Google Says No More Third-Party Cookies? 4 Strategies to Keep Your Marketing from Crumbling

Photo of a cookie with the Google logo on it.

Originally published in IndustryWeek.

Data and marketing go hand-in-hand; this crucial pairing ensures marketers target the right audience with the right content and make strategic decisions.  

Yet, there’s an increasing spotlight on data collection practices and privacy, with more and more customers voicing their discomfort.  

2019 Pew Research study concluded that 81% of people feel as if they have no control over how their data is collected, and 79% are concerned with how companies are using it.  

 Google, for one, is listening to their concerns.  

At the time of publication, Google announced that they would be ending third-party cookie tracking on all of their ad networks and Google Chrome in early 2020, with no plans to replace tracking technology (the change has since been pushed back to mid-2023). 

While this seems like a noble path, Google will continue tracking using first-party data (data you’ve entered into their own products, like YouTube). 

So, how do marketers adapt to a world, sans cookies? 

  1. Maximize your first-party data. It’s a no-brainer that providing value is the best way to boost customer loyalty, and in turn, continue to gather critical first-person data with consent during a query.  Email sign ups, preference centers, special birthday/anniversary offers, loyalty programs, special demos, or downloadable content can give value to customers, while helping you gather additional datapoints (email addresses, preferential data, etc.). 
  1. Focus on the long-term goal of customer loyalty and understand how important garnering and retaining this loyalty is. Build a plan to nurture and grow a loyal customer base, in turn, stacking valuable data that your customers are happy to give.  
  1. Explore email segmentation and preference centers to drill your customer base down and personalize email sends based on your customers’ interests. Launching personalized marketing touchpoints drive customer loyalty and conversions.  
  1. Tailor your content and ads based on keyword search to win in this new cookie-less world. Contextual advertising is a great tactic to try when strategizing around these new updates, allowing marketers to target users based on the theme of the webpage. 

Dive into more strategy ideas on how to navigate in our third-party cookie-less world by reading the full article, here