You Can Keep Your Cookies. For Now.

Digital Marketing|Thought Leadership

By now, you’ve likely heard the big news. As summarized by The Wall Street Journal

Google delayed its plan to scrap a widely used technology to track web-browsing habits amid regulatory scrutiny and concern from privacy advocates and the advertising industry over the search giant’s approach to replacing the tool.

Let’s hit the high points.

Whereas previously Google was going to phase out third-party cookies by early 2022, today we learned that they have set that sunset moment to 2023. Yes, you did the math right. That means we have about two more years to continue to learn and plan for a cookie-less future. Although Google is certainly a behemoth in the online universe, it is not the only one. Other technology and ad platform leaders like Apple, Android, Mozilla and Facebook have their own user privacy changes in the works. And, concurrently, multinational, national and state government entities continue to introduce new privacy regulations.

So, what does this all mean for you?

Even on its own, the absolution of third-party cookies changes everything—social, display and programmatic buying included. While Google’s postponement gives advertisers and digital marketers a reprieve to take a breath and recalibrate, we still need to act as if cookies will go away entirely. And soon.

We’ve been preparing for this moment.

Brands should already have been preparing for this future. In our work with clients across retail, energy and utilities, travel and tourism, financial services and nonprofits, we’ve been focused on:

  1. Ensuring that our advertising practices comply with all the current (and ever-evolving), relevant privacy regulations and anticipating what’s next.
  2. Continuing to apply the robust tools and training we already have in place to fully leverage in-platform machine learning and AI decision making. Now, with more time, we can get even stronger in this arena.
  3. Focusing on the right audiences, not all audiences, so we engage with the right people from the beginning. In doing so, we ensure we’re focusing our efforts in the most effective, efficient manner, and optimizing along the way. For example, we put frequency caps on ads, monitor performance, and remove users who aren’t exhibiting demand and conversion behaviors on your behalf.
  4. Reducing reliance on third-party data. In its place, we’re building contextual targeting into all media plans.
  5. Utilizing first-party data to build marketing lists. We use advanced data tools and machine learning to make sure our clients are ahead of privacy-related changes.

And now that we have more time, what will we do?

We will continue to:

  • Learn about, test and evaluate innovations in tools and media units that don’t rely on third-party pixels to exceed client KPIs.
  • Support clients in the development of robust first-party data collection and utilization, expanding the conversation from only acquisition and conversion to include lead and demand generation, too.
  • Perform highly focused and effective market and audience research in the up front to ensure ultimate results drive business goal achievement.
  • Continue to prioritize quality over quantity.

Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.