Meredith Carter


The Cookie Crumbles: Why Third Party Cookies are Going Away & the Future of Online Advertising

It’s no secret that the digital landscape is one of constant change – it seems as if there’s always something new to understand. Recently, privacy concerns have prompted significant changes in online marketing practices and one of the most significant responses to this is the impending goodbye to third-party cookies. This change is slated to happen in 2024, so we have some time to learn about what this means, who it affects, and where we go from here as digital marketers.

Join us as we delve into the innovative solutions that are shaping the future of targeted advertising and marketing following the third-party cookie downfall.

What are Third-Party Cookies?

First, we need to discuss what exactly third-party cookies are and what they do for websites. 

Imagine this scenario: you’re browsing your favorite online boutique, looking for a new outfit to wear to a friend’s birthday dinner next weekend. You click on a few different shirts, unsure of which one you like best, and decide to wait and purchase one later. The next thing you know, you’re on a different website and see advertisements pop up on the screen for that very same shirt you were just looking at. You’re simply shocked at how these advertisements seem to read your mind. It’s happened to most of us, and if you’ve ever wondered how, it’s by way of third-party cookies. These digital trackers are placed on the computers of web users and collect specific data that can be used for targeted advertisements in the future. 

These cookies allow the third parties to keep information on users, such as online behavior, purchases and interests. This is perfect for advertisers who want to target specific customers whose interests match their product offerings. The information gathered can then be used to target these customers with advertisements fitting the data collected. Now you know the power that these digital trackers possess, so why are they going away?

Why are Third-Party Cookies Being Phased Out?

One of the driving forces behind the phasing out of third-party cookies is the growing demand for enhanced user privacy. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their online footprint and are more concerned about how their personal data is collected, stored, and utilized. In addition to this, governments and regulatory bodies have introduced stricter data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

In response to these privacy concerns, major web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari have announced plans to block or limit third-party cookies by default. These updates are intended to prioritize user privacy and make it harder for advertisers to track individuals across different websites without explicit consent. 

In January of 2020, Google announced its plan to phase out third-party cookies from Chrome browsers. Their plan is to slowly phase them out while working closely with advertisers to both protect online advertising and simultaneously increase privacy for users. 

How Will the Removal of Third-Party Cookies Affect Digital Advertising? 

Yes, the removal of third-party cookies will have some obvious effects on the world of digital marketing and advertising. Traditional targeting methods, such as retargeting and personalized ad campaigns may become less effective; however, this doesn’t mean the complete end of successful digital campaigns in their entirety. 

In this new era of advertising, marketers will need to focus more on first-party data, which includes information collected directly from users who have willingly engaged with their brand. Building strong relationships with customers, encouraging them to provide their data, and implementing effective data collection strategies will be crucial for developing personalized marketing campaigns. 

This ultimately teaches us the lesson of not becoming too reliant on technology – we never know when it’s going to become unavailable or change entirely. Sometimes, doing things the old-fashioned way can be even more effective because it forces you to put some real human empathy behind your marketing efforts. Technology is great, but this new development in the digital marketing world may help us re-humanize our campaigns a bit more, which may turn out to be a really great thing in the long run. 

So, where do we go from here? 

Overall, we encourage you not to be too scared about the gradual decline of third-party cookie use. Us digital marketers have had ample time to find ways to help our clients connect to their audience in intentional and authentic ways that are 100% cookie-proof! 

Ready to commit to a new marketing strategy that targets your dream audience, drives results, and won’t go out of style? Click here to start the conversation with our amazing team at BRK!

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