Most marketers target consumers through cookies. But things are about to change significantly.
Google announced that it’ll phase out third-party cookies in 2023 on its Chrome browser—which could put an end to online ad targeting as we know it. But don’t panic yet! There’s a silver lining: You can leverage this opportunity to up your marketing game with first-party data.
First-Party Cookies vs. Third-Party Cookies
A first-party cookie is created by a website’s owner for collecting usage data directly from visitors. You can use first-party cookies to analyze customer behaviors and remember settings (i.e. preferences, languages) to deliver a relevant and personalized user experience.
A third-party cookie is placed on a website by a third party other than the website owner for supporting functions such as cross-site tracking, retargeting, and ad-serving. They allow advertisers to analyze consumers’ activities across websites, measure ad performance, and deliver the most relevant ads to the right people through the right channels.
While first-party and third-party cookies work the same way, first-party cookies only track information about customers on your website. You can’t see how visitors interact with other sites, and therefore, analyze their behaviors across the web.
Why Is Google Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies?
In 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies due to concerns over data privacy. How marketers use third-party cookies is out of the scope of the original intent of the technology. As such, Google no longer wants to be liable for how advertisers leverage users’ data across the internet.
In practice, Google is forcing brands to own data collection by shifting from third-party to first-party cookies. Marketers can no longer rely on browsers like Chrome to gather user data across multiple sites. Instead, they have to track customers in a whole new way to understand how consumers interact with the brand.
First-Party Cookies Open New Opportunities
While Google won’t phase out third-party cookies until 2023, don’t wait until the last minute to respond. Despite its impact on the existing approach to online advertising, the change opens new opportunities for marketers to personalize their outreach and deliver an outstanding customer experience.
For example, Google is testing a new browser extension for Chrome called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as a replacement signal for third-party cookies. It has also launched a Privacy Sandbox to develop new web technologies that protect user privacy while allowing marketers to deliver personalized experiences.
Most importantly, brands must devise creative ways to reach their audiences using first-party data. The linchpin is the ability to connect the dots and understand how your target audiences behave across different channels, so you create 360-degree customer profiles to inform your marketing strategy.
Get the Most From Your First-Party Data with a CDP
The secret to making your first-party data work harder is a data management process called identity resolution. It connects all identifiers associated with an individual from multiple sources to create a single view of your customers and provide real-time insights into their interactions with your brand.
A CDP enables identity resolution by connecting all the data to create a unique customer profile with a persistent universal identifier that is used across applications to deliver seamless and consistent user experiences, support fraud detection, and ensure compliance.
Besides online interactions, you can store customer information that isn’t available on the web, such as data from offline sales, membership or loyalty programs, and so much more. You also enrich customer profiles with checkout information from your ecommerce platform and other sources to target outreach and online ads—just like you do with third-party cookies.
The difference is that when you use a CDP, you own the customer data and the relationships. A CDP puts customers in charge of their information and how it’s used. Such transparency helps you build trust while ensuring compliance with various data privacy regulations, which will only become more stringent.
The Writing is on the Wall
No matter when Google phases out third-party cookies, it’s clear where privacy on the internet is heading. The more you own customer data, the better you will be able to navigate upcoming changes.
The writing is on the wall. If you rely on third-party cookies for online advertising, it’s time to build a process that enables efficient first-party data collection across different channels and offers a single view of your customers without compromising privacy.
Learn more about Skypoint’s AI-driven customer data platform and request a demo to see how we help you tap into the power of first-party data.