Cookieless ③ Ad measures you can take right now in a cookieless environment


This article is a sequel to Cookieless ② Action To Take Right Now and summarizes web advertising measures and points advertisers should consider in light of the expanding cookieless environment.

Cookieless measures advocated by various media companies

Many advertisers use cookies to target users related to their products and services and to measure the results of conversions via ads in their web advertising strategies. However, cookies are now being phased out around the world as part of efforts to protect users’ personal information, and third-party data and first-party data for which users’ permission cannot be obtained can no longer be stored in cookies. As a result, measuring conversions and remarketing delivery in web ad delivery is expected to become more difficult in the future. In our previous article, we introduced cookieless measures proposed by various media companies. These measures are expected to be effective in complementing cookies for conversions and remarketing.

(Figure 1: Excerpt from Cookieless Column #2. Supplementary cookie support of each medium)

However, from a targeting perspective, this is still insufficient for a cookieless environment. It’ll become difficult for media companies to provide highly accurate audience targeting based on website activity history via cookies.

In the future, it’s expected that advertising measures based on targeting that doesn’t involve cookies will become the mainstream.

In this issue, we’ll introduce media targeting that can be expected to deliver ads to the apparent layer after retargeting without cookies for advertisers who are promoting conversion measures through ad delivery tailored to the interests of users.

(Figure 2: Data that can be used for targeting)

Recommended targeting/delivery methods for each medium that don’t rely on cookies

It’s well known that cookie restrictions can significantly impact retargeting delivery, but there are many other types of targeting for which cookies are used. Some demographics and interests fall into that category and are similarly affected by cookie restrictions.

However, targeting that uses data held by a platform within the platform’s domain is treated as first party and can continue to be used as a delivery method. This is called an Owned and Operated (O&O) environment.

Below are recommended targeting and delivery methods that don’t use third-party cookies and can be achieved in an O&O environment.

  • Yahoo! (*O&O limited to Yahoo! domains.)
    • Search targeting
    • Site Outflow Targeting
      • Targeting that delivers ads to users who directly visit (transfers) from Yahoo! websites can be freely specified as long as they are pages to which users can be directly redirected from Yahoo! In the cosmetics and financial industries, targeting users who have entered comparison sites is also recommended.
    • Ad clicker targeting
      • Segment and target users who click on Yahoo! ads, using click IDs (first-party data for Yahoo!), rather than cookies as the source of information.
    • Site category targeting/placement targeting
      • With site category targeting, ads are only placed on websites in selective categories. With placement targeting, ads are only placed on freely specified sections.

  • Google
    • Dynamic lineups
      • With in-stream ads served on YouTube, Google analyzes YouTube videos and selects categorized lineups based on moment, topic, relevance, and popularity. Examples include “Families with children aged 2-5” for children, for whom age-specific delivery is not possible, and “reality shows” as a detailed program genre specification.
    • Topic targeting
      • Topic targeting involves targeting based on topics specified in a selective manner by analyzing web content based on text, language, link structure, page structure, etc., and determining the main theme of each web page.

  • Facebook/Instagram
    • Interest targeting
      • Interest targeting involves targeting that utilizes user interests estimated based on user information registered on Facebook and their behavior on the platform. More than 300 categories are available, including mobile games, international travel, and tables.
    • Demographic targeting
      • Demographic targeting involves the specified delivery of gender, age, residential area, delivery surface, etc. based on user registration information on Facebook and Instagram, without setting up targeting using cookies.
    • Lead Generation Advertising (ad format)
      • This is not a targeting method, but a measure that allows measurement of ad results independent of cookies. After a user clicks on an ad, an input form opens up on the Facebook/Instagram application, allowing the user to collect the necessary information for membership registration, document requests, etc., without leading the user outside the application.
(Figure 3: Lead Generation Ads on Facebook) 
  1. Reduced abandonment due to automatic reflection of user information
    User information (name, email address, etc.) already registered on Facebook is automatically reflected in the entry form, eliminating the need for user input and improving CVR.
  2. Custom questions
    Entry form questions can be customized to match the type of industry and purpose of appeal.
  3. Downloadable lead information
    Acquired lead information can be downloaded directly from Facebook or linked to CRM tools.
  • Twitter
    • Handle targeting
      • Targeting followers of a specified handle or similar users.
    • Keyword targeting
      • Targeting users who have recently tweeted or searched for specified keywords on Twitter.
    • Tweet Engager Retargeting
      • Retargeting users who have engaged with the advertisers’ tweets or watched their videos.
    • Category-specific targeting with Amplify pre-roll
      • Amplify Pre-Roll is an ad format that delivers video ads before the full-length video in the tweet. Ads are delivered within the targeted video category by using selective categories. *A wide variety of cookieless targeting taking advantage of the characteristics of the media is also available.

  • LINE
    • Cross-targeting (Official LINE Accounts 🡪 LINE Ads)
      • Cross-targeting enables the use of action data taken by friends of the official LINE account in response to the official account and messages delivered to them to be used in the delivery of ads via LINE ads. This can be used in place of retargeting by specifying the users who have opened messages and distributing ads to them.
    • Leading users to add the official LINE account when they leave the landing page
      • When a user leaves a landing page, a pop-up window is displayed to encourage the user to add the official account to their friends list.
(Figure 4: Recommended cookieless targeting and delivery methods)

Ad measures moving forward

We introduced some of the targeting and delivery methods that can be used in a cookieless environment, and we encourage users to implement them and check results while cookies are still available for measurement.

After implementing the measures discussed in Cookieless Column #2 and the conversion supplements and targeting introduced in this issue, it’s time to review your KPI.

How are you currently setting KPIs for your web advertising initiatives? In the majority of cases, CPA is used as an effectiveness indicator for acquisition measures, with the conversion of online purchases made via ads. Recently, some advertisers have felt challenged by the deterioration of existing audience targeting accuracy due to the impact of the expanding cookieless environment and declining conversions, resulting in subpar ad results.

To reiterate, conversion supplementation isn’t enough to measure conversions. Since advertising results are underestimated, it’ll be necessary to use other indicators to determine results in the future. For example, do metrics other than conversions, such as impressions, clicks, and sessions visible from site analysis tools, correlate with the advertiser’s sales? Together with agencies and advertisers, KPIs must be reexamined with the following question in mind: “Which indicators other than conversions should be increased in order to expand the advertiser’s business?” 

(Figure 5: Ad measures moving forward)


We discussed cookieless environments and future advertising initiatives in these three-part series. Irep Inc. has received an increasing number of inquiries from advertisers regarding cookieless media and cookie-independent targeting. We hope that you’ll consider the following when planning your advertising. We look forward to working with you to examine web advertising measures that don’t rely on cookies and that can contribute to the expansion of both agencies’ and advertisers’ businesses. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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Irep Inc. is an award-winning global digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our headquarters are in Tokyo and our network spans more than 20 countries. In Japan, we are ranked No. 1 for performance-based marketing. We also offer highly specialized market entry, as well as integrated marketing and localization services. Since 1997, our data-driven solutions have effectively led our diverse international clientele to continuous success in Japan, Asia, and beyond.

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