Third Party Cookies Are Gone, Here’s What Marketers Should Do Instead
A 2021 study by Sapio Research found that 86% of marketing decision-makers relied on a popular digital tool to determine their direction: third-party cookies.
Now, that tactic is imperiled.
In January 2020, Google announced it intends to phase out support for third-party cookies. This means third-party cookies will no longer be able to effectively track the movements of users on Google Chrome.
This, in essence, makes third-party cookies useless.
Third-party cookies are a type of tracking cookie that follows a user across the internet. It enables ad retargeting strategies.
For example, a targeted ad might display items from an eCommerce store to a user who previously looked at those items’ pages—even though the user is now on a different site.
Without these unique marketing cookies, digital marketers need to change up their strategies. So, what should you do instead?
Beyond the Tracking Cookie: What’s Next?
When marketers lose access to third-party cookies the next thing to focus on will be building your first-party data lists.
That would be your owned media (email lists, followers, etc.).
Honestly, it will be harder to reach a lot of people who are likely to convert.
However, with more authentic marketing and promotion strategies, you might be able to utilize your current audience to reach similar audiences.
Referrals and word of mouth have been, and will always be, a brand’s best friend.
Once we lose third-party data, it just means targeting new audiences will become harder but not impossible.
While Google initially announced the phase-out in 2020, it won’t completely remove support until sometime in late 2023.
In the meantime, Google is working with regulators and considering different proposals to help advertisers shift to different methods. Here are some techniques I recommend.
Replace Third-Party Cookies With New Tools
Your best bet is to replace third-party cookies with first-party cookies. First-party cookies, and other in-page or in-app data sources, give you information on anyone who visits your webpage.
These tools require marketers to create landing pages or downloadable apps for marketing campaigns. Once a user visits the landing page, you can begin retargeting with the first-party cookie.
Certain landing-page-centered tools empower cross-device tracking.
Opt-In Marketing Strategies
Tracking cookie replacements don’t need to be tools. They can also be concepts—like opt-in marketing.
Opt-in marketing strategies encourage a lead to opt-in to further marketing with a well-constructed funnel. The sales funnel as a whole nurtures and converts leads. Key marketing conduits your audience might opt into include:
- Email lists
- Social media accounts
- Invite-only digital spaces
Most audiences like to be a part of something bigger.
Exclusive groups hold a lot of value and can be a big selling point to your audience.
Give them a reason to be a part of a group of like-minded individuals.
Email marketing is a unique form of content marketing. People who sign up for an email list are already interested in your content.
Effective email marketing tactics nurture that interest into a sale of your product or service. It establishes your agency’s value by demonstrating it. By extension, you persuade the readers of the value of your service.
I personally don’t like being a part of email lists, especially ones with weekly newsletters.
They kind of annoy me and I would rather only get emails that are relevant to what I want.
Keep that in mind when creating an email marketing strategy.
We have clients that see 30%+ conversion rates from every single email blast sent.
Some clients haven’t found success with email marketing. It all depends on your specific audience and the specific wants they have.
Inbound Marketing With Strong SEO
Inbound marketing means developing your brand’s digital footprint effectively. Use search engine optimization strategies to draw your ideal audience to your website, social media presence, and digital ads.
SEO strategies often focus on keywords and site quality. Both organic search and PPC advertising are important.
The most important thing about SEO is producing great content.
Backlinks, pagespeed optimization, and everything else is a waste of time if your content is simply not good.
If you write good content, or film a good video, or make a great infographic, you will see a boost in traffic. It might not be much but overtime, by producing great content, your website will generate more and more organic traffic.
People Change – Digital Marketing Changes With Them
Soon, you’ll no longer be able to optimize a digital marketing campaign with third-party cookies. Nor will a tracking cookie be the best weapon in your arsenal.
In marketing, the best way to optimize any campaign is to get more granular and personable with your messaging.
Learn how to change and evolve your marketing prowess. Then focus on building your owned media or contact list.
The death of cookies is an opportunity to breathe new life into your marketing service. Ready to take the next step? Explore up-to-date resources in the resource library.