While concerns surrounding consumer data keep increasing, marketers need to expect some significant changes in the next years, including third-party cookies going away. 👽 Welcome to the cookieless future.
Joking apart, change can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be negative! Succeeding in this cookieless world will mean being adaptable and developing new advertising strategies to boost revenue.
In this post, we give you the necessary background to understand what the cookieless future holds and some of the best ways to seize its opportunities.
Cookies are small data files generally stored on a user’s computer/browser. Every time you go back to a website you’ve already visited, cookies remember your preferences (such as your password). Not all cookies are the same, they can have different purposes:
Learn more about what cookies track here.
Cookies are usually divided into first-party and third-party cookies:
Learn more about third-party cookies in this article.
The past years have been characterized by new key trends towards:
👉 As a consequence, third-party cookies will have to go away. In a blog post on July 27th, 2022, Google declared pushing back the effective date to begin phasing out third-party cookies in the 2024.
No need to get too concerned. This change will be gradual:
The cookieless future is a shift in the digital landscape after Google announced in January 2020 its intentions to kill off the tracking cookies on Chrome. These tracking cookies help advertisers track users around the web and target them with ads.
It goes without saying the objective is to improve user privacy and replace third-party cookies with more privacy-conscious technologies.
Many browsers including Firefox, Safari and Chrome have decided to stop the use of third-party cookies. Of course, each browser has decided to position itself on the topic of privacy differently. As a consequence, this impacted the level of involvement of each of them in finding and offering compelling alternatives.
At the time of this writing, Firefox and Safari haven’t provided clear guidelines on potential alternatives to third-party cookies going away, unlike Google. Keep reading for more.
The above browsers haven’t provided clear guidelines on potential alternatives. Google, on the other hand, has a clearer answer.
Google defined a series of solutions as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative.
It recently proposed Topics API. In a nutshell, with Topics API, the browser keeps an eye on your web activity and determines what you’re interested in based on the category of websites you browse the most, without needing to know the specific sites you’ve visited. This still allows advertisers to display relevant ads.
👉 It’s important to understand that Google won’t stop tracking people entirely. Different technologies in the early phases of development aim to replace third-party cookies to show relevant content and ads.
In April 2023, Google released some results on Google Ads’ interest-based advertising testing. Interest-based audience solutions’ performance showed promising. Ad spending with internet-based audience solutions (which include privacy-preserving signals) was down 1% to 3% compared to third-party-cookie results. However, click-through rates remained within 90% of the status quo.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can easily implement to make the cookieless future your ally.
Can there be a win-win for consumers and marketers? Definitely! 🎉
While publishers and marketers have been relying greatly on third-party cookies, there is now an opportunity to choose among different alternatives which gather high-value data and place privacy and trust as governing principles.
Zero-party data is data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. The benefits are clear:
In a nutshell, zero-party data is the best of both worlds: a privacy-conscious alternative, giving control back to consumers and providing marketers with high-quality personalized data.
On the other hand, first-party cookies (mentioned before) help to provide a seamless user experience. They can also give you some analytics data on website traffic.
👉 Early adopters of first and zero-party data solutions will reap great benefits. Make sure to implement a strategy that relies on this valuable data.
These two methods were previously overlooked in favor of third-party cookies, but could make a quick comeback:
💡 Aside from the usual effort with ads, it becomes important to inform and educate the audience with relevant and native messages that allow better decision-making.
In this new cookieless world, along with adopting new privacy-friendly methods, companies and marketers alike must put user privacy and trust first. Users must be shielded from having their data collected without consent. At all costs.
Implementing privacy-friendly practices isn’t a walk in the park. But as we’ve seen in this article, it is crucial. Here are some key tips that you should follow:
Luckily, legal software solutions can assist with the technical aspect of all of the above. They help you be compliant with international privacy laws and ultimately build valuable relationships and trust with users.
👉 If you haven’t already, definitely consider getting one. Leverage consent, privacy, and compliance in your favor to build more serene customer experiences.
Curious to assess how compliant you are on all the aspects of data collection?