The Inevitable End of Third-Party Cookies Extended
A Wake-Up Call for Marketers: The Inevitable End of Third-Party Cookies Extended, Not Canceled

A Wake-Up Call for Marketers: The Inevitable End of Third-Party Cookies Extended, Not Canceled


Dawn Paul

May 10 2024

Once again, the digital marketing world is on hold following Google’s recent announcement to postpone the phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome until early 2025. Marketers who haven’t started using other options and think this is a chance to wait even longer should start taking action now. Despite the postponement, the phase-out of third-party cookies is bound to occur due to growing privacy concerns and tighter regulations.

So, why the delay in phasing out third-party cookies? The main reason is that the U.K.’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), didn’t think Google’s new Privacy Sandbox adequately protected user privacy. Google has been waiting for the green light from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding whether Privacy Sandbox meets its privacy standards. The CMA is worried that Privacy Sandbox might give Google an unfair advantage over other advertising services, a claim Google disagrees with, and might make Google even more dominant in the market.

Here’s an overview of Google’s update from Privacy Sandbox News:

-The complete removal of third-party cookies will not happen in the latter half of Q4 as initially planned.
-The process is complex, involving the balancing of varied feedback from across the industry, including concerns from regulators and developers.
-Importantly, the CMA needs ample time to thoroughly review the evidence, including results from tests conducted by the industry, which are due by the end of June. 

-If an agreement is reached (complying with CMA’s privacy concerns), Google aims to begin the phase-out of third-party cookies in early 2025 

Google has mentioned that any agreement made with the CMA will be implemented worldwide.

The decision by Google to postpone the removal of third-party cookies hasn’t really caught us off guard. Adtaxi’s 2024 Data Privacy Survey reveals that even though digital marketers knew that the end of third-party cookies was approaching, only some are ready to switch to collecting first-party data. 27% of business professionals didn’t even know this change was happening. However, it’s good to see that most businesses (62%) are prepared for this shift, even though none feel completely ready.

“I’m not surprised by Google’s decision to delay the removal of third-party cookies. The industry has been somewhat sluggish in adapting to these changes, with many advertisers yet to embrace new technologies designed to bridge the gap left by cookies,” said Adtaxi’s Director of QA and Tech, Ethan Mowery.

Here are a few alternatives to third-party cookies we believe are worth considering right now that are fundamental to helping you stay ahead.

First-Party Data – Establish a strong first-party data collection strategy now by creating a good value exchange with your customers. This means offering them something valuable in return for their data – whether it’s exclusive content, personalized discounts, or other perks. Also, get creative with how you collect first-party data – through surveys, contests, or even interactive games. By establishing this value exchange now, you gain access to valuable first-party data and build trust and loyalty with your customers. 

Conversions API – In response to the shifts in privacy legislation and browser policies, Meta has rolled out the Conversions API. This solution permits you to transmit data straight from your server to Ads Manager, bypassing the less reliable method of using web browser-based third-party cookies like those utilized by the Facebook pixel. The Conversions API not only enhances the accuracy of data shared but also expands insight into the entire customer experience, granting you enhanced data management and a clearer view of your customers’ paths.

Google’s Enhanced Conversions – This is a significant upgrade that enhances the precision of tracking conversions while enabling more effective bidding strategies. By augmenting your current conversion tags, it securely transmits encrypted first-party data from your site to Google, ensuring privacy compliance. 

Utilize Unified ID 2.0 – This is a privacy-focused identifier created from a user’s email address or phone number, eliminating the need for third-party cookies. While UID 2.0 is not a direct response to the delay, it represents a critical part of the conversation around alternative solutions. UID 2.0 offers a framework for you to adapt to a cookieless future by providing a universal identifier that respects user privacy. 

“Innovations like server-to-server tracking, such as CAPI (Conversions API with Facebook), Google’s Enhanced Conversions, and frameworks like UID 2.0 are pivotal, yet, there are still many who haven’t employed them yet,” said Mowery. “This extension until 2025 gives the industry crucial time to better prepare and innovate. However, it should not be seen as an opportunity for brands to drag their feet, but rather as a critical period to test, learn, and implement robust alternatives to third-party cookies.”

The extension of the deadline to phase out third-party cookies until 2025 shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to relax. At Adtaxi, we’re actively exploring different solutions to understand how this change will affect our ability to target ads and measure their success. We aim to stay ahead of these changes as we approach 2025. For those who haven’t yet shifted their strategies, consider this a crucial nudge. Privacy issues are here to stay, and if your brand thinks there’s extra time to adapt, you should reconsider. It’s important to keep in mind what your competitors might be up to. While you may choose to overlook the forthcoming changes, your competition is already experimenting with new approaches for a world without cookies. eMarketer highlights that 56% of marketers worldwide are using new methods to address cookie loss. Failing to dedicate this year to experimenting and finding new solutions now could significantly jeopardize your brand’s position in the market.

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