The Death of Cookies

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The removal of third-party cookies will separate the dogs from the wolves – the good marketers from the great marketers.

With the recent mass realization that third-party cookies are being phased out of the internet marketplace, marketers will be forced to rethink, tweak, and make meaningful adjustments to their digital marketing strategies. By relying too heavily on third-party cookies, less-than-great marketers will find themselves scrambling to make effective adjustments.

Here is the rundown…

Google Chrome is Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies by 2022

The last domino to fall in the elimination of third-party cookies online is Google Chrome. Other browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, have long prevented third-party cookies – since 2013, in fact. To understand the true impact of said proverbial domino, as of late 2019 (HubSpot) Google Chrome accounts for 56% of the web browser market and facilitates over half of the total amount of web traffic, worldwide. For digital marketers, this means the ability to target consumers based on browsing history, calculated interests, purchasing behavior and more across websites is disappearing for the other remaining half of their potential audience, essentially.

Google has made the decision to eliminate third-party cookies from Chrome because, over time, users have demanded a more personalized experience as a standard feature of service in every brand interaction, not just with Google. As of the beginning of last year, 63% of consumers have expressed that they expect this personalization (RedPoint Global/Harris Poll, Jan. 2019).

While third-party cookies are disappearing, first-party cookies will remain. Currently, Google is testing a program called Privacy Sandbox. In a nutshell, Privacy Sandbox stores user data within their browser. This will enable users to opt in and out of various advertising, expressing (or not) interest in products and services directly within the browser as opposed to tracking that behavior across sites, regardless of whether a user has opted in.

Enter, the rise of first-party data…

To clarify, first-party data is data collected by a company directly from their customers. This includes data collected from surveys, form fills, information in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, customer feedbacks, site pixels, and so on.

The best companies in the world are long on aggregating first-party data. Digital marketers who lack the knowledge and experience required to understand best practices are often susceptible to the notion that everyone on the planet is interested in their product or service. In reality, the consumers who are most likely to do business with their organization are the ones who have directly expressed interest in the products or services they provide.

So, what does the elimination of third-party cookies equate to moving forward?

How Digital Advertising Will Change

Marketers who wish to retain their feasibility will be required to adopt first-party data collection and re-marketing strategies. The byproducts of these adoptions are consumer exposure to advertising online that is more congruent with their expressed interests, and brands will build more meaningful relationships with their customers.

The removal of third-party cookies will damage the ease at which marketers can target consumers based on behavior. This will call for contextual and interest-based marketing to become more and more prevalent in digital marketing mixes.

At the end of the day, if consumers truly want more privacy, choices and control over how advertisers can reach them, the removal of third-party cookies is a huge step in the right direction.

Good marketers will see the removal of third-party cookies as an inconvenience or annoyance. Great marketers will see it as a challenge, something they can conquer.

So, are you a dog? Or are you a wolf? Are you prepared for a change in the digital marketing landscape?

At The Point Group, we consistently produce and execute effective, forward-thinking digital marketing strategies. Let us help you take your digital marketing game to the next level.

Do not get separated from the pack.