December 3, 2022

Cookie crumble: What Google’s privacy move means for digital marketers

Despite Google parent company Alphabet's massive $16.4 billion in quarterly net income, the figure missed market expectations


Despite Google parent company Alphabet’s massive $16.4 billion in quarterly net income, the figure missed market expectations – Copyright AFP Ishara S. KODIKARA

With the increased emphasis on digital privacy, many marketers need to find new ways to monitor their audiences. A new survey from Unsupervised finds that over 1 in 4 marketers with less than two years of experience is unsure of what other data-tracking options they have besides cookies.

In contrast, the study found that marketers with over six years of experience are 35 percent more confident in their ability to track audiences without cookies than new marketers. The experience gap is therefore quite considerable.

As to why this is important, with the phase-out of third-party cookies coming soon (a move led by Google), those involved with marketing need to develop new strategies in digital marketing and to discover new ways to monitor their audience.

The survey looks into the future of digital marketing (where the views of some 800 marketers were sought, with people in different phases of their careers).

The decline of cookies is a subject being taken seriously by marketers. Here 60 percent of marketers believed it is time to re-evaluate marketing strategies due to the phasing out of cookies. Of greatest concern was Google’s cookie phase-out.

Cookies are tiny files stored on computers as people browse the Internet. These data fragments allow advertisers to track and target people as the surf. Google announced it will not build alternate tracking identifiers with similar cross-site tracking abilities after phasing out third-party cookies.

According to Google: “Users are demanding greater privacy–including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used–and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”

Consequently, digital advertisers will need to find new ways to attribute conversions, frequency cap ad placements and retarget site visitors. In terms of the industry reaction, there is a relationship with experience. Marketers with under two years’ experience are over four times more likely than those with over three years’ experience to not know how to track their audience without cookies.

In terms of the most likely solution, people-based marketing is the preferred cookie-replacement option for marketers of all levels (as mentioned by 48 percent of the survey).

People based marketing takes a more personal approach to marketing, allowing brands to customize messaging and deliver campaigns at optimal times. This includes finding the right channels to advertise and capitalizing on the expenditure.