluntarily share preferences via zero-party data. But, by understanding your consumer, you can build robust personas that can help bridge the gaps and define consumer profiles that share behaviors, preferences, and interests. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can be useful in brainstorming and refining personas.  

  3. Leverage marketing solutions that don’t use cookies
    Certain platforms, including Doximity, have never relied on third-party cookies. Our authenticated platform allows brands to precisely reach logged-in physicians, ensuring authentic engagements and reliable outcomes. 

Like generative AI, the death of cookies will continue to dominate conversations about the future of marketing and advertising as brands are forced to pivot and innovate. Reaching consumers with personalized experiences will be an increasing challenge but well worth the investment.