Welcome to our Decoding Digital series, where we take complex digital marketing topics and make them easy to understand! Today we’re talking about third-party cookie support going away in Chrome.
First off, why should you care about third-party cookies going away?
What are third-party cookies and why are they going away?
Cookies placed by third parties (like Google Ads and Facebook) are used to better understand and target users when they are not on websites you own; this is the part that’s going away. As a result, ad attribution, measurement, frequency capping and suppression, insights, segmentation, activation, and retargeting will be shaken up in 2023 and beyond.
Google will phase out third-party cookie support in Chrome from mid- to late-2023 (previously slated for early 2022, but delayed due to industry opposition and feedback from testing possible replacements). Privacy-first web browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and Brave already block third-party cookies. We do not know yet what will replace third-party cookies for the purposes of tracking, targeting, and advertising. Possible solutions are actively being developed and tested (FLoC, Privacy Sandbox), but it remains to be seen what will rise to the top.
First-party cookies (ex: remembering your shopping cart, items you viewed on a site, etc.) are not being phased out, as they only relay data back to the owner of the site.
What can we do to prepare for third-party cookies going away?
- Prioritize first-party data. Begin creating a usable identity graph of customers and prospects with an email address and/or phone number as the key.
- Look into text messaging as a 1-to-1 advertising strategy.
- De-prioritize remarketing in 2022.
- Design creative that stands out from the sea of ads. Essentially, this is a return to the mindset used when designing billboards and mass-mailers – we want them to resonate with our target audience, whoever and wherever they are.
- Test iterations of ads against one another, and/or make more use of Google AI to test.
- Implement cookie permission banners across sites.