How will cookies regulations affect marketing?

by Olivia Venus

Third-party cookies are set to be phased out of Google Chrome by 2022. This is their explanation:
 

 

Users are demanding greater privacy—including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used—and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.

 

However, keep in mind that Firefox and Safari already phased out third-party cookies as of 2013, and since then have been using a first-party accept/deny format that sets higher standards for digital privacy. We in marketing need to think outside the box about how to collect customer data, and create targeted ad campaigns. 

 

Here are some things to know: 

  • First party cookies are still allowed. Collecting data on what a user did while visiting your site, how often they visit it, or what is in their cart, for example, can still be collected directly by the website. 
     

  • Most websites already invite users to “accept” cookies from the website, giving the option to accept or decline. This is recommended for any site, especially considering the new CA privacy law. 
     

  • Using Facebook and creating Facebook campaigns allows for greater collection of data than through other websites because of their extended use of customer data collection. 
     

  • Google will be offering their “Privacy Sandbox” as an alternative for ad targeting and tracking. 
     

  • Privacy is the new “marketing goldmine.” This change does not come as a surprise nor does it seem fully detrimental. 
     

  • The most worrisome part of this change is the power of Google. We know Google is a giant in the industry but the fact they can not only completely eliminate third-party cookies from the internet, but also force companies to rely on their Privacy Sandbox, is concerning. 
     

  • We still have two more years to figure this out until the change happens for certain. 
     

  • Many companies have already been operating without third-party cookies for a while, in Firefox and Safari. Ramping up efforts already being used without cookies could add an extra level of certainty.

 

Recommendations, based on these facts: 

  • Enable first-party cookies company websites, and sites for clients. This will allow collection of customer information for internal purposes. Give an accept/decline option when visiting the site. In this pop-up, make it clear to customers what their data will be used for. Example: 

    • “We at [your company] value your privacy. First-party cookies are only used to track how you use our site, what you interact with, [etc]. This information is not shared with any other user, company, or third party.”

    • This provides a “user-first” privacy policy that is not only in vogue, but within the law
       

  • Use Facebook for targeted advertising. 
     

  • Make use of Google’s services, when they roll out. Find new ways to create targeted ads based on the information you have and can receive from first-party cookies. This will need to be trial and error when the time comes. 

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