At this point, we are about a year out from Google’s target date for the removal of third-party cookies from their Chrome browser. Usage of this browser hovers around 65%, so this will have quite an impact on all sorts of digital efforts. There are some questions around whether or not this original timeline will be met, but even if it’s delayed a bit, it’s worth planning now. There are many aspects to this conversation, and Ciceron will be working with our clients all year to keep them informed and on top of this. The entire industry is learning and evolving – we will be right there too. Here are a few things that you can be thinking about right now.
First-party data and your DMP
Chrome will be eliminating the use of third-party cookies, not first-party, so data you have on clients and customers will become even more useful. Phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses. It’s good to have a thorough understanding of what’s available to you and where all that data lives. If you don’t have a robust DMP in place, that is something to be evaluated.
Pixel/Cookie Audit & Test Plan
We recommend, and will be helping our clients perform, a complete audit of where and how cookies and pixels are being used in current efforts. This will highlight vulnerabilities and help determine where to focus efforts. Those plans can then be mapped out in a testing strategy with the goal of understanding possible changes to how media is executed, impact to measurement and attribution, and delivering an effective website experience. Some of this will be dependent upon vendors and platforms and when they are ready for testing, but outlining all of this will help keep the team organized and focused. Another element to consider here is the release of Google Analytics 4. This is now available and the new features will offer many possibilities. The trick, however, is that the switch to GA 4 offers no historical data, so we recommend running it parallel to the existing GA while starting to accumulate data.
Audience Experience & Content Planning
Technology has obviously driven a lot of our marketing efforts in the past, but these changes will require us to return to the core of marketing – who is our audience, what do they need, how do they behave, and how are we going to develop a relationship with them? We will need this foundation more than ever as we may have to start depending on contextual & behavioral targeting (think people-based!). This isn’t new, by any means, but, in recent years, technology solutions took its place. Losing those technology capabilities means returning to experience and content planning so that we can reach people in new (old) ways. The good news is that this work aligns with the focus of building trust and relationships.