Brands and agencies have must plan for the phase out of the third-party cookie ban.

4 Ways Health Marketers Can Thrive in a Cookieless World

June 3, 2021
Dylan Eisen

By now, we’ve all heard about the demise of third-party cookies in one way or another. After Safari and Firefox made the phase out by 2017 and 2018, respectively,  Google joining the bandwagon came to no one’s surprise. In this past year specifically, brands and agencies have been actively planning for the 2022 phase out of the third-party cookie ban and health marketers, specifically, are no exception. 

However, the healthcare industry is resilient and has long dealt with strict privacy rules and regulations. And fortunately, there are other cookies in the cookie jar and plenty of other yummy desserts to go around. All cookie jokes aside (and yes, us marketers have exhausted them all) let’s walk through the new and innovative approaches to campaign targeting and measurement that brands and agencies can take to future-proof their marketing strategy.

Prioritize your first-party data.

To start off this conversation, and any cookie conversation in general, it is important to understand that not all cookies are going away. First-party cookies are here to stay and will become the new “golden standard” for healthcare marketers. 

First-party data is accumulated from sources that you own (i.e data collected from a company’s website, CRM, app, or social media). Marketers can use first-party data to better understand who interacts with their brand and can leverage this information to strengthen the relationship further. 

Focus on contextual targeting.

In recent years, contextual targeting has been widely under-used despite evidence of driving better engagement. As shown in a recent study, contextual targeting produces 43% more cognitive engagement and 2.2 times more brand recall. 

So the effectiveness has been proven, but what exactly is it? Contextual targeting displays relevant advertisements based on a website’s content rather than using the data about its visitor. Without the use of cookies, healthcare marketers can engage with audiences based on relevant content or actual interest of an individual. 

Pretty cool, right?

Evaluate audience data sources.

In a perfect world, we’d love to rely solely on our first-party data and contextual targeting. And while those strategies are key to our cookieless future, brands and agencies will need to augment their data strategy by working with data suppliers. 

Audience data providers give advertisers the ability to purchase custom audience datasets based on target users. By leveraging these custom audience segments, marketers can enhance their customer profiles and define very granular audience segmentation. 

Work with a programmatic partner.

Data is super powerful, but it won’t be able to help you actually reach your desired audiences on its own. Programmatic platforms use real-time data, machine algorithms, and a myriad of different signals to deliver the most effective ad to target audiences. With programmatic, campaigns see increased efficiencies, more targeted each, greater transparency, and overall improved performance. 

Sounds great- but what’s the catch? The programmatic space in itself is very crowded and it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these solutions are created equal. Healthcare marketers should evaluate the different players by looking at platform capabilities, industry knowledge and expertise, and track record and reputation. 

To help navigate these changes together as an industry, PulsePoint has put together a healthcare marketer’s playbook: How to Succeed in a Post Third-Party Cookie World.

In addition to covering the background on the third-party cookie, what’s changing, and what’s not, the guide also dives deeper into these winning strategies to help you prepare for a cookieless world. 

Learn more about PulsePoint and how we’re solving for a future without third-party cookies.

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