Cookie Audience Vs Data Audience: Which is Better?

In the few last years, we’ve heard so much about cookies; privacy, anonymity, ad blockers, remarketing, third party data, second party data… it’s all about cookies these days. If you’re a little unsure about exactly what web cookies are, you’re not alone. Here’s a short definition taken from whatarecookies.com:

Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.

A Data Audience, on the other hand, is a collection of personal, company, or employee data, or behavioural or demographic data belonging to a specific object.

To make the difference between two more clear, a Cookie Audience is a collection of non-personally identifiable information, whereas a Data Audience is a collection of personally identifiable information.

Even with a clear understanding of how the two differ, many marketers have trouble deciding which audience method will be better (and ultimately more profitable) for them in the long run.

With this in mind, I’ve created a list to show how each audience can add benefit to some of the most widely-used tools in marketing and sales today.

Website Remarketing Ads:

Cookie Audience — [Good] Remarketing based on cookies is the best choice for all marketers because there is no limit on quantity, and you can also create instant remarketing ads right after page exit.

Data Audience — [Bad] In order to create website remarketing ads based on a data audience, the advertiser needs to have at least 50k emails or addresses so that the vendor can match at least 50%.

YouTube Video Ads:

Cookie Audience — [Bad] Showing Video Ads based on an audience rented by a third party is not the best idea — who knows if the audience is credible, accurate and up to date ?

Data Audience — [Good] A Data Audience is perfect for YouTube Video Ads because you can upload a customer email list and show the video to a specific user compared to users who search for videos on YouTube.

Facebook Ads:

Cookie Audience — [Bad] Facebook Ads are so expensive that if you show ads based on Facebook Audience Criteria, you may fail to see a return on investment any time soon.

Data Audience — [Good] Rather than show the banner to 100,000 generic profiles, it’s better to show the Banner Ad to 100 users who are more likely to buy the product, costing you less as a result.

Website Personalization:

Cookie Audience — [Bad] Personalizing a Landing Page based on cookies can be so risky that you may lose clients. How so? Because cookies are data, they don’t contain personal information, so are therefore not reliable to build a personalized landing page.

Data Audience — [Good]Consumers want to be assured that everything is perfect on their landing page, and understand how different services can help them. That’s why doing added personalization based on data to a landing page increases the conversion rate and creates lifetime customers who keep returning.

Content Recommendation:

Cookie Audience — [Good]Cookies Audiences work so well with Content Recommendation because if cookies get updated, you get more precise recommendations.

Data Audience — [Bad] Content Recommendation isn’t great for data audiences because this data could be years old, meaning the customer no longer has the same interests or goals.

As you can see, it’s great to work with both audience types as they both have pros and cons. If you want a decent ROI with perfect targeting and a better audience, we suggest using a data audience for marketing, targeting and optimisation. Then, when you have developed a more in-depth knowledge, made better business decisions and have a bigger budget, you can work with a cookies audience too.

If you’re a company and looking to start using data audiences in all of your departments, now’s the time to get in touch with Global Database — we’ll provide you with the data you need most to help reach your marketing goals.