Three Types of Identity Solutions as We Approach a Cookie-less Future

The phasing out of third-party cookies, while still protracted, remains inevitable. As the advertising ecosystem continues to march toward this inevitable future, here are some targeting best practices to start implementing now so you and your brands aren’t caught off guard.


  1. Contextual-based targeting

This well-known tool in the programmatic playbook, focuses on the content of the webpage and bypasses having to identify the end user. For example, serving an automobile advertisement on a site talking about cars and trucks. This fundamental approach has shown its performance long before the days of the internet. Think niche magazines and the advertising contained within: (Golf Digest has and will continue to be full of golfing advertisements). One drawback concerning contextual advertising is it shows strongest performance gains as an upper and mid-funnel tactic and can be more difficult to measure ROAS and bottom funnel attribution.

  1. FETCH (Direct-Match) targeting

Another identity solution is a direct-match one-to-one approach to targeting. By connecting users to an email address, Fetch takes any internal CRM list or specific criteria links that identify to your target.  Additionally, this privacy-friendly targeting option operates with the ethical use of data with anonymization that prioritizes privacy and data protection. While direct match targets aren’t available for every single impression, they are very powerful when combined with other types of targeting to reach B22B segments or other hard-to-find audiences.

  1. Eventual cookie replacement

Google’s latest idea to replace cookies is Topics. This would assign users a set of their most recent browsing behaviors. Unlike the more known general audience or behavioral targeting that advertisers are familiar with, these topics will be weighted heavily in recency bias and have a fairly short shelf life. Time will tell if this latest idea to finally crumble cookies comes to fruition, however, in the meantime the two tactics above will continue to be relevant both now and once cookies finally do go stale for good.

As digital advertising continues to move away from cookie-driven tactics these above best practices for identity-based targeting will combine to help replace the reliance on cookies.

No lead is out of reach with Fetch. Don’t lose time or money with bad data or inefficient processes. With Fetch, Subset delivers direct matches in real-time. Contact us or visit to learn more.


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