How To Prepare for The End of Third-Party Cookies

Cookies were introduced to the digital marketing and advertising industries in 1994, and  started to become commonplace in advertisements in 1995. Since then, third-party cookies have become a widely used tool in digital marketing to monitor website traffic, personalize the user experience, and gather data by increasing touchpoints for brands to drive consumers down the funnel. However, digital advertising will soon change as a result of major browsers, such as Google Chrome, no longer supporting third-party cookies starting in 2022.

Starting next year, marketers will see major browsers transition away from third-party cookies, and it will have a significant impact on how digital campaign performance and conversions are tracked and attributed. While there is no definitive solution as to what will happen when the third-party cookie expires, there are ways to smoothly transition and implement a plan for the future. These strategies include expanding access to and efficient use of first-party data, as well as working through the challenges, such as adjusting to reach users who utilize ad blockers.

Tap Into First-Party Data

Expanding access to and implementing efficient use of first-party data is one way marketers can achieve a smoother transition from the loss of third-party cookies. According to a 2019 report conducted by MightyHive and eMarketer, digital marketers were only using 47% of their company’s first-party data. More recently, Marketing Dive reported that 88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is among their top 2021 priorities.

First-party data can deliver consumers a personalized user experience, as the data is still able to predict future behavioral trends. Additionally, first-party data can derive information from user activities taken via touchpoints on a brand’s website, app, paid ads, and more. For example, during the checkout process, marketers may ask to collect the consumer’s data, such as name and email address, with a connection to the referring channel. In doing so, the customer consents to disclosing their personal information, and in exchange the marketer has ethically gathered valuable first-party data.

How to Work Around Ad Blockers

Overcoming ad blockers is an increasingly common challenge for digital marketers. Globally, 42.7% of internet users are employing ad blockers in 2021. If a consumer visits a website, they shouldn’t have to be persuaded to change their browser preferences to suit the demands of the advertisement or platform by the digital marketer. For marketers, the best response to ad blockers is to adjust their digital marketing strategies by launching new campaigns that are guaranteed to be visible to their target audience. Marketers have also begun to see younger demographics responding poorly to display ads. However, it is worth noting that more than 90% of millennials have access to social media sites. Fine-tuning campaigns and allocating budget to successful channels, such as social media or influencer marketing, can allow digital marketers to break through these newfound barriers. 

Shifting marketing strategies may be necessary with 2021’s digital marketing forecast. Marketers must be ready to pivot their digital marketing tactics at any time to maximize campaign ROI in the post-cookie world. Perform[cb]‘s 2021 digital marketing trends guide provides marketers with strategies to account for upcoming shifts in the digital landscape.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the transition to a cookie-less future, it’s important to remember that first-party data can still be gathered to help direct and optimize campaigns. While the developments in the digital marketing industry can be overwhelming, marketers have time now to prepare for major shifts, such as the end of third-party cookies. Don’t wait – take the proactive steps to prepare your digital strategy for the inevitable changes to come.

Not sure where to start? Performance marketing provides marketers with the ability to reach consumers throughout the buyer’s funnel, while only paying for those customers who convert. Want to learn more about how the performance channel can fit into your marketing mix? Reach out to Perform[cb]’s team of industry experts now!

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