Cookies are usually small text files that are stored on your computer’s browser directory or program data subfolders. These are used in order to improve the user experience by keeping track of users’ movements within the site to help them resume where they left off, remember their registered login, theme selection, preferences, and other customization functions.
However, this usage of the cookies might change as Google has announced that that it will phase out the third-party cookie on Chrome browser by 2022.
Third-party cookies are created by “parties” other than the websites that the user visits. The third-party could be – providers of advertising, retargeting, analytics, tracking services, etc. They create these cookies to fulfill their business purposes.
Even though these third party cookies are useful for the creators, many a time it also invades the privacy of the user that visits the websites. This being one of the biggest concerns in this domain, several big companies have come up and phased out third party cookies in their platforms to protect users’ privacy in terms of transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used. Safari and Firefox are two such browsing platform that has already phased out third party cookies, Chrome being next in line.
The advertisers who are dependent on third party cookies for pinpointed online audience targeting strategies would be most affected. It will be difficult for the marketers and the service providers to track the overall user’s online behavior and interest other than their own website. This will also impact in deciding advertising budget and advertising content. However, Google might benefit from this by gaining a further grip on the ad market by forcing the adoption of Chrome’s own first-party cookie.
So how would the marketers and the advertisers survive this scenario?
Well, here are some steps that can be followed –
- Rely on the first party cookies as they will be still there.
- Create an alternative tool that helps advertisers track data in a way that makes the most out of the third-party cookie.
- Stay up-to-date with news related to third-party cookies and other data privacy moves that could impact your business.
- Advertisers can rely on Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox could still serve as a valuable alternative for ad targeting.
- Figure out ways to reach the audiences even without cookies, hyper-targeted ads, or mass amounts of data.
- Find alternate ways of tracking which would not invade privacy
Indeed, third party cookie phase-out is a huge challenge to deal with. However, it leaves an ocean of opportunity for new innovation to come up. Thinking in the right direction and efficient utilization of skills would help us to overcome this challenge. Many ad-tech companies are already working on it and there are a few solutions already present in the market although they need to be tested and validated at a larger level. Let’s also not forget, it would be critical to ensure the adoption of a tested and trusted alternate which will also take a lot of time to go global once the alternate is found.