Oh my, how the cookie is crumbling. Last month, Google announced it will begin phasing out all third-party cookie-based tracking from it’s popular Chrome browser over the next 2 years. This comes on the heels of increased privacy regulations for third-party cookie tracking (think GDPR and the recent California Consumer Privacy Act) which continue to change the landscape of how online advertisers strategize their ad spend. The Chrome browser, which holds a staggering 69% desktop market share globally, will follow a host of other browsers such as Firefox, who have already pledged to eliminate tracking users over the web.
Browser cookies have long been used to track user behaviors online by sites and networks and sold back to advertisers. Many companies also leverage cookie-level data to feed back into audience building or conversion modeling as a means to feed marketing funnels.
The industry shift to protect users online from mischievous ad tracking is long overdue, yet leaves many advertisers re-strategizing their own digital efforts. Overall a cookie-less shift may lead to more of an econometric outlook on advertising spends, opening up new horizons within the digital space.
What does this mean for you? Thankfully, there’s still some time to digest. Google hasn’t begun developing the technology, but plans to introduce the update in 2022. Now would be the time to re-evaluate third-party tracking tactics currently in use, and reconsider what your marketing ecosystem will need to look like moving forward. This might mean a higher emphasis on bespoke content and organic social, or reevaluating paid media to leverage more 1st-party data and advanced search solutions.
By Kat Traczyk, Spokane MarCom Sponsorship Chair