How The Third-Party Cookie Crumbles
In a world where today’s news is old and yesterday’s news is already archived, the importance of staying up-to-date is crucial to remaining relevant. With the digital market moving faster than the next celebrity scandal going viral, it’s no wonder there’s yet another change on the horizon. With the intent of improving the privacy of personal information, major browsers have begun eliminating the use of third-party cookies. Now if you are just learning this for the first time, it’s time to start the process of evolving your marketing plan. Google has decided to postpone this move until 2024 so you do have some time on your side. Currently, Apple’s Safari browser and Mozilla’s Firefox don’t support third-party cookies, but when Chrome sets its initiative in motion it will essentially make cookies useless.
With third-party cookies going the way of the Dodo bird, digital advertisers must find new ways to track customer browsing/website behaviors, and product/shopping habits. At the moment digital marketing is as reliant on third-party cookies as society is on fossil fuels to power our vehicles. Reaching customers, A/B testing and frequency capping, building campaigns, performance measurement, targeting, cross-site tracking, and campaign personalization, are crucial systems that all will have to be reconstructed, as well as creating ads that are relevant to users. As about 80% of advertisers depend on third-party cookies, postponing its death gives industry leaders one last gasp of breath to develop and test new alternative technologies, and advertisers a chance to cultivate the best solution for their campaigns before they’re gone.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
There’s no denying third-party cookies are going away for good, and whether it’s happening in 2023 or 2024 advertisers need to learn how to play in a new digital playground. Keeping up with industry leaders on the latest technology can help with this transition, though advertisers and clients must also evolve and prepare their brands for future changes as much as possible. Modern marketers need to be even more modern and develop campaigns that are increasingly data-driven and less reliant on cookie-based targeting as a whole. Here are some reccos:
- Invest in learning your target audience. Have a solid understanding of the customer persona and segment to leverage contextual ad targeting. Understand the user and the specifics of their unique shopping journey, to ensure you place ads where and when it’s relevant and helpful.
- Maximize the use of first-party cookies. Consider the various user journeys on the site, and encourage users to share more data with you directly. Consider using events, newsletters, and valuable downloads for more information about your customers that you can use to fuel marketing automation and ad-buying tools.
- Content development. When third-party cookie tracking disappears, the goal will be to make website content searchable and valuable, making website visitors more likely to provide their information. Additionally, content needs to address each stage of the consumer buying journey. This will explain how the user engages with the product or service and the ability to use this context in future campaigns.
This industry shifts every day. But agencies and advertisers are no strangers to adapting to innovations, technological advancements, and rapid change. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.
When one door closes, another one opens.
Here at KU we’re doing what we do best – creative solutions for big changes. With the absence of third-party cookies, we’re now growing first-party audience lists and utilizing them across multiple channels. We are taking platform specific solutions and making website measurements more accurate. For example, within Google, we are transferring accounts to Google Analytics 4, implementing site-wide conversion tracking and working with the clients to implement Enhanced Conversion features to improve conversion measurement accuracy and bidding optimization. We are also evaluating client’s SEO efforts and making recommendations for their on and off-site SEO, as well as content creation. At King Ursa we don’t see the loss of third-party cookies as a challenge, we see it as an opportunity.