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For digital advertising, what would a world without Third-party cookies mean?

Third-party cookies are being phased out of significant browsers for customer privacy.

In January 2020, Google said that third-party cookies would be phased out over the next two years. Then, in June, Apple stated that its mobile device ID, known as Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), would be limited to iOS apps. Digital advertisers have long utilized these IDs for campaign targeting, timing, measurement, and personalization.

How do third-party cookies function, why are they being phased out, and how can advertisers continue to offer relevant, compelling messaging in the new digital environment?

The purpose of third party cookies 

Websites use cookies to remember a user’s action, so they aren’t required to repeat it. As a result, they contribute to a more tailored and better user experience.

Cookies produced and deployed by websites other than the one you’re viewing are third-party cookies. Cross-site tracking, retargeting, and ad serving are the most general applications.

The host domain, on the other hand, creates first-party cookies. They are beneficial since they provide a better user experience. These cookies allow your browser to remember what you put in your shopping cart, your login and passwords, and your language preferences.

What is the purpose of third-party cookies?

Cross-site tracking is gathering browsing data from various sources (websites) to provide a detailed account of your activities.

Search activity is to retarget visitors with visual or text adverts depending on the items and services they’ve expressed interest in.

Ad-serving is judging which ads show on a website, selecting when to serve these ads, and collecting data (including impressions and clicks) to inform advertisers about consumer insights and ad effectiveness.

How do Third-party cookies work?

Third-party cookies function by incorporating JavaScript from one website into another. Third-party cookies keep track of information between browser sessions. HTTP, the web surfing protocol, is stateless. Therefore they remember information this way. Data is not preserved between browser sessions with a “stateless protocol.” The cookies ‘ cookies’ characteristics in the HTTP response header define whether a cookie is a first-party or third-party cookie.

What impact would the abolition of third-party cookies have on digital advertising?

The third-party cookie’s probable demise is already generating a stir: Around 80% of marketers rely on third-party cookies, and the news has left them feeling dissatisfied, upset, overwhelmed, helpless, and even perplexed. The demise of third-party cookies will have the most significant influence on the following components of advertising:

  • About 80% of advertisers rely on third-party cookies to reach their target audience. Those marketers will have to find a new means to contact their consumers and prospects online if they don’t have them.
  • Personalization: Behavioral and browsing data will be limited, making it difficult for marketers to personalize adverts using third-party cookies.
  • Campaign management: For advertisers that rely on third-party cookies, basic functionality such as A/B testing and frequency capping will be challenging to implement.
  • Analytics and attribution based on third-party cookies will be significantly less effective.

Third-party cookies will be phased out.

Marketers will need to develop a new means to identify consumers online without third-party cookies to continue personalizing messaging, optimizing campaigns, and measuring success.

To begin, you need to familiarize yourself with your identifier alternatives. You’ll be able to pick a wise strategy to identity that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies after you grasp the strengths and drawbacks of the most prevalent identifiers. They’ll need to work with an established, people-based identity solution to succeed. One that is created with privacy in mind and is future-proofed against the loss of identifiers. It would be best to have a robust plan in place with any adtech and measurement partners you engage with that does not rely on third-party cookies.



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