Targeted Retail Marketing: Post-Cookie World Personalization

Brandon Pollard

Retail marketers face complex challenges due to the upcoming degradation of audience addressability, loss of attribution, and diminishing campaign functionality. Adapting to a post-cookie world is crucial. This also presents opportunities for savvy retailers. Retailers can thrive in a post-cookie era with the right marketing tactics and data collection.

🍪 How vital is First-Party data collection for retailers in a cookie-less environment? 

“First-Party data will always be one of the most valuable assets a retail brand can apply to digital marketing, regardless of any future impact on cookie deprecation. Leveraging the combination of purchase signals and customer attributes with First-Party data provides a competitive advantage for retail brands, especially those that embrace emerging technology and evolve their data strategies accordingly.”

Director of Strategy, KORTX


Post-Cookie Snack Industry Example

In this hypothetical case study of a snack industry brand with a significant retail and e-commerce presence, we explore solutions to drive return on advertising spend (ROAS) while targeting prospective and current customers.

The Client: National Snack Industry Brand – Garbanzo Goodness Bites

Last quarter, the client launched a new chickpea-based healthy snack called Garbanzo Goodness Bites in select stores and online. Now that the snack has been well-received, they want to launch it to a larger retail market.

The Scenario: How to Launch a Year-Long Digital Media Plan

The client has already established e-commerce setups. The retailer wants to launch a year-long digital media plan to target prospective and current customers to drive ROAS. 

By following the Discover, Define, Activate, and Measure framework, the retail snack brand can optimize its digital marketing strategies and stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of online advertising. Below is how KORTX would activate this campaign.

Discover: Addressable Audience Key Insights

By leveraging KORTX Intelligence and building customer profiles, the retail snack brand would gain valuable insights into its customer prospects for Garbanzo Goodness Bites. 

This discovery phase involves uncovering crucial information about their audience.

Where They Are: Desktop, tablet, mobile, CTV
Purchase Habits: Online and offline purchasing habits
Who They Are: Addressable audience targets, such as women aged 25-45 with a high income and a history of product viewership 

To further refine this understanding, KORTX recommends establishing a First-Party data strategy, and seeks client feedback on its current strategy. 

This includes examining their current segmentation (e.g., Axon Early Access), evaluating the performance of different audience segments through modeling evaluation, and determining if they need to supplement their data with trusted partners.

Before delivering a single impression, KORTX would provide the snack brand with a complete, nuanced picture of its audience.

Audience Persona: The Busy Health-Conscious Mom

Emily, a busy 35-year-old woman with a high income, is the target audience for this product. She is married with one child and lives in an urban area. Emily is tech-savvy and frequently uses her desktop, tablet, and mobile devices for online browsing and shopping. While she enjoys the convenience of online shopping, she also values the in-person experience and often visits physical stores such as Target and Whole Foods.

Emily prioritizes her family’s health and is conscious of the products she purchases, seeking nutritious, organic, and environmentally friendly options. Balancing work, family, and personal well-being is a challenge for her, and she often struggles to find convenient yet healthy snacks for her family. Any solution that saves her time and provides peace of mind is highly valued.

Messaging that emphasizes the product’s time-saving aspect, convenience, and health benefits, along with highlighting its nutritious ingredients and sustainability, would resonate with Emily. Promotions or content showcasing real-life scenarios of busy moms finding balance while providing healthy options would also engage her.

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Define: Implementing ID Solutions and Mapping Customer Journeys 

Once KORTX gathered the necessary insights, we would help the retail snack brand define its digital marketing approach by implementing a preferred ID solution, such as ATS or RAMPID, which enables authentication in several environments. 

Leveraging solutions like LiveRamp within the Axon base code would allow the snack brand to scale against their owned, operated, and authenticated sources. 

The KORTX team would follow up on this data by evaluating the tag mapping to identify the channels contributing to conversions (such as CDP and CTV) while considering cookies’ role in attribution, especially in post-view interactions on their website. 

Different modeling techniques would be explored, like ID-free DSTILLERY, to target popular product viewers and purchasers effectively. Behavior targeting would be another essential aspect to consider. Based on their First-Party data, the snack brand could utilize Roundel’s programmatic access to target audiences. 

Through data-driven campaigns, they could also leverage the LiveRamp Data Marketplace, enabled by Ramp ID, to reach the previously selected audience: women aged 25-45 with a high income (HHI $100k+).

🍪 What are the challenges or potential drawbacks associated with implementing ID solutions? Can they be mitigated? 

“There will likely not be a single ID solution that the industry universally utilizes (like a cookie). New approaches will be piecemeal or combined across more than one solution. All those solutions will have a much smaller scale, thus requiring a combination of solutions to find the volume of people to reach comparable measurements or attribution to Third-Party cookies. Eventually, customers across solutions should be frequency capped or negatively targeted. If not, the user experience will suffer.”

Head of Programmatic Trading, KORTX

Activate: Integrated Approaches and Dynamic Creatives

With the strategies defined, it’s time for the retail snack brand to activate its digital marketing campaigns for Garbanzo Goodness Bites. 

Integrated activation across platforms like Xandr, Axon, and LiveRamp allows for effective synchronization of efforts. 

Roundel Audience Activation provides a closed-loop measurement for online and offline purchases, enabling the snack brand to track the impact of their campaigns accurately. 

Leveraging modeled audience activation and behavior audience activation further enhances our ability to optimize campaigns in real-time. The snack brand should also consider split testing and adjusting targeting and messaging based on audience performance and trends. 

Engaging creative like Justin’s ad mockup above can help showcase the brand’s fundamental values and provide further details on health consciousness.

Additionally, they can captivate their audience with interactive features like product carousels and measure their engagement through comprehensive reporting tools.

Dynamic creative is an essential element of activation. By keeping its targeting and messaging up to date and adapting to audience performance and trends, the snack brand can deliver highly relevant and engaging content to its target audience.

Measure: Gauging ROI and Creative Engagement with Precision

Measuring the success of digital marketing efforts is crucial for the retail snack brand to refine its strategies and maximize return on investment (ROI). 

KORTX recommends comparing Roundel’s return on ad spend (ROAS) against their First-Party data segments to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns. 

Analyzing online and offline purchases through Target locations provides insights into consumer behavior. Measuring post-view ROAS through RAMPId and authenticated environments is vital for customer data platforms and CTV campaigns. 

This data provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of campaigns in these specific channels. 

Finally, the snack brand should assess creative engagement through KORTX’s custom rich media units. By tracking engagement metrics, the brand can understand how effectively their creative assets captured their audience’s attention and drove them to take action.

Discover > Define > Activate > Measure

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Seize Opportunities in a Post-Cookie Landscape

Embracing the challenges of a post-cookie world is crucial for retailers in the evolving digital advertising landscape. While the degradation of audience addressability and loss of attribution may pose obstacles, there are opportunities for savvy retailers to thrive. Retailers can stay ahead and drive results by implementing the right marketing tactics and data collection strategies. 

Leveraging audience insights like KORTX Intelligence, implementing ID solutions, activating integrated approaches, and measuring ROI with precision can lead to optimized digital marketing strategies and success in a post-cookie era.

About the Author

Brandon Pollard is Director of Ad Operations at KORTX. He enjoys cloud rap, soccer, and traveling.

Brandon Pollard

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