Cookieless Targeting Options

Targeting digital ads without using cookies has become increasingly important due to privacy concerns and changes in regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which have limited the use of third-party cookies. Here are some tactics you can use to target digital ads effectively without relying on cookies:

Seller Defined Audiences:

      • Seller Defined Audiences (SDAs) define audiences in a standardized manner allowing sellers (publishers, networks, platforms) to communicate their audience segments consistently and transparently across platforms and channels. 
      • Retail Networks, Private Marketplace Deals, and buying directly from walled gardens/owned and operated inventory (O&O) are all examples of places where you can leverage SDAs. 

Contextual Targeting:

      • Contextual targeting involves placing ads on websites or content that are contextually relevant to the ad’s message. This can be done by analyzing the content of web pages, including keywords, topics, and themes.
      • Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms can help automate contextual targeting by understanding the content of web pages.

Behavioral Targeting:

      • Instead of relying on third-party cookies for tracking user behavior, consider using first-party data collected from your own website or app.
      • Analyze on-site behavior, such as page views, search queries, and user interactions, to create user profiles and target ads based on user interests and preferences.

Device and IP Address Targeting:

      • You can target ads based on device types (e.g., mobile, desktop) and users’ IP addresses.
      • Keep in mind that relying solely on IP addresses may not provide individual-level targeting, as multiple users can share the same IP address.

Contextual Keywords:

      • Utilize keyword targeting to display ads on websites or within content that contains specific keywords relevant to your products or services.

Contextual Experiences:

      • Design ad creatives that are contextually relevant to the content, context, and keywords in which they are displayed. This can improve engagement and reduce the need for precise targeting.

Geolocation Targeting:

      • Use geolocation data to target ads to users based on their physical location. This can be effective for local businesses and events.

Demographic and Behavioral Segmentation:

      • Create audience segments based on demographic information (age, gender, income) and observed online behavior.
      • Platforms may offer options for creating custom segments without relying on third-party data.

Retargeting and Remarketing:

      • Continue to use first-party data to retarget or remarket to users who have previously interacted with your website or app.

Partnerships and Influencer Marketing:

    • Collaborate with influencers or other businesses/publishers that have authority with your target audience(s). 
    • Top influencers can be expensive, but there are plenty of “micro” influencers out there with small, but mighty followings. In fact, they can often have some of the most loyal engagement. They are also more likely to collaborate with you on creating high impact content. 


As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, it’s essential to adapt to changing privacy regulations and consumer expectations while still delivering effective and relevant ad campaigns. Combining multiple tactics from the list above can help you achieve your targeting goals while respecting user privacy.

Ready to implement your programmatic strategy? Check out our step-by-step here:


Let’s Chat

Learn how we can take your omni-channel programmatic campaigns to the next level.


Let’s Chat

Learn how we can take your omni-channel programmatic campaigns to the next level.