When Google announced that it was phasing out its use of third-party cookies to track users two years ago, digital advertising, publishers, and brands all went through the various stages of grief. What began as denial in the form of immediate inaction has slowly morphed into acceptance over the course of 18 months or so. Now, all sides of the industry that are impacted by the phase out are accepting that cookies are going away, and making plans on how to move forward.
Part of what has made this acceptance possible was the understanding that major players in the industry were working on the underpinning identifiers that would help target users across the open internet in the absence of cookies. As it stands, the two primary modes of this identification are The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0, which functions very similarly to cookies, though in a more anonymized-by-design form, and Google’s FLoC (federated learning of cohorts), which tracks the similar behavior of groups of consumers, and uses that data as a baseline for targeting
Even though these options exist, there are countless unanswered questions as to what happens functionally when traditional third-party tracking by way of cookies goes away. The truth is, there isn’t a single answer. And while the unknown can be intimidating, we may be entering a new frontier that not only works well for brands and advertisers, but takes consumer privacy into consideration without sacrificing the personalization that drives sales.
How The Industry Moves Forward
When we look at what it means when third-party cookies are phased out by 2022, we’re looking at the impact of large swaths of internet browsing becoming anonymized—absent a suitable cookie replacement. Without knowing who is visiting a website, brands will have a difficult time maximizing their promotional dollars through targeting.
So what happens in this void? Putting trackers that work to identify these unknown consumers aside, the first step brands need to take is to build their own stores of first-party consumer data. By building their own databases, brands will be able offer more effective promotions strategies without the need to rely on tracking users across the open internet. Building these databases takes time, however, and many brands have relied on third-party data for so long that shifting gears to create actionable databases in time for the phase out of cookies might be too ambitious.
Bringing In A Trusted PartnerGiven the general shortcomings of third-party cookies, there have been companies, like RevTrax, searching for alternatives for years. Though the third-party cookie phase out will upend many in the industry, RevTrax has been anticipating this transition and working on ways to solve for it. For brands worried about the coming disruption in online targeting, identifying potential partners that can serve to minimize impact and maximize the efficacy of ad spends, and using that resource to guide the transition can be a major asset.
By bringing on a trusted partner, brands can fortify themselves from the variances and unknowns of what personalization and retargeting in promotions will look like a year from now, or five years from now. RevTrax, for its part, prides itself on being ahead of the curve, because like Google's FLoC, we've been taking a cohort-based approach that is designed around consumer privacy. By segmenting customers into cohorts, we’re able to provide dynamic, nuanced customer data that serves in intelligent targeting and personalization efforts, all while preserving customer privacy.
RevTrax’s Predictive Purchase Data engine is built to provide brands with a way to offer one-to-one personalization to consumers from both known and unknown audiences without overstepping with respect to customer data. In providing personalization while preserving privacy, brands are able to engage audiences effectively while simultaneously building brand loyalty.
Are you worried about the third-party cookie phase out? You’ve got a trusted partner in RevTrax. Contact us today to speak to one of our experts.