Since 2020, the world of advertising has been preparing itself for the apocalypse of cookies. Changes brought to the infrastructure of data have been aimed at protecting the identity of cybernauts by blocking access to certain information that was previously open to advertisers. In early 2020 we had already written an article about this. However, the rules have obviously continued to change.
Here’s a timeline of key events:
- 2020 : Chrome, Safari and Mozilla announced a gradual elimination of cookies on their browsers. In the same year, Safari and Mozilla blocked access to cookies by third parties, while Chrome envisaged spreading this out over two years.
- 2021 : Apple deployed its app tracking transparency (ATT) policy, which allowed cybernauts to block to block access to cookies by third parties on its apps. Google perfected its Privacy Sandbox, an initiative that would divide cybernauts into different segments, thereby putting the brakes on personal identification of cybernauts.
- 2022 : The end of support of access to cookies by third parties by Chrome, two years later than Safari and Mozilla.
- 2023 : The end of access to cookies by third parties.
From the beginning of online advertising, advertisers have tried to find solutions that minimize the impact on performance and the measurement of their campaigns. The effects would fall on retargeting, the evaluation of reach and frequency, and attribution between different platforms. Fortunately, what could have become a cookie-gate, blocking access overnight, eventually turned into a more gradual erosion. By doing so, GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) and agencies had time to put in place some solutions.
The first is the collaboration and the growth of major players. One trend that risks being aggravated with the disappearance of cookies is the consolidation of walled gardens. Major players want to protect their proprietary data but at the same time want to use it to maximize its utilization to increase pertinence, extrapolation and volume.
The second is the generation and the maintenance of proprietary data. More precisely, this involves developing one’s own database. How? By working in tandem with one’s IT team to maximize the list of emails and other client data, by creating acquisition campaigns – in short, by profiting from data that has already been collected in the past and by ensuring that it is nourished and enriched. The idea is to develop a certain autonomy when it comes to targeting. For the collection, and then the organization of data, more and more advertisers are turning to CDP (customer data platform) technologies, allowing them to automate the management of segments and to facilitate integration into delivery platforms. In Quebec, using local technological players such as Optable will certainly rise, because it allows for the secure crossing of data for one advertiser and one media, in order to efficiently retarget CRM (Customer Relationship Management) lists, without compromising the security of this data.
Finally, we should equip ourselves with Marketing Mix Modeling, or MMM. Many partners are working to develop solutions using their proprietary data, in order to establish the ideal MMM. The objective: using the data to develop a multichannel media approach that is inferred from statistics. Equipping ourselves in this way with an analysis system, is a little like recognizing that impact marketing goes beyond (even with cookies) a directly correlated attribution. And since multiple partners have already been offering solutions like this, it’s our belief that in the years to come ( and perhaps in the months to come), we’ll see more and more integrated statistical solutions serving brands; let’s note among others, Google Analytics 4.
The gradual erosion of cookies, instead of their sudden disappearance, has allowed us to closely observe the situation and adapt ourselves, month after month. And if the idea of the death of third-party cookies inspired a feeling of horror in the minds of a majority of marketers, we can now begin to relax: the big data players are on the case and in the future, we will certainly be provided with alternative solutions. It’s enough, for the moment, to take a step backwards and see data as we always have: an infinite source of knowledge ready to be decrypted.