What You Need to Know About Google’s Latest Announcement
July 3, 2021
According to its latest blog post, Google is officially delaying its phase out of third-party cookies in Chrome from this year until 2023. For many marketers scrambling to find first-party data solutions, this announcement comes as a much-needed relief.
Because the loss of third-party cookies and tracking mechanisms will likely lead to massive challenges down the road where digital advertising and consumer targeting efforts are concerned. Especially if there’s not a widely adopted alternative in place by the time third-party data tracking finally comes to an end.
So, how does this unexpected delay impact you and your work?
Google and the Future of Data Privacy in Digital Marketing
While Google has been hard at work building its Privacy Sandbox, many marketers are skeptical of whether or not this toolset will be enough to make up for the loss of third-party cookies and insights. Even Vinay Goel, Chrome’s Privacy Engineering Director, admits that there’s much work to be done before the organization (and you) are ready to sunset third-party data tracking capabilities forever.
“While there’s considerable progress with [the Privacy Sandbox], it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” said Goel.
However, the organization isn’t simply looking for a quick fix or to replace third-party cookies with an equally invasive form of individual tracking approaches like browser fingerprinting, The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0, or Lotame’s Panorama ID that have been growing more and more popular in media since Google’s original announcement.
Despite this delay, Google continues to develop its next generation of data privacy-friendly marketing tools. If all goes well, expect a new suite of first-party data-driven technologies to be deployed by the end of next year — giving you and marketing experts everywhere nine months to test these tools and migrate services before Google’s three-month phaseout of third-party cookies begins in late 2023.
3 Steps You Should Take Today
If it isn’t already obvious, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start preparing now for life after third-party cookies. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done for many marketers who don’t know where to start. So, here are three easy recommendations you can use to ready your future personalization strategies:
Focus on where you already collect first-party data
It’s never been more important to collect insights directly from your customers. But that doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel — rather than building out new initiatives and campaigns, focus your attention on improving existing efforts like event signups, landing pages, newsletters, and digital subscription forms. That way, you’re able to capture new data points with minimal time and resource investment required!
Always keep consent in mind
This shouldn’t be a new concept after GDPR. But it’s nonetheless an important consideration that is only growing more vital to the ultimate success or failure of your personalized marketing strategy.
Transition to People-Based Targeting
When you combine first-party data with real-time personalization, you’re able to target a desired audience across any channel they engage with. Because people-based marketing doesn’t rely on third-party cookies and tracking mechanisms, it’s an ideal solution for interacting with customers on their own terms.
If you’re interested in building your own people-based marketing strategy, consider these three key elements:
- Identification – Before anything else, you need to know who your customers are, which device(s) they use, and when they’re most likely to act. If you’re not tracking individual customer journeys correctly, your first-party user data is doomed to lead to poorly-designed digital marketing strategies going forward.
- Data – Real-time behavioral data such as a recently viewed product, an abandoned online shopping cart, or the categories they’re currently browsing can be combined to give you a highly detailed, individualized view of every buyer.
- Automation – Eliminate your need for cookie-based data by generating the insights you need from a single source. By automating your first-party data collection and personalization approach, you’re able to build seamless, omnichannel customer experiences from one cohesive digital marketing strategy.
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