PMG Digital Made for Humans

Goodbye Cookie Monsters

3 MINUTE READ | January 22, 2016

Goodbye Cookie Monsters

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Madelyn Fraser

Madelyn Fraser has written this article. More details coming soon.

I love a good, warm cookie as much as the next person, but are they making us lazy? Well, in my opinion, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies could never makes us lazy, only happy! Just kidding, I’m talking about a different kind of cookie; the kind that we use to creepily track internet users’ online behaviors.

So, now that we are on the same page, I have an important question: Can we as digital marketers continue to rely on cookies as a form of tracking? The short answer to that is, “No, absolutely not.” There’s a lot of uncertainty that goes into cookie tracking. Like, what the heck do we do when a browser does not allow cookies or you’re on a mobile device that blocks cookies? And how on earth are we supposed to successfully match peoples’ devices together if they have different cookies? Well, I have an answer! Atlas’ people based targeting.

Right now you’re thinking, “Um, what? That sounds made up.” SURPRISE! It’s not and it’s really if you ask me. Let me explain it to you.

Facebook owns Atlas, right? So, that means Atlas has access to Facebook’s vast data, including Facebook user IDs. (Did a light bulb just go off?) This means that Atlas users now have the ability to track internet users’ web behavior via this ID. If you have been logged onto Facebook on a device or web browser within the past 90 days, Facebook can track what you are doing. This means we are now able to accurately connect people and their multiple devices and we can see true reach and frequency. And if you’re thinking, “Why do I need to connect devices together?” Well, let’s think about it. How many devices you do own? Personally I have 4 – my phone, my iPad, my work computer and my personal computer. So, if you’re using cookies to track people you’re most likely hitting them, let’s say three times, on their laptop, three on their iPad and another three on their phone. That’s A LOT of the same ad, and the user is probably going to have a bad taste in their mouth about your brand. So, with Atlas, you can serve three ads, but more efficiently. One to your laptop, one to your iPad and one to your mobile phone. BOOM, you reached your frequency cap.

All in all, Atlas is killin’ it with their people based data. We live in a multi device world, so we need to be mindful of user experiences across deceives. There are a lot of vendors out there who can help you with this, but you need to make sure they are not using a probabilistic method, because those are not always accurate.

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PS: In case you’re wondering what a probabilistic method is, I’ve got your back. Essentially, it’s an inexact method of connecting users’ devices together by looking at a plethora of data and using (surprise) probability. So, companies that use this method are looking at things like IP addresses, similar internet behavior and even device proximity. After they look at these things, they run a series of complicated tests and algorithms to determine which devices belong to you. As you can tell by now, this is clearly not the most ideal matching scenario.