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When the Cookies Crumble: Survive the Death of Third-Party Cookies

When third-party cookies are blocked, the top 500 ad publishers see their average revenue decrease by 52%! Some of those businesses experienced up to a 75% loss.

This study by Google shows how removing third-party cookies can have serious consequences for businesses that wish to reach the right audiences.

For over two decades, advertisers have been tracking users by relying on third-party cookies to collect data and serve the relevant programmatic ads. However, user privacy has become a hot topic for new legislation and legal authorities. Similarly, Google with its 62% browser market share, is ending its support of third-party cookies by 2023.

Are you prepared for marketing in a cookieless world? You may want to reassess your data collection strategy.

What are cookies?

Cookies keep important information in browsers such as usernames, site preferences, and remember items that you have left in the shopping carts. Some of these cookies are placed in your browser by the website you are visiting. For instance, when you view Nike shoes, their website places pieces of information in your browser. These are called first-party cookies, and they are not shared with other websites or advertising partners.

Source: Clearcode

However, some cookies are placed by a third party.

For example, if you are reading a blog that compares shoe brands, the advertisers for that blog can place cookies in your browser. These are called third-party cookies. The information contained in these third-party cookies about your browsing history is shared across websites and advertising partners. These are the cookies that are being cracked down on.

Source: Clearcode

What information do cookies contain?

Cookies contain a wide range of information about the user. This may not seem like much of an issue at first, but that information can say a lot about you.

To understand, imagine you visit a car mechanic. Since you were there before, they already know your name and contact details. Most consumers like the first-party cookie features. Their information is protected, and they can feel special simultaneously.

But what if they allow an outside company to come and get all the data from your GPS? This would allow an unknown third party to access your complete travel history. This means this stranger would now know where you live, where you work if you went on vacation, where you ate if you visited restaurants or drive-throughs, who your friends are, where they live, where you shopped, as well as tons more data about you just through your GPS history.

What if then, without your permission, this stranger decided to sell your GPS information to anyone and everyone that wanted it?

These strangers will know your name, your address, where you went, what you did, and so much information - and that can make customers feel uncomfortable.

Third-party cookies behave similarly. The data that is collected within the cookies get sold, shared, and synced with other businesses and ad partners so ads can follow you wherever you go.

Authorities and consumer privacy

Privacy authorities are not happy with such an exchange of users’ private information across websites thus to protect privacy, they have devised several regulations. The EU Directive of 2011 is one such regulation, which has been adopted by European countries. This directive only allows websites to place third-party cookies if the user consents to it.

A similar regulation covering general consumer privacy matters was signed in the U.S. in 2020 as the California Consumer Privacy Act. Later on, its amendments were signed by Virginia and Colorado as well. U.S. privacy legislation at a national level is still pending, but when signed, all U.S. states will be bound to implement it just like the European countries.

The way forward

There are challenging times ahead for marketers. The industry is still not fully ready to embrace the change. According to BCG, less than 50% of ad tech companies have created marketing plans or customer data strategies in place of third-party cookies.

Some ways you can start planning for a cookieless future is by growing and improving your:

  • Social Media Marketing

  • CRM

  • Email Marketing Strategy

  • SEO and Content Marketing

While privacy regulations and Google’s decision to ban third-party cookies have created a lot of challenges for marketers, you still have time to build up your defenses. Developing first-party data strategies can still help you reach out to the right audiences and help protect your revenue.


About 6° Media

If you need help with defining your goals or understanding the story that your analytics are trying to tell you, 6° Media can help you continue growing in this crazy digital world. If you want to increase brand awareness and grow exponentially, contact our team.


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