How Losing Third-Party Cookies Is Impacting the Marketing World

How Losing Third-Party Cookies Is Impacting the Marketing World

Concerns regarding data privacy have increased over the past several years and things are continuing to change as a result. We are currently in the midst of a change to data collection as Google starts disabling third-party internet cookies. If you are asking what makes third-party cookies different than others, you aren’t alone. Today, we’re diving into what third-party internet cookies are, why they’re unique, and why they’re on their way out.

Comparing Cookies

An internet “cookie” is a small text file that collects data that is used to identify your computer and personalize your experience. Cookies are the reasons why websites can remember what items you viewed when you last visited and keep you logged into your account. The range of data that cookies can be used to collect is vast. While some data helps to better the user experience, other data sets are used more for marketing purposes. This is where concerns about third-party cookies have been raised, as they fall into the second category. It helps to compare third-party cookies to first-party cookies to highlight the differences in the way they are used and why one is under scrutiny.

Comparing Cookies
First-Party Cookies

Most websites employ first-party cookies. These cookies are installed directly onto the website itself and collect analytics data such as language settings or other details that can improve your overall experience. Some of this can be used for audience targeting in the future but it is largely employed to ensure that the user experience is as enjoyable and smooth as possible.

Third-Party Cookies

The third-party cookie is installed by a third party onto a website to collect information on users. After users visit a site that enables third-party cookies, the cookie is stored onto their browsers, tracking their online activity and building a profile on them. These cookies are installed to research behavior, demographic details, or spending habits that will help advertisers create content or products that better target their audience more accurately.

Why People Dislike Third-Party Cookies

The use of third-party cookies can benefit consumers as they are less likely to encounter advertisements that are irrelevant to them. These cookies are the reason why the ads on multiple different websites seem to always be specially targeted to you and your interests. The catch here is that people have begun to realize this means their data is available to far more businesses and brands than they ever consented to. There isn’t a lot of transparency as to what their data is used for when collected by a third party which can leave users feeling vulnerable. Google is following other search engines in the pattern of disabling third-party cookies in the near future. While it is taking a slower approach to this action, Google is working through answering the question of what will fill in the gap that third-party cookies leave behind so that nothing worse pops up.

How Marketing and Advertising Is Impacted by Third-Party Cookies Getting Trashed
How Marketing and Advertising Is Impacted by Third-Party Cookies Getting Trashed

The loss of third-party cookies is unlikely to impact the function of a website. It will, however, make it tougher for advertisers and marketers to figure out how best to target their chosen audiences.

If that worries you a bit, you aren’t alone. HubSpot and GetApp found that up to 41% of marketers believe their biggest challenge will be the inability to track the right data. Even more, marketers believe that they’ll need to increase their ad spending to reach their previous years’ goals.

The future won’t be 100% cookieless. However, as third-party cookies disappear, the marketing strategies that relied on third-party data will need to adjust. You’ll still be able to employ first-party cookies, session cookies, and more, but the wide range of data that came from third-party cookies will no longer be available.

The challenge to advertisers and marketers alike will be in finding new ways to align products and services with the wants, needs, and interests of the target audience. One way to approach this is through contextual advertising which we will discuss another day (so stay tuned!) The truth is that you may need to reassess your marketing strategy. Ask yourself what aspects are entirely dependent on third-party data. Now figure out how you would market toward your audience without those details.

What parts of your strategy changes?

“Google’s Privacy Sandbox aims to replace third-party cookies
with a more privacy-conscious approach, allowing users
to manage their interests and grouping them into
cohorts based on similar browsing patterns.”

Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch+

The challenge to advertisers and marketers alike will be in finding new ways to align products and services with the wants, needs, and interests of the target audience. One way to approach this is through contextual advertising which we will discuss another day (so stay tuned!) The truth is that you may need to reassess your marketing strategy. Ask yourself what aspects are entirely dependent on third-party data. Now figure out how you would market toward your audience without those details.

What parts of your strategy changes?

“Google’s Privacy Sandbox aims to replace third-party cookies with a more privacy-conscious approach, allowing users
to manage their interests and grouping them into cohorts based on similar browsing patterns.”

Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch+

If you are still offering value to your target audience and you are still using context clues to aim your ads at where they will spend time and what they’re looking for, then you’re likely to be in good shape, even without knowing all of their online activity. While the future remains to be seen, the loss of third-party data will likely shift marketing to be more organic and safer. It may lead to some irrelevant ads for different audiences, but it will also set apart the truly effective marketing strategies that don’t need invasive data to get the attention of their buyers.

Stay Ahead of Changes With Varga Marketing

Keeping up with the never-ending changes that impact the digital marketing world can be tough when you are trying to run a business at the same time. Why not use the resources at your disposal at Varga Marketing, Inc? We provide digital marketing agency services, including helping you build marketing strategies that prove effective even in the face of big industry shifts like this. Reach out today to get help building your marketing strategy today.

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