How CMOs Should Prepare for a Post-Cookie World

CMOs are staring down a sea change in the advertising world. Even with Google’s prolonged reprieve on the end of third-party cookies, they face the challenge of finding reliable data about their prospects’ true interests, how their products or services fit those interests, and a way to definitively measure these customer sentiment efforts in an evolving landscape. 

In the current environment, marketers can buy an age 18-34 audience interested in the NBA, or music, or cars, but the quality and accuracy of those audiences is poor and weakening by the day. With the deprecation of cookies, mobile IDs, etc. we’re seeing these aggregate audiences—and the third-party vendors that supply them—rapidly decline in value for marketers. 


CMOs should invest in zero-party tools and programs that can provide an always-on way of understanding and reaching the right prospects. These zero-party tools do three things:

1. Help marketers understand prospect behaviors, needs and preferences in real-time

2. Provide insights on how a brand’s products and messaging fits in with those interests

3. And make those insights immediately actionable within advertising

Let’s dive deeper into each of these three areas:

Understand prospect needs in real-time: The majority of Fortune 100 firms today build and deploy interactive digital advertisements which do more than simply deliver a message to prospective customers. Instead these digital ads invite interaction, ask questions, provide options and personalized experiences, measure preference or sentiment – all of these methods for gathering privacy-compliant zero-party data help a brand build a direct and detailed understanding of their target customer pool, eliminating any assumptions regarding customer intent. This helps brands build their own audiences all while still in the regular course of advertising.

Match brand content to prospect needs: With the flexibility of advertising across the internet, brands that utilize digital capabilities can excel at A/B testing in a way other platforms can’t. As consumers continue to spend more of their time online, marketers are increasingly becoming digital natives. They need to use their more sophisticated understanding of zero-party audiences to deliver and optimize the content most likely to drive brand affinity or progress towards purchase for a particular prospect cohort. If progress towards the purchase falls through, consider offering customers product recommendations to further foster brand loyalty for future customer interactions.

Make insights immediately actionable: The final stage is using those newfound zero-party prospect audiences to move customers down the journey from awareness, to brand affinity, to purchase, and finally to repeat purchase. This can be easily done in a retargeting advertising campaign, or thanks to advancing technology, within one advertisement. As prospects become customers, the loop grows tighter, because as customers intentionally share their data, brands now have control of their own data sets and their own destiny.

Consumer understanding is an always-on process, so what brands need going forward are advertising tools and processes that create conversations. They need to converse with the right types of prospects, accurately listen to what they’re saying, act on that feedback, and finally, respond in real-time. 

A modern advertiser’s digital platform can empower marketing teams to transform how they interact with prospective customers in an authentic way that is far less creepy than today’s third-party audiences, and which helps brands build real relationships while keeping customers’ privacy still intact.


Advertising is typically the first impression a brand makes on a consumer, so marketing teams should use all of their digital ad channels – not just social – to interact with customers in a two-way conversation. They should invest in a tech stack which allows them to create great customer experiences, enables relationships with trusted partners, and which provides tools and analytics for measuring engagement and results.

Key elements to be included in the stack are: 

  • An ad server to run ads across thousands of relevant digital environments to accurately reach customers
  • An interactive advertising platform that focuses on voice of customer to create digital ads which both engage consumers and gather consumer preference in a privacy-focused manner
  • A way of turning those insights into audiences and actions with tools that help them manage the prospect lifecycle and journey

The changes taking place with data deprecation and the steps to protect consumer privacy are motivating CMOs to take better control of their brand destiny and evaluate needed insights in a new way. That begins with the realization that advertising and marketing has never been only about getting a message out. 

Smart marketing going forward will combine robust zero-party data gathering with tools for measuring and driving stellar prospect engagement. The tools that CMOs should utilize will not only allow integration with already trusted partners for augmenting customer understanding and audience creation, but will also have the tools to develop a better understanding of their next million customers.

Interested in seeing how we can apply a similar strategy to your ad campaign and reach the right audience, connect with us for a free proposal at!

Ready to get started?

Get in Touch