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The cookie end is nigh — here are the top 3 strategies for advertisers to survive

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January 29, 2024 | 7 min read

2024 is the year when Google will finally sunset the cookie. For some, that means adapting - and adapting fast. Here, Brave Ads outlines three key strategies for advertisers to thrive in this new era of privacy.

A cookie shaped like pacman eating crumbs, representing a threat to advertisers when the cookie crumbles in 2024

Cookies have long been the go-to tool for digital marketers to track users across the web. However, with increasing concerns about personal privacy, many individuals are now taking measures to block cookies through browser settings and other tools. To further complicate matters, major players like Google are set to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of this year, reshaping the fundamentals of online advertising.

This imminent shift demands a reevaluation of advertising strategies. The traditional online ad model, rooted in tracking technologies, is undergoing a transformation. Advertisers must adapt to a cookieless world, where building relationships based on trust and consent takes precedence over invasive tracking practices.

In this article, we explore three key strategies to thrive in the cookie-less future: leveraging zero- and first-party data, embracing native advertising, and adopting privacy-preserving ads.

1. Zero- and first-party data: Building trust through direct interaction

Zero-party data is obtained directly from users through surveys, quizzes, web forms, and questionnaires. This approach fosters a transparent dialogue between brands and users, establishing trust.

Similarly, first-party data, which is collected indirectly through interactions with a brand's own sites or apps, also offers insights into user behavior without relying on third-party cookies. First-party data points include user behavior like clicks or time spent on page. Depending on a site or user’s jurisdiction, this type of data may still be subject to privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA — highlighting the importance of collecting it in privacy-preserving ways.

This type of data, whether zero- or first-party, becomes a valuable asset for advertisers, provided users willingly share information to enhance their experience.

2. Native advertising: Seamlessly integrating into the user experience

As users increasingly employ ad blockers and privacy browsers, native advertising emerges as a resilient strategy. Unlike traditional ads, native advertising seamlessly integrates into a site's content, providing value and blending in with the platform. Examples include sponsored articles, read-aloud ads in podcasts, and content that mirrors a site's regular content.

The non-intrusive nature of native advertising, combined with the trust users place in hosting sites, makes it an effective avenue for brands. By delivering real value and maintaining integration with the hosting platform, advertisers can engage audiences without relying on tracking technologies.

3. Privacy-preserving ads: Striking a balance between personalization and privacy

Privacy-preserving ads represent an opportunity to reach new audiences without resorting to cross-site tracking. Platforms like Brave Ads offer privacy-focused advertising, collecting aggregated and anonymous data to deliver personalized and targeted content. Ad matching occurs locally on the user's device, ensuring no personal data reaches the advertiser's servers.

Brave Ads, for instance, utilizes privacy-preserving search ads and various other ad units that provide actionable insights on ad performance without compromising user privacy. This approach aligns with the evolving expectations of a privacy-focused internet, where trust and consent drive user engagement.

The key to advertising in the cookieless future

As the digital advertising landscape evolves, respecting user privacy and data autonomy becomes paramount. Brands that fail to adapt risk a decline in ROI. The future of digital advertising revolves around trust, transparency, and user empowerment. Users are no longer passive; they want control over their data and demand honesty from brands.

Brands that navigate this shift collaboratively with users will build trust, loyalty, and brand awareness. This, in turn, will lead to increased ad engagement and open doors to previously unreachable audiences. In the cookie-less future, success lies in prioritizing user consent, adopting privacy-preserving technologies, and embracing advertising strategies that align with the values of a privacy-focused internet. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, advertisers who embrace these principles will thrive.

Visit brave.com/ads to learn more about Brave's private advertising solution that's geared for the cookie-less future.

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