Lead Forensics

Despite Delays, Google to Phase Out Third-Party Cookies: What’s Your Next Move?


Hands are perched over a laptop while dozens of lighted, blurry icons fly past them.

As of 2022, Chrome is the leading Internet browser. With Google’s ongoing plan to eliminate third-party cookies in Chrome, the consensus is that it will have quite an impact on marketing efforts. This move by Google has forced companies to begin looking into new strategies for reaching users. Google has delayed the timeline for this change but it’s coming.

For those keeping an eye on this topic, you know that another browser heavyweight – Apple’s Safari – was the first to go “anti-third-party cookies” back in 2017. Safari at that time presented everyone with ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), which limited cross-site tracking and disallowed various other types of tracking. Mozilla followed suit with ETP (Enhanced Tracking Protection), which automatically blocked various tracking scripts.

What can marketers do now that it appears that traditional cookie-based tracking and targeting are going to be fully phased out?

Cookie Alternatives

Two words marketers are focused on now are “contextual data.” The concept of contextual data aligns marketing content with the environment in which it appears. This means content creators can engage with their target audience more effectively because they can place the content in settings that match their interests.

Another reason contextual data and related content (including ads) is getting more attention is because it’s an avenue through which more personalization can occur without having to rely on the information marketers once obtained through tracking. And while Google only phased out 1% of cookies as of January 2024, utilizing this cookie alternative should prove advantageous no matter when the bulk of cookies in Chrome go away.

Other alternatives include the following:

  • Predictive Analytics
    With aggregated data as the foundation, AI can be used to predict consumer behavior.
  • First-Party Data
    Ask the consumer for consent directly and collect their data.
  • Privacy Sandbox
    Utilize Google’s suite of tools to personalize.
  • Universal IDs
    Another user-consent-driven alternative that relies on identifiers across various platforms and websites.
  • CDPs
    Customer Data Platforms centralize customer data from many channels, and the unification of this data provides a well-rounded view of the consumer.

Companies of all sizes that have relied on cookies for their marketing needs still have options, the bulk of which lean toward consent from consumers. If all of this seems a bit technical, you may want to work with a marketing specialist to make sure your content gets in front of the right people.

That’s what we do at SJC Marketing. We’re constantly surveying the digital landscape, following the latest developments and helping our clients make an impact. Contact us and let’s work toward keeping your brand relevant to your target audience.

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