- Even though most web browsers will delete 3rd party cookies by 2024, you don’t need to panic. Now is a great time to prepare for the shift.
- The “cookieless world” is not entirely cookieless—while users will browse the web without cookies, they’re still being tracked.
- Privacy is essential: people should know how much information about themselves has been collected by any given company (and how long it can be stored).
What are Cookies Exactly?
Cookies are small text files a website or app stores on your hard drive. They’re used to store information about your activity on a website, such as the pages you visit or items in your shopping cart.
Cookies can also be used to track user activity on a website and allow companies to create profiles based on the data. For example, if a person shows interest in buying products after visiting an ad for your company (but never visited your website), cookies are likely tracking their behavior on the web and displaying ads targeting their interests.
Cookies often benefit marketers, advertisers, publishers, and consumers. In theory, they help brands to deliver more personalized experiences to people.
However, third-party cookies can introduce a privacy problem on the web: websites other than the one you’re visiting are using those cookies to collect data about you. This means you don’t have control over how your information is used.
Google Announced the End of Third-Party Cookies
The impetus for the change is online privacy.
Here’s what Goel said:
“The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create web technologies that both protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers the tools to build thriving digital businesses to keep the web open and accessible to everyone, now, and for the future.”
He went on to explain how cookies would be affected:
“Subject to our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and in line with the commitments we have offered, Chrome could then phase out third-party cookies over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023. ”
What "The Post-Cookie World" Actually Means
The “post-cookie world” is not entirely cookieless. While users will browse the web without cookies, their behavior will not be unseen. For example, when you log into an account on a website or app that uses a token-based system (such as Google), you send information about yourself to the site. Hence, it knows who you are and can serve relevant content based on your preferences and previous activity.
Another example of tracking comes from targeted ads: companies such as Meta or Google use data they collect from their users to create profiles that aim to match their audience with advertisers interested in reaching them. This means that even if a user is not logged into an account on these sites and does not have cookies enabled for privacy reasons, these companies will still know who they are based on their behavior online (and offline).
1st-Party Cookies are the New Paradigm
You may be wondering, “What are 1st-party cookies?” A 1st-party cookie is one you set on your website, and not on a third-party site such as Facebook or Google. The use of first-party cookies allows marketers to collect more rich data about their visitors than they could with only third-party tools like trackers. This means they can better understand their audiences and offer them a better experience overall.
Privacy is essential: it should be easy for consumers to opt-out if they want, and people should know how much information about themselves has been collected by any given company (and how long it can be stored).
Since browsers are now blocking third-party cookies, marketers won’t know who is seeing their ads, where they’re being shown, how long they’re viewed, and what people do when they see the ad—all information that’s helpful during the ad creation process.
While the end of 3rd party cookies will be a challenge for marketers, the movement presents an opportunity: now that consumers’ online behavior has become more private, marketers can build new marketing strategies for the cookieless world revolving around a deeper understanding of the individual.
Ingredients to Success for the Post-cookie World
When constructing your new marketing strategy for a post-cookie world, these are considerations that should guide your thinking:
- Increased emphasis on the individual – In B2B marketing today, the focus should be on engaging with people rather than companies. Achieving this requires having consolidated data and a strong understanding of your audience.
- Privacy as a strategic imperative – People don’t want their data collected or shared without their consent. Companies should put themselves in consumers’ shoes and view privacy as foundational.
- Consent and transparency (remember you are a consumer!) – Allowing your audience to opt-in for data collection is another way to build trust with your audience. Allowing people to opt-in and opt-out gives your audience a feeling of power over their information and builds trust.
- Immersive omnichannel experiences – prepare to deliver omnichannel experiences in real-time. For instance, Gen Z engages more with metaverse marketing than other types of campaigns, so your omnichannel strategy must address brand awareness on popular VR/AR platforms. You need a fluid strategy that leverages high-quality audience data that is constantly refreshed.
The adaptability and sustainability of your marketing strategy will depend on privacy, consent, transparency, and delivering immersive omnichannel experiences.
It may sound fluffy, but one key takeaway here is that when you put the needs and problems of your audience first, your marketing strategy will be successful and sustainable in the post-cookie world.
Diversify Your Marketing Strategies
While the world has been distracted by the controversial changes to 3rd party cookies, there’s something important that marketers have missed: they can already adapt their advertising strategies to this new paradigm. But getting started is not as simple as just switching out an ad network for another; it requires a shift in thinking about how you approach advertising on your site.
As you prepare for this change, keep these pieces in mind. You need to be both ready to make the switch and educated about the new technologies you can leverage.
Align Teams, Data, and Technology for Revenue
Even though most web browsers will have deleted 3rd party cookies by 2024, you don’t need to panic just yet. In fact, now is a great time to begin preparing for the shift. Ultimately, this is an exciting time for marketers, as audiences are increasingly placing a higher value on digital privacy and transparency – so if you learn how to embrace this change while keeping your brand ahead of the curve, there’s no telling what kind of opportunities may lie ahead.
How can you prepare for the post-cookie world and strategize revenue growth in one effort? The NetWise ID Graph helps marketers link B2B and B2C identifiers. The result is more accurate target audiences and the ability to deploy them consistently across all channels.