In early 2020, Google announced that its much-loved Chrome browser (64% of browser share1) will no longer support third-party cookies — by 2022.
We’re seeing the waves ripple out from this announcement as advertisers and ad platforms explore workarounds. Lucky for us, we’ve been building targeting strategies that don’t rely on third-party cookies since day one. So while some wade through the changes, we’re reporting live from the wave pool snack bar with everything you need to know (and ask) before allocating your next ad budget.
As we jump from site to site, cookies track our moves. Cookies are the reason we feel like the internet is listening to and watching us (in many ways, it is). For advertisers, cookies are one of the keys to reaching the right people at the right time. Operative word: One.
Google Chrome and eventually other web browsers will stop sharing data through third-party cookies. So as a person moves from website to website, the dots will no longer connect and push that data back to ad platforms. For example, a platform could previously purchase third-party data from Mastercard for a person that travels frequently to the beach and stays at a Marriott. Going forward, data this granular will be much more limited. Bottom line, Google will own much of the data and keep it in their own platform, Google Ads.
Fortunately, MediaOne is platform agnostic and has been using Google Ads for years. We are a Google Partner, which means we will not lose access to the data that other platforms will be losing.
Your strategy will always depend on your goals, but for starters, here’s an idea of what a no-cookie strategy could include.
Using Google Ads in parallel with other platforms/DSPs.
Campaigns blended across multiple platforms get great results, and allow for efficient testing that can swing campaigns over toward the top-performing platform.
Contextual, keyword-based advertising.
Not to brag, but we’re pros at this. Contextual targeting is a core targeting strategy that has stood the test of time and will continue to help our advertisers successfully reach customers in the right places, at the right moments.
Building up first-party data sets (like your email database).
First-party data allows you to connect more directly with your audience and ultimately, better understand them, so building content that helps generate more first-party data is a win-win.
Data co-ops with publishers.
Co-sponsored content, contests, giveaways, and promotions can generate first-party data that is shared across advertising partners. Publishers are often willing to share data with advertising partners as well, when there’s a good fit.
Retargeting efforts will be affected by this change, but we view retargeting as a core tactic that yields great results and will continue to utilize it when possible.
- Do you use multiple platforms (DSPs) or only a single DSP?
- How much of our targeting relies on third-party data? First-party?
- Are we utilizing keyword-based contextual advertising?
- What’s our transition plan for retargeting without cookies?
- Will we still be able to frequency cap?
For better or for worse, many platforms will need to change their practices and collect data in different ways. This is a big shift toward greater data responsibility, and the next two years will reveal even more change, so it pays to get ahead of it.
We’ve been using first-party data along with Google Ads since our inception, so when it comes to what we know is happening between now and 2022, we’re looking forward to a seamless transition. Give us a call and we’ll start testing your new strategy today — then, you can say the same.