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Marketing Impacts of Third-Party Cookie Deprecation

With the phase-out of third-party cookies, the world of advertising as we know it will look completely different. In fact, this change has already started with browsers transitioning away from third-party cookies. Google announced its complete transition by 2025, which will vastly impact how marketers create, track, and improve their advertising campaigns. Learn everything you need to know about navigating the deprecation of third-party cookies and its impact on advertising. 

The Move Away From Third-Party Cookies

The move away from third-party cookies comes down to one main thing: privacy. In 2017, GDPR established in-depth privacy laws to protect the privacy of Europeans. However, these laws significantly impact the US since businesses and organizations that target or collect data related to the EU must comply with the privacy guidelines. 

The privacy of internet users has always been a topic of conversation. However, the new laws and strict regulations made it clear it was time to move away from third-party cookies and find new ways to serve personalized advertising campaigns to users. The third-party cookies impact is enormous on the world of advertising because marketers have long relied on the valuable information gleaned from third-party tracking. 

How Does the Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies Affect Marketing?

The deprecation of third-party cookies will impact the way campaigns are implemented and managed by brands. Third-party cookies were the primary way to learn about your target audience and their online behaviors, such as frequently visited websites, recent purchases, and interests. With this information, marketers could develop detailed visitor profiles and create personalized, targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns. Specifically, advertisers used third-party cookies for targeting, measurement, and attribution.

Third-Party Cookies: Impact on Targeting

Third-party data provided advertisers with information about consumer behavior. This enabled advertisers to create campaigns that targeted the right customer at the right time with messages and products relevant to them. Without third-party tracking, this type of targeting changes. 

Fortunately, there are some solutions currently being tested to achieve a similar result. Google Privacy Sandbox is one of the solutions, which includes a proposal to track internet users as a group based on their behaviors rather than individuals. This proposal, called FLoC, is currently being tested to meet the needs of tracking new potential customers. 

Third-Party Cookies: Impact on Measurement and Attribution

Another critical element of third-party cookies for advertisers is the ability to measure ad campaign success and accurately attribute conversions to specific ads. This is necessary for campaign optimization. As third-party cookies become less available, multi-touch attribution models will become less reliable. Google Privacy Sandbox is also working on solving this problem with two APIs for aggregated reporting and conversions measurement. Both of these solutions would work together to enable advertisers to collect valuable information about their ad campaigns without a large breach of the internet user’s privacy. 

Other Solutions to the Third-Party Cookies Impact on Advertising

Google is not the only company seeking to develop solutions for advertising in a cookie-less world. LiveRamp is also launching an Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) for advertisers as a way to gather real-time data without the use of cookies. With a strong focus on privacy, LiveRamp’s solution uses IdentityLink to increase user privacy control on behalf of consumers. Yet, at the same time, their solutions offer enhanced targeting and measuring capabilities for advertisers. As we near 2024, keep an eye out for new solutions to the market to ease the impact of a cookie-less future for marketers.

Fortunately, while the loss of third-party tracking will change the way companies advertise their products, not all hope is lost. Now is the time to strengthen other areas of your marketing strategy to fill in the gaps that third-party cookies will leave.

First things first, focus on first-party data, including first-party cookies. First-party cookies are still a valuable source of personalized data about your consumers. By collecting, analyzing, and using this data, marketers can create more personalized ad campaigns while still protecting the privacy of internet users. 

Additionally, other forms of advertising are going to become more critical than ever. Using email advertising and social media advertising will prove effective now as ways to personalize ad campaigns. For example, when advertising on Facebook, you can choose a clearly defined, targeted audience. While the personalization isn’t as sophisticated as when using third-party data, it still provides valuable results for brands. 

Lastly, contextual targeting will continue to effectively reach your target audience at key moments during research and inspiration. 

Build Customer Relationships and a Strong CRM Database

Consumers want privacy, but they also want to know that the brands they interact with are trustworthy and authentic. By focusing on building strong relationships with your customers, you can increase your first and zero-party data, effectively providing you with valuable insights without using third-party cookies. This can drastically improve your marketing efforts, enabling you to target customers directly. Plus, the more a customer knows you, likes you, and trusts you, the more likely they will purchase from you. A robust CRM database benefits your marketing efforts, as well as your overall revenue and growth. 

Journey to the Cookieless Future

Transitioning to a cookieless world isn’t an easy task but, with AdRoll as your trusted partner, you’ll have a much more comfortable journey. AdRoll has been working closely with Google to refine and test the new technologies that will replace third-party cookies. As new technologies become available, AdRoll will be among the first to adopt and incorporate them in our marketing solutions. Learn more about how AdRoll can help you prepare for the journey to the cookieless future.