Update: Google (Alphabet Inc.) announced its browser Chrome would delay plans to stop supporting user-tracking technology (third-party cookies) from early 2022 to late 2023 to understand implications better.
Third-party cookies are a driving force behind many aspects of programmatic and digital advertising so what is next for brands whose marketing strategies rely on them? Want a quick synopsis? Download our infographic!
The elephant in the room
Google announced earlier last year that they will be removing the use of third-party cookies in the start of 2022. A third-party cookie is a cookie that is tracked by a website other than the one you are currently using. The information they collect helps create a customized browsing experience for the user. The phasing out of third-party cookies came as no surprise and is something that most marketers were anticipating given the fact that Safari and Firefox had already completed their extinguish of third-party cookies.
HubSpot cited that Google Chrome made up more than 56% of the browser market in 2019. In order to meet the demands of privacy and data security, they are following the direction of other major browsers. As with most major announcements from Google, this specific update will drastically impact the way marketers strategize and implement marketing campaigns.
The impact on advertising and marketing
Publishers who rely on the use of third-party cookies are scrambling to figure out their next move. As Adtelligent recently posted, publishers’ digital ad revenue could be reduced with 52% on impressions without cookies.
With that, IAB Tech Lab together with Winterberry Group wrote that “American companies were ready to spend nearly $19.2 billion on the purchasing of audience data and on solutions to examine this data”.
As a marketer, leveraging a third-party cookie provides a lot of advantages to better understand the behavior and interests of your core consumer. These insights help inform a more personalized experience for their customer via personalized ads and cross-site retargeting. Understanding and targeting ‘intent’ with third-party cookies has been a focus for many years and a successful strategy for many digital marketers wanting to connect their brand with users that have a higher propensity to convert, based on their historical browser behavior. However, the removal of the third-party cookie, will not only create change in the industry but will also force adaption and a shift in strategy to better understand ‘intent’ and target it in an efficient manner.
The shift from ‘intent’ to ‘action-based’ campaigns
Here at Figg, we have always appreciated intent, but have emphasized the value of action vs. intent. Intent, which is defined as “a wish or idea that someone means to carry out” while an action is “something that is done, completed or performed”.
I often use this example, as my wife is retargeted almost daily from Chanel. She loves looking at the new luxury handbags and browsed their site a few months back. Would she love to own a brand new $7,500 handbag? Of course – but is she in the market to buy one? Not at the moment, as we have a young son and a mortgage so it’s not at the top of our priority list. She does have ‘intent’ to one day own that Chanel Purse – however, from an ‘action’ standpoint she’s made more purchases at Tory Burch in the last year. Based on her purchase history, competitors of Tory Burch within the same price range would be much more relevant to her. Knowing where someone intends to spend their money is important, but truly understanding WHAT they spend their money on is more valuable.
Hyper-targeting consumers based on action has always been at the core of our platform. As a cookie-less technology from the beginning, we have never relied on third-party data to inform decisions for our advertisers. Our concept is simple. We are a 100% performance marketing platform that connects brands with customers in real time with the ability to hyper-target users based on their actual historical purchase history. We have direct integrations with major Financial Institutions as well as Visa, MasterCard and American Express where we leverage this data to serve incentivized offers in the form of cash back to a consumer. Knowing where, when and how much your customer is spending is extremely powerful to create a meaningful and relevant experience.
Our platform enables marketers to target their customers at an even more granular level of targeting, all without the use of third-party cookies. Do you want to target new customers with 0X purchases at your brand in the last 12 months? Lapsed customers? Competitor customers? Do you want to increase customer retention and loyalty? We can definitely help with any of the above.
The data privacy and security
Our card-linked platform allows our banks and publisher partners to keep their clients data safe, only sharing necessary details to give consumers meaningful rewards from advertisers without sharing personally identifiable information.
Overall, 2022 will be an exciting and challenging year for a lot of marketers. Card-linked marketing will be a viable marketing channel for brands and agencies looking for alternatives for third-party cookies.