How Cookie Targeting Affects Your Marketing In A Privacy-first World

Consumers' fight for their right to privacy and protection in a data-driven world has been taking place for more than two decades.

Netscape introduced the first browser cookie in 1994, allowing businesses to recognize users, follow their online activities, and construct consumer profiles without alerting the user. How technology companies and marketers collect users' data has led to many consumers having a negative attitude and opinion regarding their usage of browsing the web and using third-party sites and apps.

consumers’ attitude on data collection

People do not want big companies watching and sharing their data as it is viewed as an invasion of privacy, especially when users are not made aware of how their data is used and for what purposes. Users will only volunteer to share their data when they directly benefit from their data processing. Many users have a negative outlook on digital marketing. For a good reason, it seems more disruptive than helpful with the inescapable video ads, pop-ups, and spam text/email advertisements. But tracking users' data is a more severe and ethical issue.

Statistics from Pew Research Center show majority of Americans feel as they have little control over data collected about them

Implementing laws and regulations to govern and secure people's data has been complicated since the digital landscape is new for marketing and technology businesses. However, two of the leading web browsers, Firefox, and Safari, have already joined the fight to a Privacy-First world by automatically blocking third-party cookies. Google also has sided on the cookie-less side of history and will begin to block cookies by default for all Chrome users in 2022. In recent years, more privacy legislation has been put in place to protect citizens and ensure companies are ethical with the information they collect, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Although cookie targeting helps marketers and brands categorize users to serve them relevant content and ads, provide personalization, and understand the interest of consumers. There is a downside to cookie data targeting that could negatively impact a brand's reputation and lead to ineffective marketing. The downside is the level of accuracy when it comes to depending on cookies, for the data is device-specific, and multiple people share devices with family members or even friends, which means shared cookies. As a result, the profile built on a user's interests and behaviors will be inaccurate because it mixes information from different individuals.

Often, marketers and brands waste their advertising dollars reaching their target audiences because they focus on the wrong crowd. Marketers find themselves fishing in the wrong pond for their target audience. For example, running a Google Ad to reach consumers interested in video equipment using behavioral targeting can result in your brand showing up in spaces with content related to negative video equipment reviews, which could damage your brand's reputation and sentiment. Studies show that 64 percent of consumers would negatively think of a brand next to inappropriate content.


Every industry and niche has positive, negative, and neutral content that their brand could be grouped with related to the targeted keywords and interests. The idea of targeted marketing may seem efficient, but context matters. As people's habits and demands change, marketers must rise to the challenge of adapting to meet consumers' desires or be left to falter. GroupM found that 6 out of 10 consumers say they are less likely to use a product if their data is used for any purpose.

Further, a whopping 56 percent of consumers desire to have more control over their data. The shift to a privacy-first and cookie-less marketing ecosystem leads us to focus on intelligent advertising that gives marketers information to measure the effectiveness of their marketing while respecting the privacy of their consumers. Contextual ads are a safe privacy alternative to behavioral advertising that matches ads with the actual content published in digital spaces.


Every few years, there is a change in marketing that innovates how we reach and communicate to consumers. From print advertising to tv advertising toward the rise of social media and influencer marketing, the success of businesses and marketers relies on adapting to meeting your customers where they are and understanding their likes/dislikes. Following consumer demands and the rise of privacy legislations, contextual marketing is the way forward and yields better results for marketing campaigns.

At Adskate, we have engineered a cookie-less contextual solution that allows advertisers and brands to target their audience better while analyzing content that your Ad will show up next to and eliminating irrelevant and harmful content. Unlike cookie targeting, contextual advertising targets Ads based on the keywords, relevancy, and content within the website. YouTube and Google have millions of content on their platforms, so brands can't know if their ad will appear near inappropriate or damaging content when utilizing cookie target advertising. Adskate’s solutions benefit advertisers and brands to succeed in a privacy-first world while getting enhance and effective marketing results.