Understanding Your Audience in a Cookie-less World
Sergio Oliveri |
 11/04/22 |
4 min read

Understanding Your Audience in a Cookie-less World

As cookie-based advertising is set to be eliminated in the coming year, many marketers are wondering how this will affect their consumer research strategies. More importantly, they want to know if there are alternative methods they can use to understand and reach their multi-faceted audiences. There are ways. Let’s explore!

Our recent Adweek webinar, The Marketer’s Guide to Post-Cookie Targeting: Evolve Beyond Third-Party Data shared ways to prepare for the impending shift by adopting advanced targeting techniques. We’ll summarize it below and be sure to watch the webinar for a more in-depth understanding of the approach offered.

It’s likely you can capture critical intel with the tools you’re already using for social listening, segmentation, and customer relationship management (CRM). In particular, with NetBase Quid® brands can navigate these unchartered waters thanks to an additional capability developed specifically for the post-cookie world. And the timing couldn’t be better, as marketers have one key word to describe how they’re feeling:

marketers dreading cookieless world

In this webinar, Bob Goodson, President & Co-Founder of NetBase Quid®, explains this new capability for the first time in public. And he is joined by David Katz, SVP of Strategic Growth and Harvey Ranola, Head of Media Intelligence––both seasoned data experts.

So, how can brands not just maintain but improve their consumer research outcomes and audience targeting as our cookie-less world sets upon us?

Your Audience Can Be Segmented Along Different Lines

Depending on how you segment your audience data, you can gain different insights. To demonstrate, wee see data gathered from audience conversations about the car company, Audi. The breakdown shows the distribution of consumers along the standard demographic lines: Gender, age, and ethnicity.

For a better understanding of this audience though, the analysis looks at the diversity of interests within the conversations. Trying to reveal this side of the consumer using a traditional technique like surveying would destabilize the process and be unreliable.

But with NetBase Quid®’s AI technology, this is easy. And post-cookies, it will be necessary for brands to accomplish that level of segmentation to understand the target market.

audience demographics and interests

Understand your audience across different segments.

Segmenting your audience allows you to gather the kind of data that you need to make specific decisions. With that starting point, you can slice up the pie in shapes and proportions that best serve the purpose.

For instance, by combining the insights on its audience demographics and interests, Audi can create more compelling marketing campaigns––they can appeal to something beyond the consumer’s desire to own a great car, i.e. how does it complement their lifestyle?

Segmenting your audience allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns to the different attributes, interests, and tastes so you don’t risk alienating some of the potential buyers.

Inevitably, this consumer research process reveals what else your audience is talking about. And this is crucial to marketing in the post-cookie world.

Your Customers are Talking About Different Things (and Brands)

Just as it’s important for brands to segment their audiences, zeroing in on the individual is important as well.

An example is coffee. People enjoy coffee and they love talking about it. The average coffee brand may focus on the conversation about its vertical and leave it at that.

But analyzing the consumer conversation beyond the brand or industry will be a game changer for businesses post-cookie.

Looking at users who mentioned coffee in the previous six months, we can see the top topics of interest among coffee drinkers.

coffee sentiment

Zero in on the customer to see what else they are talking about – and how.

Being aware of the other things that people talk about beyond your own brand or product vertical is important to reaching and engaging with the audience. First, because it establishes the personality of your brand.

Second, the modern brand is expected to do far more than make great products. Case in point, two of the popular topics among coffee drinkers are environmental sustainability and mental health. There are many things a brand could do with this information from implementing internal policies, to CSR, to the planning, content, and execution of marketing campaigns.

Third, it can help you find potential partners by obtaining a clearer view of your customers’ lifestyles. Even if you don’t find a partner, you may at least glean marketing ideas to inspire and improve your messaging so it appeals to them.

Gauging consumer sentiment around different topics is important. For instance, users who post about coffee are generally positive and not only when talking about coffee––and this should certainly set the tone of your messaging!

Rethinking Different Sources of Consumer Data

Every hero is endowed with some power, and this is yours. You have a variety of significant data sets from a variety of sources at your disposal. One that not only offers a general understanding of the consumer, but also keeps track of trends impacting consumer attitudes and behaviors.

In the webinar, Katz takes the audience through the process of targeting customer cohorts and detecting trends (as well as fads).

There are many sources of consumer data that businesses can tap into – which we regularly cover on the NetBase Quid® blog.


To understand the modern multi-faceted audience in a cookie-less world, brands will need to know how to bring these consumer research sources together for comprehensive analysis. And the Intelligence Connector amplifies these efforts. It can continuously process massive quantities of relevant data, identifying at potential trends, and moving it into a common business intelligence dashboard where it can be analyzed and acted upon in real time.

trend vs fad vs noise

Use your data and tools for a deep understanding of consumer behavior.

This tool is very useful for brands that want to do cohort targeting i.e. go beyond knowing the basics about the customer to being aware of what they care about on a day-to-day basis.

The ability to convert an organization’s email list into an anonymized social media cohort and analyze the conversational themes to reveal customer trends – and all without violating the consumer privacy policies of the post-cookie world, is an incredible must have for every team.

As a marketer or brand, you can rest easy knowing that even without cookies, you’re still able to perform deep-level consumer research and gain a comprehensive understanding of your target market. Watch the full webinar to see how this can look for you: The Marketer’s Guide to Post-Cookie Targeting: Evolve Beyond Third-Party Data.

And be sure to reach out for an expert-led demo today to further your understanding of these next-level options!

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