We’re a couple of years away from a radical change in the way digital marketing operates. In 2023, third-party cookies, little pieces of code that report back on users’ internet journeys, will no longer be supported by Google’s Chrome browser. One piece of good news: first-party cookies are safe.
While Safari and Firefox have done the exact same thing for a while now, it matters because Chrome enjoys a 62% market share in the region. That doesn’t mean Google will stop tracking and targeting users in its ecosystem, but it will stop ‘sharing’ and create another walled garden instead.
Is this in the interest of consumer privacy or an attempt to strengthen its dominance in the advertising market? You can come to your own conclusions but we’re going for the latter.
The reliance on third-party cookies for multiple aspects of marketing is significant, despite their imperfections and limits. Even though they can’t follow users across devices, more than 60% of them are blocked or deleted and, when they’re not, half of them are poorly matched across the web, causing bad targeting, cookies are everywhere.
Understandably, the news of their deprecation could cause you panic or despair. How will you:
- Analyse and gain insights into your existing or potential audiences
- Optimise your campaigns in terms of reach and frequency
- Target, retarget audiences or create suppression audiences
- Run multi-touch attribution analysis (who want last touch attribution anyway)?
Thankfully, viewability, brand safety, ad fraud and econometric models won’t be affected as they rely on other data sources. Ad recall, brand equity and brand lift studies will be more complex but not impossible.
The biggest issue will be the ability to determine who’s been exposed to your ads (and who hasn’t). The implications on marketing effectiveness are far reaching. In particular, walled gardens operating in isolation from others, like social media and now Google, prevent marketers from working with universal reach and frequency or retargeting users from one environment in another. Proprietary IDs that exist within walled gardens don’t allow for interoperability or spend optimisation across channels at a time when ROI is king. The likely duplication from the absence of cookies will lead to over-targeting, budget wastage and lower ROI.
What’s more, marketers also need a solution to:
- gather audience insights to build accurate profiles based on the users exposed to their ads, who engaged with them or visited their site. Traditional methods to understand existing or potential audiences will not help with the data enrichment of exposed audiences or the creation of lookalike audiences with other DMPs
- retarget of users identified in the Google environment on the web, in apps or social
- tailor and serve ad creatives on the fly based on multiple attributes, including time, location and interests
- map conversion paths and attribute value across digital media channels as well as physical locations. This requires a consistent identity across the open internet as well as the real world
The good news is that the deprecation of cookies is not an Armageddon because the solution already exists. At MEmob+, 95% of our work is cookie-free and privacy-compliant.
Our solution is the Connected ID. It connects first-party data to multiple data layers from other first-party and second-party sources, mobile measurement partners and our proprietary location intelligence. While it connects to device identifiers and Mobile Advertising IDs, it is not dependent on them to deliver accuracy. It matches many other attributes and behaviours across devices and ecosystems to create individual profiles and segments that can be identified and targeted with relevant messages, based on demographic, psychographic, geographic or technographic attributes. MEmob’s audiences can even be used on Facebook and Instagram, effectively tearing down the walls around these walled gardens.
MEmob+ operates on a data universe that comprises billions of individual records, covering 144 countries and the whole Middle East. It is quite simply the largest and most precise resource on people and places in the region and the world. Because it provides a single view of individuals, our Connected ID answers all the challenges created by the moves to protect consumer privacy, in terms of insights, data enrichment, targeting/re-targeting, frequency capping, multi-touch attribution, measurement and reporting on users rather than devices.
Thanks to MEmob’s proprietary technology solutions, brands can enrich, mine, activate and monetise their first party data. Once matched in our data universe, they can select offline attributes, such as location, brand affinity and interests, to create custom segments or use existing ones. Given this holistic understanding of their existing or potential customers in the real world, marketers gain an enhanced yield on their audience and inventory, with a higher marketing ROI and lower spillover. All without a single third-party cookie.