The death of the cookie is upon us. For over 20 years, advertisers have been using third-party cookies to track users and target them with relevant ads. As the privacy landscape evolves to be more protective of consumers’ data, third-party cookie deprecation and cookieless marketing are some of the most monumental upcoming changes.
Google plans to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome completely by the end of 2024.
We will be updating this blog post regularly with all of the latest news and developments around the deprecation of third-party cookies. Stay tuned and be sure to bookmark this page to your favorites so that you can stay up-to-speed with the most current news about the shift to cookieless marketing!
How first-party data will be the new way forward post-cookie
Goodbye, cookies, and hello, first-party (1P) data. After Google deprecates the third-party cookie on Chrome next year, businesses will need to rely on first-party data for targeted marketing strategies.
What is first-party data? How can marketers use it to continue growing profitably once the cookie goes away? Let’s explore the answers to these questions and more.
First-party data is data that a business collects and owns from their own customers, and it’s often used for personalized marketing. If you’ve seen a lot of businesses promoting their mobile app recently, it’s because mobile apps are one of the most effective methods for companies to collect 1P data. Other sources for first-party data include purchase history, loyalty programs, and email marketing interactions.
How does first-party data differ from third-party data? Instead of coming from inside a business, third-party data comes from outside the business. Cookies are just one example. Another example is buying a list of consumer data from a data company and using that to target users.
By the end of 2024, Google will get rid of the third-party cookie on Chrome. While companies will still be able to get third-party data from outside data companies, first-party data will be the main focus moving forward.
While this may pose difficulties at first, it should also lead to more profitable marketing strategies.
A major benefit of running campaigns based on 1P data is that these campaigns are much more likely to convert and typically have a higher return on investment (ROI) since first-party data is based on real interactions that your customers have had with your brand.
In order to have an effective strategy for using your 1P data to reach and convert your target audience, your data needs to be organized and accurate. Many brands struggle to have consistency across their CRM with how data is organized, and in many cases, critical informative data can be missing. Having a strong foundation to work from will be the first key to ensuring your first-party data strategy will help you grow revenue once third-party cookie data isn’t available anymore.
Once your data is organized, you’ll need the ability to understand how your customers interact with your brand across channels. Partnering with cross-channel experts can help your brand connect the dots between the different places you advertise. With this knowledge, you can build personalized marketing plans to guide customers to purchase from your brand.
While there’s still a while to go before the cookie goes away (and no one can be certain that Google won’t push the date back for a fourth time), now is the best time to figure out how your brand will navigate the new path forward. At ROI Revolution, our digital marketing teams consistently stay on the pulse of everything in ecommerce to help our clients be proactive in today’s constantly shifting environment. To explore how we can help your brand drive revenue, save money, and reduce risk even with all the uncertainty, send a message to our team today.
Steps to take in 2023 to prepare for cookieless marketing
We can officially say that next year, third-party cookies will disappear on Chrome. Marketers that rely on these cookies for paid search advertising will need to switch to a first-party data model.
The transition to cookieless marketing will mark one of the biggest shifts in ecommerce history.
Leveraging your company’s CRM to build audiences and understand user behavior will become more of a key strategy for many brands. There are lots of options for automated CRM connections that can help you use that data more effectively, including customer match capabilities.
Taking a full-funnel approach to your marketing strategy can also help mitigate some of the obstacles that will undoubtedly come with the switch.
Beyond the funnel, third-party cookies have also historically been crucial for remarketing efforts. Don’t be surprised if you experience shifts in your dynamic remarketing ad performance once the cookie crumbles. To help offset any negative impacts, it will be crucial to have a more solid grasp on your top-performing products.
If you’re looking for more insights on the steps you need to take in 2023 to prepare for cookieless marketing, you won’t want to miss our 2023 Digital Strategy Forecast. In this live panel and Q&A on January 18th at 2 pm ET, you’ll hear from eight of the ecommerce experts at ROI Revolution who work with large brands every day to determine and deliver strategies to drive growth – even with inflation and an impending recession.
The webinar will not only cover cookieless marketing but also insights on the current state of paid media and web optimization, strategic shifts to consider to profitably allocate your marketing budget across different channels, and more. Save your spot for the webinar here!
First-party vs. third-party cookies
When Google deprecates third-party cookies on Chrome in 2024, brands that advertise through paid search ads on Google will need to alter their strategy to still be able to reach targeted audiences.
After the cookie disappears, Google will still support first-party identities on ad platforms. What does this mean for you? What’s the difference between first-party cookies and third-party cookies, anyway?
Cookies can be thought of as tracking breadcrumbs that are stored in your internet browser (in this case, specifically Chrome). They can capture information about user preferences on one website or across multiple websites.
The main difference between first-party and third-party cookies is that first-party cookies are set by the website a user is visiting and only track information pertaining to the user’s behavior on that website. Third-party cookies, however, leverage advertising pixels to track user behavior across websites and determine their interests.
The digital advertising industry is leaning into user privacy like never before. As transformations like cookieless marketing, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, Google Analytics 4, and more continue to rock the boat, the ecommerce experts at ROI Revolution are staying on their toes to keep the stress at bay for our clients. If you’re overwhelmed by all the privacy changes, send a message to our team to see how we can alleviate your concerns.
The basics you need to know about cookieless marketing
Since the dawn of digital, marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity. But the world of marketing is changing. The departure of browser-based tracking is upon us.
Third-party cookies provide data about a shopper’s interests, past purchases, frequently visited websites, and more. Any brand that uses data for online advertising and targeting will be impacted by Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome.
In other ways, web tracking as we know it is going away. The shift away from cookies will help keep consumer data secure and avoid covert advertising practices.
Google is spending a few years to get the solution to third-party cookie deprecation right, and it’s taking a bit longer than originally expected. Initially, Google planned to start the cookie deprecation process in early 2022, but announced in June 2021 that the date would be pushed to late 2023. Then, in July 2022, Google announced that third-party cookie deprecation won’t happen until the second half of 2024.
In the blog post announcement, Anthony Chavez, Google’s Vice President of Privacy Sandbox, said:
“This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.”
The purpose of cutting the cookie is to give users more data privacy online. For Google, the key will be balancing the need to respect user privacy with empowering advertisers to continue to effectively do business online.
ROI Revolution’s digital experts are on the forefront of all the latest developments in online advertising. If you’re interested in talking to an expert about how the shift to cookieless marketing or other upcoming privacy initiatives will impact your brand, send a message to our team.
To discover more about third-party cookie deprecation and how you can ease the transition for your brand, read more of our resources below:
- Breaking News: Google Delays Third-Party Cookie Deprecation (Again) – This Time, to Late 2024
- Breaking News: Google Delays Third-Party Cookie Deprecation to Late 2023
- Cookieless Paid Search Marketing: What to Expect
- Programmatic Advertising + Cookieless: What Your Brand Needs to Know
- Infographic: Programmatic Advertising + The Loss of Third-Party Cookies
- White Paper: Programmatic Advertising in a Cookieless World
- Signal, What is First-Party Data?