The Death of the Third-Party Cookie: An Inside Look at What Marketers Need to Know Moving Forward

The Third-Party Cookie Explained

Google officially announced Chrome’s phase out of third-party cookies in February 2020, leaving marketers and advertisers concerned about their plans for the future. The announcement came swiftly after accelerated demands for consumer privacy and browser transparency.

For those who are new to the world of third-party cookies, we are here to break it down for you. Third-party cookies are those tracking codes that enable ads to follow you around the web. You know that feeling when you’re searching for a new pair of sneakers and then you can’t visit another website without being barraged by a constant stream of ads for those same pair of sneakers. Oftentimes, the ads don’t stop even after you’ve purchased the sneakers. That’s third-party cookie data at work.

Given the position Apple and Google have taken of ridding the Internet of third-party tracking, marketers and advertisers should look to buy clicks from companies with first-party data. Namely, companies that own and operate websites and the messaging channels (email, sms, push) tied to those websites. Our Director of Business Development, Alex Lehine, is here to shed some light on the topic.

Q: What is the benefit for marketers to use third-party cookies and how will this change once they are phased out?

A: Third-party cookies allow advertisers to track users across the internet (cross-site) and target advertising wherever that user goes. For years, brands have been using them to track website visitors, improve the user experience, and collect data that helps them show ads to the right audiences. They also use them to learn about what our visitors are checking out online when they aren’t on our websites. Before cookies are officially phased out, smart advertisers will begin looking for alternative means to collect, profile, personalize and target customers online.

Q: Were you surprised by the phase out of third-party cookies? Why or why not?

A: Initially, I was surprised by the phase out of third-party cookies because it’s a multibillion dollar industry; advertisers and businesses use it to increase sales and most of us like the save password Chrome feature. However, as we expand our digital footprints, and as technology becomes more advanced, so does the threat to our individual privacy.

Q: What do you think is the next move for companies that heavily rely on third-party data?

A: As third-party cookies are phased out, companies will rethink how they track and target customers across the web. There will be a huge growth opportunity for companies building out their first-party data marketing strategies and also a shift in how advertising budgets are being allocated away from cookie-based platforms. I think first-party messaging channels like email, sms, and push will see significant gains over the next few years.

Moving Forward

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