Farewell, Cookies

Written by Jackie DiBella-Curry and Jonathan Baker

Google’s plan to ultimately end third-party tracking (better known as “cookies”) may be old news, but the impact of its beginning stages is already being felt far and wide. If you have adapted to other methods of marketing, great. If not—start now. And read this now.

The phaseout has begun on Chrome

It was reported late last year that Google planned actionable steps—however gradual—in the phaseout of third-party marketing. And this indeed began in early January for approximately one percent of Chrome users throughout the globe. It should be noted that these users were randomly selected. So, if you are still utilizing cookies as a strategy, you might notice that you aren’t reaching the same number of prospects, among other changes. And these changes will only continue and magnify.

What changes will be noticed?

The changes—or all-encompassing disruption—to the once popular and often-used practice of third-party marketing is being noticed. These changes will include:

  • The inability to measure individual conversion journeys
  • Increased challenges in campaign reach and frequency
  • A decline in conversion numbers due to Google no longer having the capability to track the influence of ad impressions on conversions

When there is change, there is always challenge…

The challenge

Yes, these are challenging times—which will only become greater and more difficult for any marketing professionals who are not prepared to leave third-party methods behind them. Ultimately, the challenge for marketers will be to do more with less. More effort and elbow grease will be needed to bring brands to the attention of potential customers. The next stage of discontinuing cookies is scheduled to take place later this year. Still, marketers should not delay in adapting to alternate solutions.

Solutions—or “anti-cookie” strategies

The main reason Google decided on eliminating third-party tracking was due to privacy concerns among users. Marketers everywhere must therefore develop a “privacy-first” mindset for reaching and connecting with potential customers. Alternate—and effective—strategies to consider:

  • First-party data: This is perhaps the most direct and transparent form of marketing, as brands are matched with potential customers who are seeking specific goods and services. A genuine relationship develops between brand and customer, and, if conducted properly, will only grow stronger.
  • Contextual advertising: Here, the focus is to strictly attract customers through authentic targeting via relevant keywords, imagery, and topics. Users conducting a search will see what they want as well as any content that is genuinely connected to what they are looking for.

Additionally, the “marketing mix modeling” (MMM), as the name suggests, is a very thorough test of customer reach. Through MMM, data related to sales and marketing is analyzed in order to predict the impact of future campaigns, particularly where ad spend is concerned.

A “cookies parallel”

Have you ever snacked on milk and cookies while being preoccupied with something else, like reading a fascinating book or watching an exciting movie? Then, before you know it, the cookies are all gone. The digital marketing parallel is that the tracking known as cookies will be all gone, sooner than thought—and with no option to buy more.

Don’t become too preoccupied.

Adapt to new ways of establishing and maintaining relationships with your customers.

The EGC Group has been at the forefront of the “cookie-less marketing” change. Get in touch with us today so that we can help you find the marketing method to best suit the needs of your customers—and by extension, you.