29 September 2021
As you may have heard by now, Google is planning to remove support for third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022. Google put out a statement through their Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy, and Trust saying that they will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web once third-party cookies are phased out.
This development comes against the backdrop of eroding trust and the potential risks consumers face from data collection. According to a recent study by Pew Research Centre, about 72% of web users feel that advertisers and technology companies track almost all their online activities. In comparison, 81% believe that the risks they face because of data collection outweigh its benefits.
While this development will take its toll on companies’ Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) and other essential marketing metrics, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction as consumer privacy protection takes precedence over profit to companies providing advertising services.
And of course, players in the advertising industry have been working on ways to balance consumer privacy while maintaining personalised adverts after cookies are out for good.
The impact of Cookies removal on Return on Marketing Spend (ROMI)
You can’t argue that third-party cookies fuel a large proportion of the digital advertising ecosystem. Given Chrome alone accounts for more than 52% of the browser market share in Australia, the imminent death of cookies will create a significant shift in the market.
Even though it won’t be long before ad tech players find alternative ways to create personalised adverts, most marketers’ Return on Marketing Investment will take a slight dip since cookies help generate sustainable revenue.
Eventually, there’ll be a way out, but while we’re busy looking for an alternative to cookies, now is a great time to start preparing for the post-cookie era.
How to move Marketing forward in the Post-Cookie era
The absence of third-party cookies means that companies will no longer have as much clarity on consumer patterns as they currently have. This will make it more challenging to serve relevant ads and validate the effectiveness of digital campaigns.
That notwithstanding, the cookie-less internet era will usher in creative marketing strategies for brands and agencies. So here are a few suggestions on how you can carry on with marketing in the post-cookie era.
Leverage first-party data
The imminent removal of cookies will increase general reliance on first-party data. Experts foresee that “partners that offer targeting solutions activated by first-party data and use sophisticated audience modelling solutions will become a gateway to reaching relevant audiences in the post-cookie era.”
For this reason, brands should prioritise building clean data lists. These comprise CRMs, email autoresponders, push notifications, social connections, customer databases, online surveys, and questionnaires. When you own the data, changes like this don’t put you at risk.
That said, brands shouldn’t expect customers to hand them the information they need on a platter. There has to be some form of mutually beneficial relationship and ongoing exchange of value with consumers to access, store, and use first-party customer data.
Use emerging tech tools
As we gear towards the post-cookie era, there has been a sprout of innovative technologies by ad tech companies. These technologies provide suitable means to predict consumer behaviours through less invasive monitoring systems that offer as much personalisation as the cookies.
One such technology is the Universal ID solution which “provides a shared identity to identify the user across the supply chain without syncing cookies.” Other tools on offer are identity graphs, heat maps, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and NLP (Natural Language Processing ) tools, to name a few.
The move by significant search engines to stop cookies may spell doom for many businesses when we consider the Return on Marketing Investment. But this impact will be short-lived, as the post-cookie era will birth innovative and practical ideas to help brands serve their target audience better. The suggestions we’ve shared in this blog are a good starting point for you.
How are you planning for the next phase without cookies? We may be able to offer more insights besides what we’ve already shared. Talk to us today.