This is a part of our series When the Cookie Crumbles: Changes in Digital Marketing in 2021
As privacy becomes more of a priority for both consumers and policymakers worldwide, Google is changing the way cookies work. This fundamentally changes the way digital marketers track data and reach their desired audiences.
What is Google changing?
Google is phasing out third-party cookies on its Chrome web browsers via their ‘Privacy Sandbox project’. Their stated mission is to “Create a thriving web ecosystem that is respectful of users and private by default.” They’re also looking at other less intrusive solutions for better security for users and a way to support publishers when the block takes place.
Unlike first party cookies, which are created by site owners and are unaffected by this change, third party cookies are created by outside users (third parties) and placed by a third party server as a tag or a code to track users across different sites, so a platform like Facebook can see your activity on every site you visit. Google is phasing these out entirely. This means that marketers can no longer track their targets’ activity across the web.
How can marketers adapt to this?
Now is the time to reassess all the available resources, advertisers need to shift actions to focus on first-party data (demographics, past purchasers, newsletter subscribers, etc.). It may be necessary to consider more contextual advertising and focusing on keywords, search terms, and site content. Keeping your target audience in mind and monitoring what, when, and how they engage with content is even more important as marketing strategies are developed.