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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, cookieless marketing is one of the most monumental upcoming changes.

Google plans to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome by the end of 2024.

We’ll update 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 the cookieless future!

Quickly jump to each update on cookieless marketing using the links below:

Microsoft rolls out Enhanced Conversions to support cookieless future

April 9, 2024

As the full deprecation of cookies approaches (currently slated for Q3 2024), it’s time to start looking into replacement options if you haven’t already.

Enhanced Conversions are one viable option that many brands are investigating.

Google first introduced Enhanced Conversions in 2020. Now, Microsoft is rolling out its own version of the technology.

What is Enhanced Conversions? Enhanced Conversions use privacy-safe, first-party data to increase accuracy for conversion tracking amidst new privacy regulations like cookie deprecation. It also helps with cross-device conversions.

First, it collects customer data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and even LinkedIn data. Next, it encrypts that data through hashing. Then, it sends the hashed user information to be matched against signed-in accounts.

Microsoft started rolling out their version of the technology in February 2024.

Don’t let you or your team get caught off guard by the cookieless future. To explore how we can help you navigate the transition easily, send a message to our team now.

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Research: CPMs 30-60% Lower for Cookieless Audiences

March 12, 2024

In case you missed it, Google officially started removing cookies on Chrome in January 2024. 1% of Chrome users are now cookieless, amounting to a whopping 30 million users worldwide!

The question on every brand’s mind is: How will this affect my ability to do targeted advertising?

With only 1% of cookies currently disabled, it’s hard for marketers to draw conclusions. But we can look at data from the Safari browser, which already blocks third-party cookies.

The results aren’t promising there, though. Impressions (CPMs) are 60% lower on Safari than on cookied Chrome users.

Some research has been done around the 1% of cookieless users, although this is too small of a test audience to garner reliable predictions. Still, for that 1%, CPMs are 30% lower than for cookied users.

Other predictions, not based on the 1% test audience, put CPMs at 56% lower.

Do you feel prepared to move forward confidently without cookies? Read through our resources for some helpful strategies:

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New resource: A strategic approach for marketers to navigate cookie deprecation

February 23, 2024

Third-party cookie deprecation has far-reaching implications for advertisers and demands a strategic reevaluation of marketing approaches.

In this blog post, you’ll discover strategies to ensure your business continues to grow with cookieless marketing.

You’ll discover insights like:

  • How to understand cookies, the backbone of online advertising
  • The implications of cookie deprecation for your programmatic campaigns
  • Alternate targeting solutions to adopt once cookies are gone for good

It’s time to make sure your business is prepared for cookies to go away. Read the blog to learn more.

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Google officially starts disabling third-party cookies

February 8, 2024

With third-party cookies now disabled for 1% of Chrome users, cookieless marketing is officially underway.

Cookies are turned off for 30 million users worldwide!

Many advertisers have been slow to test cookieless alternatives due to bandwidth and budget constraints. It’s also difficult to test solutions while cookies are still working on Chrome. It feels oddly reminiscent of how many brands delayed their adoption of Google Analytics 4 last July, for similar reasons.

Programmatic advertisers have a lot on the line with the deprecation of cookies. This is especially true in retail, where 78% of programmatic ad buys rely on cookies as of Q3 2023. For other industries, including auto, food & drink, and tech, that number is even higher.

Third-party cookies are involved in every phase of programmatic buying. As the foundation of programmatic advertising, third-party cookies have been top-of-mind for many brands since Google first announced their deprecation in 2021.

At that time, Google’s plan was to deactivate cookies in 2022. That clearly didn’t happen. Since then, Google has pushed back the timeline several times. The current timeline puts official cookie deprecation at Q3 2024. Many experts are expecting the timeline to be pushed again.

Still, the deactivation of 1% of cookies marks a major milestone, as it’s the first time any third-party cookies have actually been deprecated.

The cookieless future is upon us, even if it gets delayed again. What can advertisers do to prepare? Diversify your data, utilize AI, and don’t be afraid to run A/B tests.

Another option to look toward is Enhanced Conversions. Enhanced Conversions is a Google Ads feature released in 2020 that helps to increase accuracy for conversion tracking amidst new privacy regulations like cookie deprecation. It collects customer data such as email addresses, encrypts that data through hashing, and then sends the hashed user information to Google so that Google can match it against signed-in Google accounts.

Impacts from user privacy regulations and platform changes are forcing the industry to start relying on aggregated, anonymized measurement and data collection through features like Enhanced Conversions. In fact, 85% of digital media professionals say cookie loss and accurate measurement are two of their top three challenges.

As cookie deprecation commences, is your brand’s future at risk? Don’t fall victim to bad targeting and revenue loss. Let the experts at ROI Revolution guide you down the right path. To be a proactive leader for your brand and avoid sacrificing your brand’s success, book a meeting with our team today.

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Marketers avoiding the shift away from cookies

May 23, 2023

Only 33% of customers believe their data is used responsibly by brands, but 71% of customers still expect personalized marketing. If leveraging third-party data isn’t an option, how can brands still appeal to customers?

Many brands are taking their time to shift to a cookieless future. Currently, 53% of digital marketing campaigns leverage third-party data. Additionally, in a survey of media strategists, planners, and buyers, 69% said they are fairly or deeply concerned about an unexpected privacy, technology, or legal challenge disrupting their data strategy.

With third-party data providing so many valuable insights for effective strategies, including behavioral, intent, and demographic information, the shift to cookieless at the end of 2024 will make it much more difficult for marketers to reach and acquire new customers.

How should marketers pivot? Influencer marketing is another way to reach interested customers without third-party data. Nearly one in every three shoppers say that recommendations from influencers are more important to them than recommendations from friends or family. User-generated content (UGC) is even more valuable because users see it as more authentic. In fact, UGC is 8.7x more impactful than influencer content!

Additionally, if it’s possible to collaborate with your competition to share audiences, you can possibly get more first-party data.

It won’t be easy for marketers and businesses to navigate a privacy-first world, but it will be the new path forward regardless. The ecommerce experts at ROI Revolution are prepared to help you mitigate risk throughout all the changes. To explore how we can help your business thrive even in a cookieless world, send a message to our team today.

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How first-party data will be the new way forward for the cookieless future

March 2, 2023

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.

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Steps to take to prepare for the cookieless future

January 11, 2023

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 to prepare for the cookieless future, 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 the cookieless future 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: What’s the difference?

December 7, 2022

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.

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The basics you need to know about the cookieless future

November 15, 2022

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 the cookieless future or other upcoming privacy initiatives will impact your brand, send a message to our team.