How can Publishers Make The Most Of Their Inventory In A World Without Third-Party Cookies

Third-party cookie collection is destined to become a method of the past. With Google Chrome announcing that it will be blocking the use of third-party cookies by 2024, they are the latest of the major search engines to join Safari and Firefox in moving away from this controversial tracking tool. Yet, despite the increasing calls for more robust data protection, which has led major tech giants to reevaluate how they are addressing the concerns of their users, many marketers are still reliant on third-party cookies.

The good news is that many of the reasons some publishers rely on third-party cookies are based on myths and misunderstandings. In this article, we will explain:

  • Why a future without third-party cookies could lead to increased trust and success for publishers
  • The leading alternatives to third-party cookie tracking
  • How publishers can use advertising methods and technologies, such as scrolling ads, to increase their conversion rates in a cookieless world

The Future For Publishers And Advertisers Without Third-Party Cookies

At Admessenger, we don’t rely on third-party cookies to target audiences.

We understand that publishers need to make every impression count. You need to increase ROI and ensure that you are targeting the right audiences in the right ways. In many ways, publishers face the same dilemma as the search engines. They need to keep both users and advertisers happy. 

Whether or not it was deserved, third-party cookies have acquired a bad reputation in recent years. Users are never going to be convinced that being tracked across multiple websites is going to be anything but intrusive. Yet, the end of third-party cookies does not mean the end of all cookies. Many users are happy to be tracked whilst using a website so that publishers may observe how they’re interacting and use this information to improve the experience. Therefore, search engines and publishers will still be using first-party data such as:

Session Cookies – Cookies that track a user on a website but are dropped when the session is ended (browsers closed). They keep user information secure but cannot be used to store shared information beyond a single session.

Persistent Cookies – These are stored on a user’s device. They enable information previously entered on a website to be accessed, such as sign-in details. They can be used to recall user preferences on the websites they visit, often leading to useful tailored content and a more personal experience.

Research by HubSpot and GetApp reveals that 41% of marketers are concerned about their ability to track the right data when third-party cookies become a thing of the past. Due to this, 44% of marketers believe they will need to increase ad spend by 5-25%. However, it is those who choose to invest in higher-quality advertising methods, over those who apply a scattergun approach to targeting consumers, who are likely to find they don’t miss third-party cookies at all.

The demise of third-party cookies presents an opportunity for quality publishers to use persistent cookies and other data to create a more personalised and premium user experience. A better on-site experience means more traffic, increased return visitors and enhanced consumer trust. Publishers able to do this will improve user experience and therefore continue to attract premium advertisers.

How Can Publishers Continue To Attract Advertisers in a Cookieless World?

In a world without third-party cookies, publishers need to be offering advertisers more premium methods of getting their message out.

Traditionally, publishers have relied on high impressions and haven’t had to focus too much on whether the adverts they host are converting. The assumption is, if advertisers can get enough eyes on their adverts, then they can achieve a CPM that is sustainable. However, without third-party cookies, we’re likely to see less automation and ad exchanges, which will mean advertisers will have to target audiences in new ways and focus on improving conversion rates. One way to improve this is for sales teams to work more closely with local advertisers where the CPM is higher.

Improving CPM is an area where Admessenger excels. Using content crawling, our technology matches audiences and advertisers through the information the user is seeking, when and where they are seeking it. This gives us a far higher conversion rate than other online ad formats. Delivery also plays a large part in this though. Scrolling ads command attention but they don’t take up lots of space or make websites appear cluttered. Not to mention, they are ideal for mobile browsing.

As a publisher you need to keep users happy and ensure you’re not bombarding them with advertisements but, if you’re keeping ad space to a minimum, then you’ll need to be offering more premium prices for the space you have to offer. Here are three things publishers can do to justify premium prices for their ad space:

Improving User Experience With First-Party Cookies

Publishers who will thrive in a world without third-party cookies will be those who prioritise the user experience and invest in using the visitor data they have, to produce more targeted content.

“Many companies are sitting on a wealth of first-party data that customers have agreed to share. But it won’t be enough to simply have that data. Brands will need to activate their first-party data to create personalised experiences. “ – Adweek

With personalisation and targeted content, website visitors stay for longer, see more ads and provide deeper first-party data that both advertisers and publishers can use to learn more about where to best place on-page adverts. Yet, publishers will have to work with advertising technologies that have the same approach. 

Admessenger targets audiences by scanning content and delivering adverts based on what users are actively engaging with, which is one of the reasons why our scrolling ads get more attention, more engagement and more clicks.

Improving Ad Delivery

In the absence of third-party cookie data, adverts will need to work harder. Marketers will have a clear choice – invest in advertising more, or invest in advertising better.

Whilst improving targeting will be an ongoing pursuit, advert delivery is also key. Static adverts and pop-up ads may be traditional methods of advertising but they aren’t as suitable or effective for mobile users. In fact, they are mostly considered an annoyance and one that many users shut down before the ad images have even been fully downloaded. It’s also far too easy for users to click on these display ads accidentally which can result in an inflated CTR and accompanying high bounce rate for clients.

Scrolling adverts are far more suitable for mobile, which is why the Admessenger format is so effective. Not only are our scrolling ads easier to read but, because they appear in the same format as news bulletins, they demand attention and deliver a higher click-through rate than static ads.

Premium Advertising Without Third-Party Cookies

According to Statista, 83% of marketers rely on data collected by third-party cookies to inform their strategies. Losing the ability to track consumers across multiple websites will make it harder for marketers to ensure their targeting is relevant. This has the potential to negatively impact click-bait advertisers who rely on a heavy volume of reactionary traffic but are not focused on leading customers to action beyond the initial click-through.

For them, the loss of third-party cookies means a less targeted approach. Users will still be delivered a high number of online ads but are likely to find them increasingly irrelevant. They will be paying for impressions but click-through rates will slump. This approach, of course, is unsustainable.

However, publishers and advertisers who are focused on enhanced user experience may find themselves better able to deliver this. With less clutter and click-bait adverts, publishers can make the most of their space and focus on adverts targeted to their specific audiences.

Fewer banner adverts also means cleaner, clearer web pages, especially on mobile devices. We expect interest in scrolling ads to grow as advertisers and publishers experience improved conversion rates in this more concise format. 

Furthermore, by matching content readership audiences with specific target markets, we can deliver the right ads to desired users without the need to breach their online privacy.

Should publishers be concerned about a cookieless world? Not those with the right priorities. Managed well, the move away from third-party cookies could lead to a better user experience which makes for a more amenable consumer and a trusted marketplace for all.

Interested in improving your advertising performance? Tired of ineffective boring banner ads? Admessenger’s Scrolling ads may be the solution you’re looking for. Get in touch today to learn more about how our mobile advertising solution could increase advertising performance.


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