18 September 2023

Marketing Strategies in a Cookie-Free World

Outside-the-box thinking for brands affected by the rise and fall of the cookie

The demise of the cookie is nearly upon us. Don’t panic – the ubiquitous chocolate chip is going nowhere. We are, of course, talking about the death of the pop-up, third-party variety, which will make its final curtain call in 2024.

Incidentally, in case you’re at the Excel on the 27th and 28th September for the Technology for Marketing event, we thoroughly recommend nabbing a front row seat at the ‘Surviving the Cookie Apocalypse’ session to get fully briefed on impact and strategy.

But back to business – this loss of third-party cookies is going to make it much, much harder for advertisers to track users and provide targeted ads, and will inevitably lead to less effective advertising in its current form.

As we step out of the cookies spotlight, marketeers will have to delve into other marketing strategies to remain relevant, from the collection of ‘Zero-Party Data. This is voluntarily shared data which customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, this could be in the form of survey, quizzes and polls. As cookie-policies tighten, we also see an increased move towards Email Marketing. 

Then there’s also another general trend to add to the mix. Recently, smallbizztrends.com published an article which highlighted how “the majority of those in the industry end up copying what the few are doing.” There were a number of reasons for this, the standouts being lack of experience and resources, which leads to newbies ‘miming’ the innovations of experienced marketers instead of creating something special.


So how can you come up with something original that can compete with the ideas of a marketing executive from a Fortune 500 firm who’s spent 25 years studying the industry?

Well, in an increasingly competitive world, it’s time to employ jungle tactics, AKA guerrilla marketing.

Guerrilla marketing is unconventional and inventive. Used in the right way, it’ll promote your business in cost effective and striking ways. It doesn’t require a massive budget unless you want it to, and relies primarily on creativity and resourcefulness to create a buzz around a brand, whatever the size.

What defines guerilla marketing is its unorthodox nature which departs from the conventional and surprises its audience. Common strategies include using flash mobs, pop-up events, street art and viral videos.

As creativity is crucial to guerilla marketing, kick the aforementioned ‘miming’ into the long grass. The impression must be original and lasting, or your audience’s attention span will mimic that of a pigeon’s.

Successful campaigns have often included viral videos and interactive installations, which brings our focus to another feature of guerilla marketing – it must be audience-centric. It’s essential that this type of marketing engages with people and is authentic and meaningful, rather than a masterclass in hard selling.

This can be linked to digital marketing by giving it a snazzy hashtag, e.g.,


Enough said!


Keeping to the digital side of guerilla marketing, we’ve got to talk about viral videos.

To have maximum reach, these videos must be shareable on all social media platforms and digital channels. And to ensure they’re shared, the audience must identify with them on some level. So, make them humorous, or empathic, or emotional, or if you’re on a roll, all three – a gold marketing star to anyone who can achieve that (and incidentally, definitely give us a call!).

Along with this audience-centric quality of guerilla marketing goes an interactivity element. Audience participation can include something as simple and fundamental as a quiz or a game. Bigger players have gone for AR experiences with varying degrees of enormous success. If you don’t have Lucasfilm’s budget, then a poll that addresses this month’s teen zeitgeist could still pull in a lot of attention for your brand.

Switching to the physical side of Guerilla marketing, this aspect is synonymous with the street. Whether it’s flash mob or street art, this variety of marketing jungle warfare comes with a free bucketful of the fresh youth-vibe. Local graffiti, murals and unusual pop-up shops are local and in-yer-face examples that involve communities. And if you can find yourself a local artist to create your vision, then you’ve got a recipe for Street Art Stardust to sprinkle all over your business.

Street art is also extremely popular and associated with the cooler cats who prowl amongst us (including the crew at the mustard jobs Bristol Office). Plus, if you do employ local artists, they’ll also be promoting their work within their own networks. Incidentally, there’s been a lot of negative publicity surrounding businesses who attempt to blag free work from artists and small businesses. Avoid this dodgy tactic, and allow your brand to spread the love.

Also remember that street art doesn’t have to be Banksy-size to make an impression. Discuss other (legal) urban art possibilities with local artists – we’re talking posters, chalk pavement and wall stencils, and memorable postcards to hand out in the street. If it’s original, striking and witty, it’ll likely end up on a student’s wall.


These are just a few examples, but what we want to know is how far outside the box your guerilla marketing ideas are.

Will they make your target audience buzz with excitement, or queue round the corner for your product? If so, then we’ve got the job opportunities you dream of at night. Call the brilliant mustard MD team on 0117 929 6060 – we can’t wait to talk!

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