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Personalization in a Post-Cookie World: Why Marketers Need to Rethink their Marketing Strategy

In the post-cookie world, marketers face significant challenges as third-party cookies are phased out and the industry shifts towards relying more on first-party data. Google’s commitment to phasing out third-party cookies by 2024 is a response to growing concerns about online privacy and tracking. Cookies have been an essential tool for marketers to deliver personalized experiences, but this shift towards a more privacy-first web will require marketers to embrace new tactics and solutions.

Hence, marketers will need to shift their approach towards a cookie-less future, with a greater focus on first-party data and AI-powered solutions. This article will explore the impact of the post-cookie world on marketing, and provide insights into tactics and strategies that marketers can adopt to future-proof themselves and deliver seamless experiences.

Role of cookies in personalization & the need for a new data strategy

Personalization has been a crucial element in the success of digital marketing, but the role of cookies in enabling personalization has been widely debated due to privacy concerns.

Most websites today request user consent for data collection, and often this includes giving consent for third-party data collection. This data can be used by other publishers and marketers for various purposes, which has led to concerns about online privacy. Marketers have used this data to deliver personalized experiences to users, such as retargeting campaigns for users who left items in their shopping carts. However, with the phasing out of third-party cookies, marketers will need to find new ways to collect and use data.

The loss of third-party data will have an immediate impact on marketers and advertisers. Without the ability to track users across different websites, they will have to rely on first-party data collected directly from users. This shift will lead to a significant reduction in the scale of campaigns, as marketers will have access to much smaller audiences. Additionally, without the ability to track user behavior across multiple sites, targeting will become less precise, leading to lower conversion rates and less effective campaigns.

One alternative to collecting first-party data is through marketing channels such as WhatsApp and SMS, which can be used for sending personalized campaigns to post user consent. Consent will remain a critical factor in the cookie-less world, along with other tracking signals such as first-party cookies, contextual targeting, cohorts, and online identifiers like pixel tags and IP addresses. Marketers will need to find new ways to collect and use data while respecting users’ privacy, and this will require a shift towards a more transparent and user-centric approach to data collection and marketing.

Importance of AI and ML in Personalization

Although the world without cookies might seem scary to marketers and advertisers, there is nothing that could stop innovation, especially in today’s world of AI and machine learning. Surely, the third-party cookies are going to get wiped out but first-party cookies will continue to exist. And if they continue to exist, how marketers need to pivot their strategy?

AI-powered solutions like Conversational Chatbots or Conversational Commerce can help marketers and advertisers with the user data which is very critical for every marketer to understand before communicating with its prospects. The term Conversational Commerce refers to assisting customers buying journeys through tailored recommendations while bolstering sales and marketing efforts.

  • Conversational AI-powered chatbots enable marketers to analyze large amounts of data and derive insights about user behavior and preferences.
  • These rich actionable insights can then be used to deliver personalized experiences to users across various channels, including SMS, WhatsApp, social messaging apps, and email.
  • After analyzing customer conversations, AI algorithms can segment users into different groups based on factors such as demographics, browsing behavior, and purchase history.
  • KPIs like total conversations, conversations turned into customers, ads impressions, clicks, etc, can be used to predict user behavior and preferences, allowing marketers to deliver relevant content and offers to users in real-time.

Personalization powered by AI and machine learning can help improve customer engagement, increase conversion rates, and boost customer loyalty. However, it’s important to balance personalization with privacy and transparency and to ensure that users are aware of how their data is being collected and used.

Examples of Personalized Marketing Campaigns

Some of the successful personalized marketing campaigns of brands who have utilized the marketing channels with full transparency are:

  1. CASHe: One of the leading instant personal credit disbursal companies based out of India, converted their website traffic and acquired more than 50,000+ customers. They executed organic and paid ads across Facebook and Instagram encouraging shoppers to apply for instant loan right on popular messaging app – WhatsApp. The company disbursed loans in just a few minutes without downloading an additional app.
  2. Equinox Hotels: Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, this is a luxury lifestyle destination that attracts travelers from all over the world. Their AI-enabled chatbot ‘OMAR’ is equipped to answer and recommend travelers with complete personalized offers and services while reminding users about their itinerary via SMS.
  3. Spotify: Spotify uses data on user listening habits to create personalized playlists and recommendations for each user. These recommendations are tailored to the user’s music preferences, listening history, and location.
  4. Reliance JioMart: JioMart, an online shopping platform developed by Reliance Industries, aimed to provide millions of Indian citizens with a simple and convenient way of online shopping. JioMart’s WhatsApp chatbot makes it easy for users to discover the products they want and recommend based on their purchase history.
  5. Mondelez International: Formerly known as Cadbury, wanted a new innovative solution that would enable them to engage young Millennial customers during their Valentine’s Day seasonal sale campaign. The Intelligent Virtual Assistant helped customers navigate through the online Valentine’s Store while engaging users with content, such as Valentine’s Day personalized tips and suggestions.

The future of personalization in marketing

Personalization is the future of marketing, with advancements in technology and data analytics enabling businesses to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to consumers. By leveraging customer data and AI-powered solutions, brands can create unique, tailored experiences that increase engagement, loyalty, and revenue. The 4 trends that are being witnessed in the personalization and brands are preparing themselves for are:

  • Hyper-Personalization: The use of advanced data analytics and machine learning algorithms to create highly personalized experiences that are tailored to a customers’ unique preferences and behaviors.
  • Real-time Personalization: The ability to deliver personalized content and offers in real-time, based on a user’s current location, browsing behavior, and other contextual factors.
  • Personalization at Scale: The use of automation and AI to deliver personalized experiences to a large number of users simultaneously, without sacrificing quality or relevance.
  • Cross-channel Personalization: The ability to deliver personalized experiences across multiple channels and touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, social media, email, and more.

These 4 trends will help brands to make informed decisions and would enforce benefits to both consumers and businesses. Some of the benefits that I would like to highlight are.

3 Benefits of Personalization to Consumers

3 Benefits of Personalization to Brands

Relevant and Engaging Experiences: Personalized messaging followed by timely notifications helps consumers discover products, services, and content that are more relevant to their interests and needs.

Increased Customer Engagement: Personalization can help businesses create more engaging and meaningful experiences for their customers, leading to higher levels of engagement and customer retention.

Time Efficient: Personalization can help consumers save time by delivering relevant information and recommendations quickly, without the need for extensive searching and browsing.

Higher Conversions and Sales: Personalization can help businesses deliver more relevant and persuasive offers and recommendations to their customers, leading to higher conversion rates and sales.

Improved Customer Service: Personalization can help improve customer service by providing tailored support and assistance to individual customers based on their specific needs and preferences.

Improved ROI: Personalization can help businesses optimize their marketing and advertising spend by delivering more targeted and effective campaigns that generate higher returns on investment.


In conclusion, the post-cookie world presents both challenges and opportunities for marketers to rethink their marketing strategies and pivot towards more personalized, customer-centric approaches. By focusing on first-party data, investing in AI and machine learning, and prioritizing consumer privacy, brands can create deeper connections with their audiences and drive long-term growth.

As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for marketers to stay adaptable, innovative, and responsive to changing trends and consumer needs. By embracing personalization in a post-cookie world, businesses can unlock the full potential of data-driven marketing and create compelling, memorable experiences for their customers.

Ratnanjali Singh is a Marketing Manager at Haptik. With a passion for Conversational Commerce via Voice and Chat and 6+ years of experience in B2B Marketing, Ratnanjali has worked with a diverse range of clients to develop and execute innovative marketing strategies.