An immediate impact of a future without cookies will be seen in the size of most third-party audiences (audiences whose data is collected solely through third-party cookies). A recent study by The 614 Group found that 88% of all third-party audience data will disappear within two years without cookies. This loss in data will have a direct impact on ad targeting and measurement. Advertisers will no longer be able to target or retarget individuals with the same level of precision and will lose the ability to measure key advertising metrics such as reach, frequency, and conversion rates.
In addition, the disappearance of third-party cookies will lead to an increase in first-party data collection. As first-party cookies are not impacted by the changes proposed by browsers, they will become the primary source of information for advertisers looking to target and measure their advertising efforts. We will start seeing a shift in the way that data is collected and used by the advertising ecosystem. Advertisers will need to focus more on first-party data collection, and put less emphasis on third-party data. In addition, they will need to find new ways to target and measure their advertising efforts.
While the loss of cookies may seem like a daunting challenge, it is important to remember that the advertising ecosystem has faced similar challenges before and has always adapted. The industry is already working on solutions that will help mitigate the impact of a cookieless future, and we are confident that we will find ways to continue to deliver targeted and effective advertising even in a cookieless world.
In the long-term, as more and more businesses adopt first-party data strategies, the industry will see a fundamental shift in how we think about audience targeting. We’ll move away from targeting large groups of people based on broad demographics and interests and instead, focus on targeting smaller groups of people with personalized messages.
This shift will require a different way of thinking about marketing, and it’s one that we’re already starting to see take shape. First-party data will become increasingly important, as it will be the only source of reliable information about our customers. And as first-party data becomes more valuable, so too will the need for a customer data platform (CDP) to manage it all.
A CDP is a software platform that collects, organizes, and centralizes customer data from multiple sources. This data can then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns, improve customer support, and drive sales. In a cookieless future, a CDP will be an essential tool for managing first-party data and driving results for your business. If you don’t have one already, now is the time to start investing in a CDP solution.
The bottom line
A cookieless future may seem daunting at first, but it’s not the end of the world. There are still plenty of ways to measure your digital marketing efforts and ensure that they’re successful. By paying attention to the right metrics and investing in a CDP, you can adapt to the new landscape and continue driving results for your business. When Google announced that it would eliminate third-party cookies soon, the digital marketing world was sent into a tailspin. For years, cookies have been the lifeblood of the online advertising ecosystem, providing a way for brands to track user behavior and target ads accordingly. But with Google’s decision to get rid of them, that system is about to change.
So what does this mean for marketers? How can they continue to reach their audiences and measure performance in a cookie-less world?
Here are a few metrics to keep an eye on:
1. Impressions: This is still the most basic metric in digital advertising. An impression is counted whenever an ad is served, regardless of whether it’s clicked on or not. In a cookie-less world, impressions will become increasingly important as a way to measure reach.
2. Post Engagement: Engagement is any interaction with an ad, whether it’s a click, a hover, or even just a view. In a cookie-less world, engagement will be the best way to measure how well an ad is performing.
3. Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who take the desired action after seeing an ad, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. In a cookie-less world, conversion rates will become more important than ever as a way to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.
4. Brand awareness: This metric measures how well people remember your brand after seeing your ads. In a cookie-less world, brand awareness will be the best way to measure the long-term success of an advertising campaign.
5. Engagement rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who interact with an ad. In a cookie-less world, engagement rates will be the best way to measure how well an ad is performing at the moment.
6. Referral traffic: Referral traffic may decrease in a cookie-less world, as it will be more difficult to track where users are coming from. However, this doesn’t mean that referrals are no longer important. Make sure you’re still promoting your site through external channels and that users can easily share your content.
7. User retention: User retention will become even more important in a cookie-less world, as it will be more difficult to track new users. Make sure you’re providing value to users and that they have a good experience when interacting with your site. Pay attention to user feedback and make changes accordingly.
The key for marketers is to focus on metrics that are meaningful and actionable. Impressions and clicks might be nice to know, but they don’t necessarily tell you whether your ads are actually reaching people or if they’re effective at driving conversions. Instead, focus on metrics like engagement, conversion rate, and brand awareness, which will give you a better idea of how your ads are performing in a cookie-less world.
What do you think about a cookieless future? Share your thoughts in the comments below!