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The end of third-party cookies

Is the end of 3rd party cookies really an issue?

Tell marketers that traditional tools could get obsolete in the future and no one bats an eye. Tell marketers Google’s gonna cut off 3rd party cookies from Chrome and everybody loses their minds.

Sorry for (mis)quoting Heath Ledger’s Joker while we get so close to the Academy Awards Night, but it really fits the topic. I’ve seen quite a lot of people going way too far about this cookies deal, and I see no reason to start the Ads Apocalypse in the near future.

I’m actually surprised there’s even so much noise around it. We already knew 3rd party cookies were on their road to decline, because:

  • privacy issues are becoming more and more compelling as time goes by;
  • adblock and privacy apps are among the best sellers in every store;
  • Chrome is not the only browser to cut off cookies; Firefox and Safari made similar announcements in the past.

Anyway, there is nothing to worry about. This could even be the start of something beautiful.

Of course, 3rd party cookies served us well, especially when adtech was not full of sophisticated technology like it is today. But they had – and still have – some very obvious limitations to consider:

  • they don’t follow the user but rather the browser itself: if your 6-years-old daughter sneaks on your laptop and buys a ballerina tutu, you’ll be targeted with dance shoes until you buy them – even if your daughter already has 10 pairs;
  • they are almost useless on mobile, since they’re device-specific and people mostly use apps – and, last time I checked, 60% of website activities came from mobile devices;
  • and, of course, they get erased on a regular basis, making your work pretty useless some days.

Whoever works in programmatic already knows that, but still, 3rd party cookies have been the sovereign tool to run online advertising for many renowned professionals, rather than being just a part of their holistic strategy.

The reasons for that behavior can be summed in a 3 bullet points list:

  • they’re really quick to implement and extremely convenient;
  • they provide great results most of the time (or, rather, an acceptable result that we want to label as great);
  • they delude us by making us believe in a mythologic 1-to-1 correspondence between the cookie itself and that very person we want to advertise with the right product or service.

However, the end of the 3rd party cookies lifecycle is not necessarily a tragedy. There are 3 main reasons every marketer should always remember:

  • the environment becomes, in general, more compliant and more respectful of your customers’ privacy, and that’s something you definitely want as a professional;
  • you can always count on 1st party cookies, which offer you a very powerful way of tracking your own customers while also providing them a better experience on your domains;
  • the adtech market is plenty of solutions that you can leverage to even improve your performances. The old 1-to-1 model poses threats to ROI and limits its improvement in many different ways.

Tell marketers that traditional tools could get obsolete in the future and no one bats an eye. Tell marketers Google’s gonna cut off 3rd party cookies from Chrome and everybody loses their minds

As a fact, the most advanced companies are gradually shifting to a new way of conceiving online advertising, actioning data with a probabilistic approach rather than persisting on (falsely) persisting IDs. Our partners are already delivering consistent results in that sense, especially in the DMP world, and we will soon be able to show you some example of successful marketing actions via our probabilistic audience enrichment.

In the meantime, we asked Cookie, KPI6’s mascot, to share his precious opinion with us.

He says he’s quite happy with Google’s decision, since he’s gonna be the only Cookie on the web.