The Cookieless Identity Solution Modern Marketers Use

When Google bids farewell to the third-party cookie, no one-size-fits-all cookieless identity solution will take its place. But to help you hit the ground running, here are seven comprehensive cookieless tracking tools we’ve tested here at Goodway Group that can empower you to maintain targeting and measurement and drive impact in the cookieless world.   

A Cookieless Identity Solution for Every Marketing Challenge

People-Based Marketing. Contextual Targeting. Publisher-Driven Data/Cohorts. Clean Room Environments.

Common or Shared IDs. Decentralized Authenticated Solutions. Panel-Based/Model Solutions.

Goodway has been implementing each of these cookieless targeting solutions for marketers since the future of identity was put into question.

Now with these solutions compiled in your modern marketing tool kit and Goodway’s teams of analysts, data scientists and strategists by your side, your brand has the power to punch well above its weight class and solve different challenges in the identity and privacy space – all well before the competition.

Verify Customer Identity With 7 Cookieless Advertising Solutions

You’ve got lots of options. Let’s explore each of these available cookieless tracking approaches and go over the key info you should know and consider.

cookieless identity solution overview

1. People-Based Marketing

To meaningfully connect with your customers and prospects, you need to personalize your marketing and ensure your messages across channels and devices are relevant to them.

As holding companies acquired data providers, we knew Goodway needed to provide marketers with a democratized way to provision and enhance first-party data for any brand, regardless of where they are in their first-party data journey. Out of this, our own people-based advertising solution Passport OneTM was born.

What to Know

People-based marketing (PBM) streamlines an individual’s data scattered across offline and online sources into one persistent (long-lasting) ID that can be recognized no matter the marketing channel, browser or device.

What to Consider

  • PBM is effective for any industry and gives you the reins to use data-driven advertising to reach and expand your customer base efficiently and effectively.
  • Having a fuller picture of who your customers are – knowing more about their motivations, intentions and path to purchase – can help you advertise to them (and people like them) with personalized and relevant messages geared to convert.
  • These customer insights can give you the intel you need to make better and faster decisions when planning media and determining the right media mix. 
  • Pinpointing where your customers and prospects are and targeting them across multiple channels and devices at the right time and with the right message means you not only can work more efficiently but also reduce ad waste and improve ROI.
  • Goodway’s Passport One is a proprietary database that contains information about the hundreds of attributes for 95% of U.S. consumers so you can build audiences from scratch or enhance the view of the first-party data you already have.

2. Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting technology reviews the content and context of a page and categorizes it so advertisers can decide whether they want to appear next to that content and, if so, how much they’d like to pay for it. The technology has evolved to include semantic understanding, so “club” for a golf club manufacturer would not qualify if the website content were about a dance club.

What to Know

The results of upper-funnel campaigns are typically enhanced by positive, relevant content association. Contextual targeting provides a 100% privacy-safe, legislation-proof way to place ads within context that is desirable for a marketer.

What to Consider

  • Contextual signals aren’t reliant on cookies and are strong indicators of performance.
  • Contextual targeting has come a long way from its origin, with far more advanced technology advertisers should reconsider.
  • Some view contextual as a step backward as this technology has been around for a long time, but it’s quickly gaining relevance again.
  • In many instances, measurement is currently centered on cookie-based key performance indicators (KPIs).

3. Publisher-Driven Data/Cohorts

Long thought of as a bridge connecting a publisher to a DSP, SSPs and other publisher solutions are evolving to connect advertisers to their publishers’ known users. This involves buying the inventory through a third party, whereas authenticated traffic can be bought solely against the matched data.

What to Know

This application is like authenticated solutions but requires deep partnerships and pre-negotiated terms with the largest SSPs. Goodway can provide this quickly and efficiently as part of your planning process.

What to Consider

  • You can access valuable publisher first-party data aiming to replace the current third-party cookie data market.
  • Publishers know their consumers better than anyone else, making them able to curate better audience targeting than currently available.
  • Scale is currently an issue as publishers will need to form cohorts and work together to create scalable solutions for buyers.
  • Measurement capabilities are works in progress currently, so while the ability to target successfully is achievable, what measurement looks like is yet to be determined.

4. Clean Room Environments

A clean room brings the best of all worlds to a marketer by bringing raw log-level data into an environment that can be queried for insights, measurement or audience building. The resulting data can be either reported on or pushed back into a buying platform for activation. All of this is done without the marketer ever having to own or store this data on its own servers, or even be exposed to the individual line items. This eliminates privacy concerns while providing marketers rich insights and capabilities.

What to Know

When a marketer wants to answer a question not available in an existing dashboard or report, custom queries must be programmed into platforms to extract these insights. For example, what’s third quartile’s median frequency of display ads for users who also see at least one connected TV (CTV) ad and later become a paying customer? While this sounds complex, these deep questions and insights allow a marketer to build massive advantages over the competition.

What to Consider

  • Secure and privacy-compliant – no access to raw data
  • Able to combine first-party data with impression-level data
  • Requires all inventory and data providers to participate
  • Requires true data science and analytics experts to build queries and extract value from the platforms

5. Common or Shared IDs

Multiple solutions are available in the market, including independents and Google, Facebook, Amazon and others (which are only available within their walls). What’s best for your business will not be driven by the ID solution itself but by your business goals and how a given platform or set of tools can best deliver against them. Once you choose the platform, Goodway can quickly help you select your preferred shared ID.

What to Know

As cookies have faded, the industry has moved from thousands of back end “cookie syncs” to a handful of mainstream stable IDs that can be persistent yet are permissioned and agreed to by users.

What to Consider

  • Open source and available to everyone for free
  • Independently governed
  • Deterministic (known to be true) – based on consumer-provided email
  • Requires publisher buy-in across the web, which could impact scale

6. Decentralized Authenticated Solutions

Companies like LiveRamp have helped publishers bring their logged-in user sets together to create a pure stream of authenticated-only (logged-in) traffic.

What to Know

As a marketer, your first-party data represents the user set you know most about: users who are the most valuable, who can be upsold and from which we want to model. Instead of going to each publisher individually, the authenticated solution offers single-source matching across many publishers to grow reach across known users.

What to Consider

  • Build upon consumer consent, enabling direct, trusted relationships with users.
  • Get deterministic data – based on consumer-provided identifiers.
  • Enable data-driven advertising across cookieless inventory.
  • The authenticated universe, outside walled gardens, will equate to 20%-30% of available inventory, which creates a valuable solution but one that doesn’t scale on its own across the entirety of the open internet.

7. Panel-Based Model/Solutions

Like Arbitron radio and Nielsen TV panels of the past, there are many third-party solutions that have built panels of hundreds of thousands of known users. Because each user has consented to have all their online activity tracked, the panels have a 100% view into each user’s activity.

What to Know

Panel-based data is a fantastic guide and way to begin a campaign. While not deterministic across the entire internet user population, behaviors and affinities for the larger internet properties are clear as they relate to common brand categories.

What to Consider

  • Uses survey-based data for brand lift measurement
  • Not reliant on third-party cookies
  • Small percentage of total user base
  • Data used to guide and inform optimization decisions

Developing a strategy to lead and thrive in tomorrow’s identity landscape while being mindful of consumer privacy and regulations requires specific expertise and careful planning today. Goodway is here to help. Visit our identity resource hub to download our latest modern marketing guide and more so you can fully evaluate each cookieless identity solution and meticulously plan what works best for your cookieless future.