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How you can build a PPC audience framework for a privacy-focused future

It’s hard to imagine a world without cookies.

But for online advertising, that world is fast approaching… and marketers need to start preparing for a strict no-cookie diet.

So Joseph Kerschbaum recommends building your audience in two ways:

  • Squeezing every last drop from third-party tracking before it sunsets in 2024.
  • Importing first-party data to your PPC advertising platforms.

Already done that? Good.

Now it’s time to start expanding your network:

Use similar audiences. Major PPC platforms like Google and Microsoft provide “similar audiences” segments, which is when the algorithm finds users with similar online behavior.

Yes, it’s a third-party audience feature, but it could stick around because it’s based on search history and account profile data.

Build affinity and in-market audiences. These are users that are searching for a specific product, which means they’re high-intent, short-term audiences.

The main upside of these audiences is that they don’t need to be built off your first-party audiences and they’re created by on-platform usage, making them “durable.”

Use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) predictive audiences. This segment blends your on-site audience data with predictive algorithms within GA4 to determine potential user actions.

For instance, GA4 may predict likely purchasers, 28-day top spenders, and more.

Play around with the Topics API. Google has proposed a few cookieless tracking solutions, but their Topics API in particular seems promising.

Here’s how it works: Chrome determines topics and interests based on a user’s 3-week search history. Brands can target those topics to deliver specific ads. After 3 weeks, the topics are deleted.

Since it’s privacy-friendly, it may just be a key tool for expanding your audiences in the future.

Time to throw away the cookie jar… We’re entering a new era. Start planning sooner than later!