At Adexchanger’s recent Identity Day, part of a virtual series about trends in data-driven marketing, one hot topic was the announcement of the end of third-party cookies from Google. Isabelle Baas, Managing Partner, Digital Data & Technology at Starcom, presenting on the topic, calling it “one of the most transformative developments in digital media for decades to come.” 

Here’s some background: third-party cookies are small pieces of data created by domains to track users, and they’re ultimately sold to advertisers. In January 2020, Google made an announcement that it would hope to end third-party cookie tracking for Chrome by 2022. 

How this will impact marketing? 

The plan is to phase out cookies and individual tracking. But Google will still collect the data; it just won’t be for sale. The end of third-party cookies doesn’t mean an end to all targeted ads on Google. They’re just becoming “less creepy” and more private.

The best way to keep your marketing efforts robust this summer is to continue anchoring in first-party data. This is the best way to ensure you have the right data from your audience and consent to communicate with them.

What will replace cookies?

To replace cookie tracking, there are two major efforts happening across the industry now. First, context: Contextually placed media is not new, but unlike the traditional approach, machine learning and AI are now able to more accurately match creative ad formats to keywords, syntax, and semantics of the content.

This form of advertising matches activities to ads that make sense based on the activity. For example, a pharmaceutical ad may play after a YouTube video on that particular disease state.

Second, cohorts: Google is basically replacing third-party cookies with something it’s called FLoC, the Federated Learning of Cohorts. Cohorts or, as you might know them, lookalike audiences, are used on platforms like Facebook. You can use them to create audiences that match the user’s attributes and creates additional targets. 

Looking to try out one of these new methods or talk through how to make this work for your business? We’re here to help. We have a team of subject matter experts that can help you easily navigate these new developments and any hurdles to come. 

About the Author:

Ben Campbell is a Digital Strategist for GSW, a Syneos Health Company. As a Digital Strategist, Ben helps brands find their voice and communicate with their target audiences on the most relevant channels. Ben is a digital native and uses his deep understanding in social media to help clients excel in the modern landscape.