2022 – The year Google Chrome will be eliminating third-party cookies – Something Safari and Firefox have already done. These cookies are used to track online behavior and interests, which allow digital marketers to create profiles to better target ads. While users may be celebrating the protection of their online surfing history, this move leaves many marketers and small business owners wondering what does this mean for them?
The first is recognizing that traditional “re-targeting” advertising that relies on third party cookie data will no longer exists, at least not as we understand it now. Businesses will no longer be able to create those website banner or Facebook ads targeted towards users who previously visited their website.
While third party cookies may not longer be of use, Google (and other brands like Firefox, Safari, and Facebook) still use first party collection tools to gather information on users. Basically this means that instead of your data being able to be used across multiple platforms (i.e you Google yoga pants and begin seeing ads for them pop up on Facebook), it will live more in a Sandbox.
These sandboxes of information are great for the end user, who has more control over their data and who is using it, but it also gives these large companies more influence and power over the ad market. Basically Google now becomes the gatekeeper of everything you do on their platform, preventing advertising competitors from accessing it.
So, how can businesses, particularly small ones, continue to compete digitally with some of these changes?
The first short answer is: We don’t know yet.
Third Party data companies, tech companies, and even Google itself are still working on solutions and ideas of what advertising will look like.
For businesses that rely on digital advertising, my first suggestion is to start looking at other ways to advertise. We’ve already seen the digital ad space become more crowded and more expensive over the past few years, and signs point to this trend continuing with these new changes. For those that haven’t yet, it’s time to look towards those digital marketing trends that seem to be coming up fast. Things like engaging content, online events, more individualized conversations and loyalty programs should be at the top of your list (more coming in a future blog!).