Anyone who’s ever shopped online knows that brands tend to retarget consumers with ads after they’ve searched or shopped for something. It’s a practice called behavioral targeting. But privacy laws and browser restrictions are promising to limit it.
Europe’s GDPR privacy law, new privacy laws emerging in the US, and stricter browser settings across desktop and mobile, mean advertisers will no longer be able to rely on third party cookie data to track users. Today, a brand might drop a cookie on someone’s laptop when they do a search for high-end watches. Third-party data providers collect and resell this information in a data segment of watch enthusiasts so advertisers can retarget them. But with the new regulations, consumers will be able to opt-out of the process and block cookies all together. This puts a dent in cookie-based behavioral targeting, but that doesn’t mean brands can no longer understand or target consumers’ behaviors.