Feb 23, 2022

4 Ways Affiliate Wins Big in A Cookieless World

Bethany Cowan

Recently, there has been a significant push to move to a cookieless world in affiliate marketing.

For a long time, affiliate marketing has been driven by cookies.

Essentially, cookies track the movement of users, and the last click wins the commission.

Many people believe this is not a fair compensation model because it is not an accurate reflection of the entire customer's journey and his or her numerous touchpoints.

At Affiliate Summit West 2021, we had the honor of listening to a panel that was moderated by Jeff Wender, the Chief Revenue Officer of Rakuten Advertising, about how a cookieless'world could benefit affiliates.


Why Move Away From Cookies?

There are a number of reasons why companies are moving away from cookies.

The biggest reason is that a lot of people are concerned about how their data is being collected and used.

When used effectively, data is critical in the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. If you have more data on your users, you can figure out what products and services work best for them.

That way, you can target your ads effectively. This stands diametrically opposed to the fact that people don't want their data collected.

How can we rectify this contrast?


Moving Away From Cookies: How Affiliates Win

As we move away from cookies, tech partners and companies will need to find different ways to collect user information and track them across multiple sites. Affiliate marketing will only matter even more, leading to multiple benefits. They include:

  • Contextual Advertising: Advertisers will have access to publishers offering data in the right places at the right time.
  • First-Party Data: Publishers will provide companies with access to first-party data that allows them to understand the interests and motivations of their audiences.
  • Optimized Technology: it is possible for affiliates to deliver unique benefits and context to consumers based on advertiser strategy and KPIs.
  • Privacy: Because companies are not using cookies to collect information, they establish stronger relationships through direct consent.


As companies move away from cookies, affiliates will become even more important, which is how they win in a world without marketing cookies.


What Might The Future Look Like?

Ultimately, affiliate marketing will evolve as cookies disappear. This means that alternative tracking options will become more important. With less personally invasive solutions, there are several ways affiliate marketing and tracking can work without using cookies.

One possible development is the growth of server to server tracking. This allows advertisers and affiliates the track without using cookies at all. Servers on both sides of the relationship interact when a conversion takes place. It might be possible to use these servers to track the entirety of the customer's journey, creating a more accurate picture and rewarding affiliates accordingly.


Affiliate Marketing Will Only Become More Important in a Cookieless World

Without traditional cookies, affiliate marketing relationships will only become more important.

Clearly, affiliates will win big in a cookieless world, and this creates new opportunities for this important area of digital marketing.