5 principles of online marketing in a world without cookies


According to Natalie Drucker, online marketing is changing. As an industry, digital sellers need to start moving away from gloomy design patterns and excessive data collection.

In the early digital age, data tracking through cookies was done on the basis that it helped the user – but too often there was no customer value.

In 1994, Lou Montulli invented the first Internet cookie aimed at creating a better online browsing experience.

The cookie was originally designed with privacy in mind. It was designed not to share data with other sites, keeping all this information centralized for the user.

However, Internet cookies are now used in a different way. Advertisers “hacked” the original cookie, Drucker said, sharing data with other sites.

This has caused a backlash from customers and regulators, who want less online data collected and more anonymized – and that poses a problem for marketers.

Soon, third-party cookies, which enable this type of data transfer, will be a thing of the past and product sellers will have to change the way they use cookies to reach their customers.

Drucker insists that marketing can continue to thrive in a post-cookie world, just focus on fixing bad user experiences, start improving the customer journey and results, and use new tools and technologies.

“We all know that third-party cookies are dying, and probably for a good reason because they’re not that ethical,” she said.

“You are probably wondering why it took so long since 1994 for these cookies to disappear? This is because in 1994 it was the only business model that was viable.

“E-commerce was not a thing and advertising was the main business model that could make money.”

Follow GDPR rules in your marketing

Legislation has now caught up with online selling and sellers are starting to look to first party cookies as the future of digital marketing.

“Under EU and UK cookie laws, first-party optional cookies require user consent in accordance with the GDPR definition of consent,” Drucker continued.

“Cookie law has been around for quite some time, but the GDPR has given it new meaning as it has provided a framework for implementation.

“Now companies know how to implement these consent frameworks, but lawmakers also know how to enforce them,” she added.

This means that marketers need to be more careful than ever to ensure that consent is given freely and falls within the limits of GDPR law.

“For consent to be compliant, it must be freely given, informed and unambiguous, given through clear affirmative action and easily withdrawable consent,” Drucker said.

“What does this mean for us marketers? If the user does not give us consent to optional cookies, this means that we will only have very limited web analytics and cannot do many of the things that we do in digital marketing without this data. »

Drucker breaks down the two types of internet users: the average person, who probably isn’t bothered by cookies, and the privacy-aware group of users, who are more likely to reject cookies and install apps to Completely block consent pop-ups.

“The key takeaway here is that although we have two very different groups, the result is the same – they both went ahead without accepting cookies,” Drucker commented.

“So for us marketers, what is most important? Is it to obtain consent at all costs or to create a good user experience? she added.

Do better with online advertising

Drucker said every seller needs to implement experiences in an online environment, and she believes marketers can “do better” than current user experiences.

“Today I want to share with you a new mindset,” Drucker said. “Marketing in a world without cookies.”

She said it’s a mindset where marketers become less reliant on cookie data to deliver user and business value, while embracing the fundamentals of marketing; to create human experiences, build trust, and inspire users to share data in exchange for value.

Drucker shared his five principles. The first is to make a good first impression – marketers have to be smart.

Internet users today are “faced with a sea of ​​pop-ups,” Drucker said, taking several clicks to get past them. It’s not a very good user experience. “That key moment when someone lands on your website really matters,” she added.

Give users a website experience that feels natural and fluid, rather than being intrusive and annoying. Instead, provide a clean layout that showcases the strength of your brand.


Its second principle is the pull to push strategy. Instead of asking people for their email addresses to access website elements, marketers should allow them to naturally engage with the content. If someone finds value in the content, they can provide their contact information on their own terms.

The third principle is contextual value exchange. Ask users to accept cookies in the right context to unlock a benefit. Additionally, map redemption points on your site, Drucker said.

Drucker’s fourth principle is to ask instead of guess. “When we walk into a physical store, the salesperson might ask us why we’re there, so why can’t we just emulate that. Instead of guessing, just create that good experience from the start,” Drucker commented.

The fifth principle is to give VIP segments a reason to tune in. An example of this is B2C, which offers additional benefits to users who log in to encourage them to authenticate. Another example is B2B, which creates a unique program that is not available to anyone else on the general website.

Drucker ended his speech with one final thought: “Don’t get caught in the cookie tin, embrace the principle of marketing in a cookie-free world so you won’t need them anymore.”

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