13.08.20

Google 3rd Party Cookie Phase-out

Steph Fabb

Head of Data and Analytics

Krishan Gandhi

Director of Data Strategy and Analytics

Lottie Namakando

Head of Paid Media

Maria Bain

Strategy and Planning Director

Alistair Johnstone

Data and Analytics Consultant

Breaking up with cookies doesn’t have to leave you heart broken.

In December 2019, Google Chrome had a leading share of the web browser market – over 56%. In January 2020, Google announced that within two years, it will phase out third-party cookies. Thoughts immediately fled to old headlines around how German publishers saw almost a 40% drop in bidding activity when Firefox (the market leading browser in this market) enabled enhanced tracking protection (ETP). So it’s no wonder concern is rife. In an advertising landscape where cookies are crumbling, reliance on first-party data is likely to increase, heightening the importance of collecting it through a value exchange. But what does this mean for your business? Is there cause for concern? And should you start to make changes to the way you operate?

In this report, a taskforce of specialists across iCrossing demystify information shared by Google and contributors to Google Privacy Sandbox and share their collective point of view on what steps you should be taking at this stage of the shift.

As this is an evolving topic, over the next 17 months and beyond, iCrossing will continue to share our thoughts from a cross-disciplinary perspective, to help you navigate and manage this transition.

What does the cookie break-up mean for my business?

For large enterprise businesses – particularly in retail or finance where customer activity is frequent, we’d expect that first-party data collection is not a new ambition, having collected data through compelling value exchange for several years. If this is the case, being able to connect this data to a data management platform (DMP) will allow for valuable audience segmentation, alleviating many concerns of the cookie phase-out.

The impact is likely to be greater for small to medium-sized enterprises, and industries where first-party data collection is difficult or slow (i.e. pharma and travel). For these businesses, being unable to collect first-party data at scale has led to reliance on third-party data through cookie use.

In either scenario, we recommend that you conduct a full audit of cookies used across your websites in order to obtain a clearer understanding of which tools/technologies you currently that might be at risk of being blocked at the end of this transition.

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