SVP, Media Strategy

Audience Targeting Solutions without Third-Party Cookies

This is the moment we have all been waiting (and hopefully planning) for over the past few years. Chrome started disabling third-party cookies for 1% of users on January 4 to facilitate testing, and that number will ramp up to 100% of global users in the second half of 2024.

While we all have an affinity for both the cookies we indulge in and the ones we track online, brands and digital marketers must confront reality. It's time to act and find effective ways to connect with the right consumers using updated tools and language that resonate with them. Luckily, Rise is here to answer your most burning questions: How will I retarget website visitors without cookies? What are my options for users who opt out of cross-app tracking? How can I think outside of the box to better connect with my customers?

Below is Rise’s cookie-free solutions chart you’ll want to keep close. It lays out exactly how to target your ads to the preferred intent groups on different paid media channels. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves, and bake!

We’ll start at the top, and define Known, Semi-Known, and Anonymous audiences. These categories show the range of relationships users can have with a brand, from highest to lowest intent. In the spirit of keeping things simple, a brand either knows you, sort of knows you, or doesn’t know you… yet! 

  • Known Audiences: Best customer-to-brand relationship. Zero-party and first-party.
  • Semi-Known Audiences: Exhibited signals that they started considering. Second-party and third-party.
  • Anonymous Audiences: At the beginning of their purchase journey. Party free. 

From there, match up the targeting tactics that best reach each audience group, across different digital marketing channels. Think of it like a fun game of cookie-free targeting Bingo! 


Example 1: Known previous purchasers, Paid Social

Example 2: Semi-known enthusiasts, Programmatic

Example 3: Interested, but unknown, Paid Search


Question: I am an eCommerce fashion and accessories retailer in the jewelry category and would like to find people on social media platforms who are likely to convert again. How can I re-engage people on Meta who have already purchased products on my website?

Solution: Use CAPI to Re-engage Known Audiences with Tailor-Made Messaging

The first and most important step is to incorporate Conversions API (CAPI). For users who opt into cross-app tracking, CAPI connects the brand’s data (e.g. website visitors, purchases) to the Meta Business Manager. This data is a treasure trove of information that can be used to better understand who your customers are and how to provide them with a personalized shopping experience.

With that said, brands might think they’re maximizing their first-party data simply because they’re focusing on retargeting, but that kind of blanket approach doesn’t provide the finesse or nuance needed to stand out in an audience-centric environment. We often see eCommerce brands make the error of treating all customers who have ever purchased from them the same. For example, say the same fashion and accessory brand runs a campaign to promote the launch of a new necklace. If this brand serves the exact same messaging and ads to all past purchasers, they will be missing a large opportunity to personalize messaging based on intent. 

Whether the conversation revolves around promotional offers or encouraging repeat purchases, you’ll want to use specific CTAs for recent customers versus lapsed purchasers, an audience segment in a brand’s CRM that hasn’t converted in a long time. These two groups have distinctly different needs and different kinds of communication that will resonate the most. Neglecting to consider the timing of a consumer's last purchase can lead to diminished customer engagement, as the messaging and promotions may not align with their current preferences or needs.


Question: I am an education lead gen brand and would like to retarget customers as they browse different websites. How can I most effectively showcase our online classes to those who have already browsed for services on my website, but not yet purchased?

Solution: Retarget & Elevate Semi-Known Audiences with Precision Strategies

Integrate identity-based solutions, such as The Trade Desk’s UID 2.0, into your programmatic ad campaigns. This framework is crafted to enhance privacy and consent management, providing marketers with a unified customer identification approach across various platforms. The result is a seamless and personalized experience for your audience.

For advanced testing of look-alike audiences, assess performance on top-performing customer lists across Google and other platforms. Analyzing the behavior and engagement of your most valuable customers can reveal patterns and characteristics to create high-performing look-alike audiences. Enter Connex®: Rise leverages it to compare look-alike performance across multiple platforms in real time. Connex enables agile, strategic decision-making for long-term incremental growth, optimizing the use of our client's data while allowing them to target and retarget a niche audience with ease.


Question: I am a B2B manufacturing brand and would like to retarget users as they search for topics specific to my industry. How can I show my ad on Google to someone who may be interested in my products, but hasn’t engaged with any of my digital touchpoints yet?

Solution: Customize Your PPC Keywords to Target Anonymous Audiences

To optimize the performance of your PPC campaigns in the B2B sector, it's essential to tailor your keywords to your target market. Adopting a strategic approach, Rise focuses on segmenting keywords and identifying user intent anchors associated with both keywords and audiences. 

Feeding this rich dataset to ad engines at the keyword or ad level becomes a strategic imperative, especially now in the absence of traditional cookies. This approach not only maximizes advertising spend but also ensures precise targeting of audiences exhibiting the right intent. By prioritizing spending on top-performing keywords or ads, brands can effectively identify and engage with the highest-value customers aligned with their specific business goals.

Check it out! We've got a bunch of solutions to make sure you're connecting with your target audience without relying on third-party cookies. Using Rise’s audience targeting chart, the best opportunities can easily be matched with your business and your goals. 

Want to learn more? We recorded a whole digital marketing learning series on it! Or have more questions about future-proofing your audience strategy? Contact us!

02/16/2024 at 03:08