Marketers have had the future of third-party cookie deprecation looming over them since 2020, with Google pushing back deadlines again and again across the last few years. But with the turn of the new year, Google has finally put a stake in the ground and kicked off the long-awaited process. It has officially turned off 1% of cookies from Chrome users, approximately 30 million, with goals to phase out 100% by Q3 2024.

Additionally, Google is testing a Tracking Protection framework to stop cross-site user tracking by limiting access to third-party cookies. This is part of Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative, which focuses on creating technology that ensures user safety and privacy while meeting the needs of publishers and advertisers on the open web.

But what does this mean for advertisers? Even with the knowledge that cookie deprecation has been coming, there is concern that advertisers have not adopted new channels to pivot to yet – as late as Q3 of last year, 78% or more of programmatic ad purchases across industries, relied on cookies, indicating a rising trend in advertisers allocating more budget to cookie-based advertising.

 

Some industry experts, on the other hand, doubt the impact this 1% will have on the advertising industry, as 30% of other browsers like Safari and Firefox already do not support third-party cookies. They believe that this insignificant number will not be a driving force for DSPs to update traffic optimization strategies for Chrome users that still have access to cookies.

While third-party cookies serve as a universal personalization solution for advertisers, there is currently no single alternative emerging to replace them. That means the time to prioritize alternative approaches, such as more effectively leveraging first-party data, is now.

  • Targeting. Without a one-to-one substitution for third party cookies, it’s critical that advertisers test a variety of targeting tactics and measure performance against traditional cookie-based strategies while third-party cookies still exist. Think beyond targeting methods introduced by Google and consider avenues like UID2, ID5 or RampID.
  • Measurement. With cookie deprecation alleviating the ability to identify consumers from domain to domain, measuring the performance of ad campaigns becomes significantly more limited. Moving forward, performance will distill down to cohort-based, individual-based-identifier, and survey-based measurement.
  • Zero- and First-Party Data. Zero and first-party data are being utilized to start filling the gaps that third-party cookies are leaving behind. When collected lawfully and implemented strategically, this data can be implemented to generate top-quality creatives and targeting profiles.
  • Impactful Creative. As the targeting methods we once relied on become scarcer, advertisers must think about new ways to capture consumer attention and engagement. One of the emerging strategies is leveraging AI-powered, dynamically optimized creative formats designed to drive greater personalization, attention and ad effectiveness at scale.

It may feel overwhelming to get your arms around how to evolve your ad campaigns to succeed within these new constraints, but don’t worry – Emodo is ready to help. Emodo Audiences is a privacy-friendly advertising solution that offers a portfolio of cookieless audience targeting, including Emodo Predictive Audiences and Emodo Verified Audiences, to allow you to reach the right audience at scale without reliance on IDs.

Emodo also offers dynamic creative experiences, such as Emodo Adapt, that leverage campaign KPI signals to create highly personalized campaigns at scale, in order create a more strategic approach to advertising. Want to learn more about how Emodo can future-proof your targeting efforts? Reach out today for more information.