Paid advertising made worthwhile in the cookie-less world

In light of the recent EU “cookie law” that requires website visitors to provide explicit consent before using cookies, we’re going to look at paid advertising in the cookieless world. There are many forms of digital marketing, and while some companies have already made changes to their practices, you must understand what your options are so you can make sure you’re successful in today’s market. This article is going to explore just how these different types of ads work and what they offer.

Different types of ads and their transformation in the post-cookie world

Paid advertising is an unavoidable piece of digital marketing. It’s often the first thing you think about when it comes to promoting a business online, and for a good reason: paid ads are easy to create, track, measure, and optimize – they make getting started with digital marketing easy! However, recently there have been changes in how these ads work, which may affect your campaigns.

Display Advertising:

The first type of marketing is what’s known as “display advertising.” This form of advertisement includes banner ads, pop-up ads, and pre-roll video advertisements. These forms work because placing them on websites with a high ranking in Google ‘search engine results pages’ (SERP). Display ads also appear when you’re browsing for your groceries or books, or enterprise products.

But you cannot follow your visitors and customers using third-party cookies in paid ads.

Search Engine Advertising:

The second type of marketing is what’s known as “search engine advertising.” This form typically consists of paid search listings, pay-per-click ads, and sponsored links. The way these forms work with third-party cookies allows companies to track the effectiveness of their ads by following visitors who have clicked on them.

Social Media Advertising:

The third type of ad is those that run on social media networks. Social media ads provide a deep tracking ability in terms of customer data points. However, they also use cookies to track customers. International courts put many social media websites to test for the breach of data privacy without user consent.

Social media ads are third-party tracking cookies. The data collected by the social media site is then sold to advertisers in a process that many refer to as “shadow profiling.” Once you obtain this information, you can use it for advertising purposes not only on the original website but also across all its partners.

The first-party data approach of server-side tag managers provides access to personal customer profiles via their proprietary tools such as ID Link services. They can leverage across different marketing channels and multiple devices with unified customer identities

Clear marketing attribution means that advertisers can reduce wasted efforts on those who are not likely to convert. Server-side tag managers provide advertisers with first-party data, which can offer less dependency on third-party partners.

Paid advertisements no longer thrive on cookies. So, what does this mean for advertisers? You can take advantage of server-side tag managers that provide first-party data and other ad networks such as AOL Advertising or Google Ad Manager. 

The direct impact of Server-side tagging on Return on Ad Spend

Server-side tags help companies measure their ads’ effectiveness by following visitors who have clicked on them. Better insights mean that advertisers can scale up campaigns without adding more resources or expending too many budgets.

It will be interesting to explore how server-side tagging would save efforts and money of an advertiser, optimizing ad spend and Return on such spend.

Know the leaky channels with marketing attribution

In an environment where people are blocking cookies, server-side tags allow marketers to track ad impressions and clicks that contribute to a return on investment. Advertisers can also track behavioral metrics such as the bounce rate, reading time, scrolling time, and so on.

Optimize bids for specific search terms and audiences

Server-side tagging enables advertisers to optimize their bidding strategy by measuring how well an IDFA or other device identifier performs against its target audience’s conversion path. For example, you could explore did a visitor lead them from mobile searches for ‘flowers’ all the way through to purchases? If so, you could increase your budget for that device ID.

This first-party data advantage gives these marketers an edge in the cookieless world. They can strategically place bids based on the actual end goals of their advertising campaigns rather than just blindly guessing which devices are most likely to convert.

Ad placement by search intent

Accurate data around ads with server-side tags is a new ability that also provides more targeted ad placement opportunities. Server-side tag analytics allows advertisers to bid only when someone clicks on their ads with specific search intent.

Certain types of ads require more information than just how many times they were served or clicked and where those ads aired (e.g., TV advertising). These advertisers need to know if their campaign objectives have been met, such as awareness generated, brand recognition, product sales conversion rates, etc…

Data-driven advertising

Server-side tags allow for the use of location data to help with this.

When a user clicks on an ad, they’re taken directly to their intended landing page, and the server can be programmed to report whether or not that click was successful in reaching its goal (e.g., converting). This type of first-party data provides advertisers with more detailed campaign reporting, creating better ROI measurement tools than other types of available third-party analytics.

Essentially it means they’ll need more than just a first-party data approach when targeting their campaigns. 

A first-party data advantage for advertisers

A first-party data advantage is created with a server-side tag manager because third-party browsers cannot block it. A cookieless world exists in which people are blocking cookies, and advertisers need to find new ways of tracking their results.

Server-side tagging provides marketers the opportunity to track ad impressions and clicks that can then be attributed back to ROI, providing an edge over competitors who only rely on cookie-based metrics.

Your next steps as an Advertiser

  1. Advertisers should be tracking and attributing to further spend money without depending on frivolous third-party cookies.
  2. Invest in a server-side tag manager with a first-party data advantage so that they can execute retargeting campaigns to increase conversions.
  3. With server-side tag managers, you do not need browser cookies. You don’t have to go through the grunt of complex cookie disclaimers, complying with GDPR and other international laws.
  4. Employ no-code server-side integrations with demand-side platforms such as Facebook ads.
  5. Integrated analytics based on marketing attribution can also help focus on first-party data campaigns around email marketing, channel sponsorships, engagement efforts.

The customer journey has only a few touchpoints with Google and Facebook before making their purchase decision – often just one ad or banner impression. The rest of the interactions happen elsewhere, where the server-side tag manager provides an edge to advertisers by collecting first-party data about people who are interested in buying from your business but haven’t done so yet. Advertisers can use this for retargeting visitors that abandon shopping carts. Without going through the conversion process or other campaigns designed to encourage faster action, such as quick deals offered during Black Friday sales season!