Google is scheduled to end third-party cookies in 2023 in response to growing demands for user privacy. Since they announced their intentions in January 2020, this has been a hot topic of conversion in the marketing world.
The importance of third-party cookies
Third-party cookies currently play a major role in digital marketing, as they determine how campaigns are created, maintained, and measured. Because of this, they are considered to be one of the most effective online marketing tools.
Why are third-party cookies ending?
Third-party cookies have become persistent and pervasive, and hold enormous amounts of personal data on users through mass data harvesting. In an attempt to become more compliant with evolving data privacy laws and regulating authorities, Google is phasing them out.
“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web” – David Temkin, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust at Google
Google plans to replace third-party cookies
Whilst Google has announced the end of third-party cookies, it’s important to remember that they hold 64% of the market share for all web users and that they are not going to abandon paying publishers.
In response to their announcement, they launched the Privacy Sandbox initiative.
In the web developer world, a sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository, in the context of software development. In simple terms, it’s a safe space for developers to “play”.
New technologies being developed
Currently, in the Privacy Sandbox, a few technologies are being developed and tested.
There are four critical areas of focus:
- Ad targeting
How will digital marketers reach users interested in their products? Can they reach their ideal customer profile (ICP)?
- Ad delivery
After reaching the correct customer, how will the right ads be served to them?
- Ad performance and conversion measurement
How will advertisers get accurate reporting of their paid campaigns?
- User privacy
How will users maintain their privacy?
Once these technologies are ready for adoption, there will be a two-stage phase-out of third-party cookies.
Privacy Sandbox Concerns
The end of third-party cookies doesn’t mean the end of consent. In fact, there are some concerns that the technologies being developed could strengthen tracking, especially as they aim to continuously re-identify users, allowing for tracking precision.
There were also some concerns that Google would have an unfair advantage over their competitors, although Google has pledged to work with regulating authorities to “ensure that whatever emerges from Privacy Sandbox does not leave it with an unfair advantage.”
How advertisers can prepare for the unknown
Own first-party data
With first-party data, consumers give their data directly to organizations instead of being unknowingly tracked by third parties. This can be viewed as more transparent as it creates a clearer ‘value exchange’ with customers and prospects knowingly giving their data in exchange for content or other incentives and services. Moving forward, this will ensure that your business has compliant, actionable data on your audience’s activity and digital campaigns.
Focus on account-based marketing
As third-party cookies are phased out, this will result in less scope for broad-brush online marketing. Refined and targeted approaches, such as ABM, that focus on an ideal customer profile (ICPs) will serve as an alternative.
Utilize reverse IP tracking technology
Organizations that leverage this technology obtain in-depth first-party data on their website visitor’s activity. With this, they can fuel every aspect of their marketing activity by having data-informed insights. This is a highly viable alternative as it does not require borrowed data from third-party cookies. Instead, organizations own the data on the audience in a way that is compatible with the changes.
Web Insights is an industry-leading solution
Our website visitor automation is an excellent tool in preparation for the changes to third-party cookies, and for the marketing landscape that will follow once these changes have been implemented — all whilst putting users’ privacy first.
We are fully compliant with all the global laws, including GDPR, ensuring all personal information is protected and privacy is maintained.
Our website visitor automation is also an industry-leading solution. It allows for two-way integration and can be plugged straight into your CRM or marketing automation software. The automation of this process allows data collection for high website traffic volumes to be effortlessly streamlined.