The Internet is a project that is constantly changing and evolving; Google has announced that next year 2023 will end the use of third-party cookies giving way to a great challenge for the industry: a new era in the digital marketing strategy of brands and advertisers. Google Chrome is the browser used by three out of four users, followed at a great distance by Safari and Firefox, bordering on monopoly, so this change will be a reflection of the path that companies follow in the treatment of data, being essential to improve respect for the privacy of users.

Google recently announced a proposal to replace FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), the company’s initial project to replace third-party cookies, with a new proprietary system called Topics. An approach that ensures them absolute control of user demographic data through Google Crome, and that pushes the rest of the industry to continue working on more solutions oriented to all consumers and the Open Internet.

This transition to a cookieless environment aims to improve consumer privacy, avoid Google’s monopoly and limit companies’ access to certain information. This in turn generates new options and opportunities to develop their business in a space with less access to third party data.

What are cookies?

A cookie is the small piece of data that is sent from the website you are visiting to the web browser you are using. In a sense, this data allows the website and your browser to communicate with each other and share information. Cookies were introduced to the Internet by software engineers in the mid-1990s and were designed to help websites remember things like a customer’s username and password or what is in their shopping cart. This allows a user to be identified across browsing sessions by storing their preferences. For years, third-party cookies have been widely used in marketing campaigns as they allow us to understand consumer behavior or measure the success of campaigns.

What are the alternatives to cookies?

As the arrival of a cookieless environment approaches, many brands and advertisers are starting to prepare to face this new era. Companies working on the development of new alternatives are striving to present companies with cookieless solutions composed of first-party, cohort, contextual data and betting on AI to have the ability to better understand the audience, assess ads and measure results.
The industry may see some impact on its capabilities and performance, and may also see some discrepancy in terms of data measurement.

How will the elimination of third-party cookies affect the industry?

The industry may be affected by some impact on its capabilities and performance, and may also see some discrepancy in terms of data measurement. But that already exists today as the industry today lacks alignment between measurement methodologies and results. With this change, everyone is trying to find their own approach without third-party cookies, and, chances are, this alignment gap will increase during the transition time to the new cookieless era. This is where industry standards and interoperability come into play and it may be time to work together to define the same standards to effectively target and measure the data-driven advertising of the future. But this is something that Google, from its monopoly position, is unlikely to accept.

What is the future of the digital advertising industry?

The digital transformation accentuated by the pandemic has forced all sectors to evolve, including advertising. Agencies and advertisers, hand in hand with technology, are advancing by leaps and bounds, trying to adapt to an advertising market that is constantly evolving. In addition, companies will bet on adtech or martech solutions with AI and the early adopters of integral cookieless solutions will take advantage of other solutions. This is a great opportunity to focus on the development of new marketing solutions and bet on an open and free Internet. Investing in technology is the best way to move forward in the industry.

What should be taken into account to adapt to a cookieless environment?

Companies have to consider that building a direct relationship with the public and customers is more important than ever. In addition, making it clear to consumers that consent to the use of their data is part of the communication strategy can help to reassure consumers. On the other hand, efforts should be made to seek out technology partners with deep expertise in AI and machine learning. In a world of data without third-party cookies, it will be this technology that can help make sense of the current and future context.

In the end, user privacy must always come first, so companies must ensure that the privacy policies they implement are transparent by creating a relationship of trust with the consumer. It is essential that companies incorporate this consideration into the communication strategy as soon as possible and not wait for the definitive end of cookies, by the time Google has imposed its tools.

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