The Cookieless Future is Coming. Here’s How You Can Prepare.
The digital marketing landscape is poised for change. The demise of third-party cookies will surely set off a tectonic shift, but those who have equipped themselves have nothing to fear.
Google will phase out support for third-party cookies, with a deadline of late 2023. And though Google has extended their deadline before, it doesn’t mean you should count on another. Now is the time to prepare. The countdown has begun.
We want our clients to understand what this transition means for them. Dive into the seismic shifts in consumer data collection with us:
- What is a cookie?
- The latest timeline for the demise of third-party cookies
- Legislation driving recent changes in consumer privacy
- ZeroGraph, the proprietary, patent-pending, cookieless technology
Back to basics: What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files stored in your browser and used to access the internet. Most of us have hundreds of them stored in our browsers right now.
What types of cookies are there?
Two types of cookies can be found on your browser: first-party and third-party. Technically speaking, these two are essentially the same. They contain the same pieces of information and can perform the same functions.
First-party vs third-party cookies: What’s the difference?
So, why the different labels? The difference between first- and third-party cookies lies in how they are created and used. First-party cookies are created and placed directly by the website you are visiting. They allow the website’s owner to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and optimize user experience.
- Cross-site tracking
- Ad serving
What is the “cookie apocalypse”?
The “cookie apocalypse,” often shortened to cookiepocalypse, refers to Google’s (and other search engines’) commitment to implementing third-party cookie rejection.
Cookie rejection occurs when a browser blocks a cookie being placed or deletes the cookie shortly after it has been placed. All browsers have the ability to block or delete cookies. The question is when they’ll move to do so—which can be difficult to navigate as different browsers followed different timelines.
Google’s announcement and delay
First, let’s look at the timeline. In January 2020, Google announced it would end support for third-party cookies on Chrome, its popular web browser, by early 2022.
In June 2021, Google made another announcement: The company would postpone its full phase-out until the end of 2023. Chrome’s director of privacy engineering, Vinay Goel, cited a need to move at a responsible pace and “avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content.”1
What happens now?
Make no mistake—the cookie will crumble, and sooner than you think. The phase-out process will be underway well before the announced end date in 2023.
Here’s how Google expects their timeline to play out. A first stage will begin in late 2022, during which Chrome will test and monitor Privacy Sandbox features. This stage should last about nine months.
If Privacy Sandbox features are adopted by publishers and developers, Chrome will move to a second stage: a three-month phase-out of third-party cookies. During this period, publishers will begin to notice a difference in how their cookie-based data-gathering operation works.
Safari and Firefox lead the way
It’s no secret Google dominates the search engine market. Chrome maintained a 92.47% market share as of June 2021, but it does have its competitors. In many cases, the competition is ahead of Google when it comes to cookie rejection.
In 2017, Firefox (Mozilla) became the first major browser to do away with third-party cookies. Soon after, Safari (Apple) embarked on a journey to do the same, and by 2020, it blocked third-party cookies by default.
There’s no indication these browsers will overtake Chrome in search volume anytime soon—or come anywhere close to it. But even small competitors have the power to guide the conversation on privacy and prod the major players to embrace change.
Legislative landscape in the wake of CCPA
Recent shifts in digital data collection have been accompanied (and in many cases informed) by a rapidly changing legal landscape. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) is one example of a new regulation affecting marketers.
The CCPA gives consumers more control over the information they share with businesses. New privacy rights for California consumers under the law include:
- The right to know about the personal information a business collects from them, including how it is used and shared.
- The right (with select exceptions) to delete personal information collected from them.
- The right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.
- The right to non-discrimination for exercising CCPA rights.
Under these regulations, businesses are required to inform consumers of their privacy practices.
While the CCPA’s reach is limited to companies doing business in California, this legislation appears to be the tipping point of a larger legal shift. In the wake of CCPA, other states are proposing their own similar privacy laws. States with bills in the works include:
- New York
Marketers are living in an ever-changing legal landscape. It’s no surprise that investing in a compliant technology platform was rated as a “top five” challenge for U.S. marketers.
Go Cookieless with FullThrottle’s ZeroGraph
For the unprepared, the imminent future of AdTech can look uncertain. With FullThrottle on your side, you can feel confident, knowing ZeroGraph powers our entire technology stack. With our proprietary, patent-pending, cookieless technology, you can trust your business will be future-proof.
FullThrottle’s shopper connection platform has never relied on aging and decaying tech like third-party cookies and mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs). FullThrottle has always been ahead of the curve.
In a rapidly changing landscape, you must guard against major changes to your tech investments. ZeroGraph is the future-proof solution you need to drive essential tech-enabled marketing functions. Its features include:
- Identity Resolution—collecting and matching identifiers across devices and touchpoints to build an omnichannel view of individual shoppers.
- Audience Building—identifying, engaging with, and cultivating new and expanded audiences.
- Media Activation—deploying a calculated mix of marketing materials to connect with individual shoppers and encourage them to convert.
- Data Enablement—using data of in-market shoppers to market custom solutions to their needs and drive their business to your company.
ZeroGraph’s Six Pillars of NextGen AdTech
Zero LocationQ—pinpoint a user’s exact location with cookieless latitude and longitude tracking.
Zero Local—cookieless E-tag local storage techniques.
Zero Browser Signal—activate browser identification tied to our identity graph.
Zero Header—incorporate an HTTP referrer without the need for cross-site tracking.
Zero Legacy—migrate last-generation tracking techniques to modernize audiences and keep them actionable.
Zero Lake—add offline data into the mix and use an available information exchange matrix.
ZeroGraph Powers FullThrottle’s ShopperSuite
FullThrottle’s customer connection platform includes ShopperSuite, a closed-loop marketing solution. The product is built on a simple premise: Win more business for your company by identifying and marketing to anonymous visitors on your website.
Who are these visitors? They are the vast majority, the 97% who don’t leave their contact information.
ShopperSuite’s ZeroGraph technology allows your business to reveal the fully online and offline digital profiles of these unknown guests. All they need to do is consent to share their location. Then, ShopperSuite will identify their:
- First and last names
- Home mailing addresses
- Email addresses
Cookieless Customer Data Tracking Couldn’t Be Easier
ShopperSuite does more than identify anonymous website visitors. It markets to them with direct mail, email, digital display ads, and social media marketing.
You won’t be left in the dark regarding the effectiveness of your marketing channels. Our data center measures and tracks every sale back to a real customer, as well as the specific marketing tactics that played a role. Our technology automatically course corrects to optimize ad campaigns so you can laser focus where you spend your ad dollars. Uncover hidden gems – opportunities that were, up until now, hidden by “basic” data analytics. This data-gathering and data-activation advertising technology isn’t just modern and robust. It uses a completely cookieless platform, so you can power your business intelligence and recommendations into the future of marketing!
FullThrottle Is Ready for a Cookieless Future. Are You?
The phase-out is closing in. FullThrottle offers a chance for your business to adapt to this shift in digital marketing. With it, you can identify, market to, and measure addressable households who are visiting your site as well as assess channel effectiveness.
Let us navigate the latest changes in digital marketing so you can get back to what you do best: running your business. Schedule a demo today and discover how FullThrottle can revolutionize your marketing!