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Navigating the Post-Cookie World: A Comprehensive Guide for Marketers and Advertisers

Choozle March 02,2024 Education , How-to , Industry News

The Origin of the Cookie

In 1994, at the age of 23, Lou Montulli, an engineer at Netscape, the company responsible for constructing one of the internet’s earliest widely used browsers, conceived the cookie. The motivation behind this invention stemmed from a prevalent issue on the nascent web— websites lacked effective memory. Each time a user loaded a new page, the website treated them as a stranger, hindering the development of fundamental web features we now take for granted, such as persistent shopping carts across various e-commerce pages.

Montulli explored various potential solutions before ultimately opting for the cookie, a decision he later elaborated on in a blog post. A more straightforward approach could have involved assigning each user a unique, permanent ID number, revealed to every website they visited by their browser. However, Montulli and the Netscape team dismissed this option due to concerns about third-party tracking of people’s browsing activity. Instead, they chose the cookie.

The Netscape team’s initial intention was for the cookie to facilitate the management of “state” within a single website. However, the evolving demands of the open web, primarily fueled by advertising, led to the emergence of technologies and tools like ad servers and site analytics companies. These tools played a crucial role in driving growth but faced the challenge of managing and communicating state across multiple sites, particularly for functions such as counting and frequency controls. This necessitated leveraging the cookie framework but applying it to the domain of the enabling technology, such as DoubleClick.

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Martin Smith

Martin Smith is the Senior Vice President of Sales at Choozle. He has over 30 years at the leading edge of innovation in media, data and data technology on both the agency and client-side. He is a veteran of businesses in their growth phases including Apple, Audible, MatchLogic and the Lowe Group. Martin has led revenue teams and been a key driver in effectively supporting business transformations enabled by technology and the effective application of data. He’s passionate about supporting advertisers and their agencies to maximize their investments in acquiring and developing their customer relationships.

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