End of third-party cookies & future of e-marketing

End of third-party cookies & future of e-marketing 952 714 DJM digital

Like the vast majority of Internet users, you have probably already wondered about the protection of your privacy on the Web. Users’ concerns on this subject have turned the world of online marketing upside down. Indeed, consumers’ heightened concern for their privacy is one of the main reasons behind Google’s decision to ban third-party cookies by 2022. Their reign is coming to an end, and this is causing a real revolution in the advertising market!

Does this include all cookies?

No. The purpose of cookies that are strictly limited to measuring the audience of a site and those exclusively for the publisher of the site are not included. Their use should be limited to producing anonymous statistical data.

For example, there are so-called “necessary” cookies that do not require any consent from users because they are essential to the “provision of a service”. These are, for example, the cookies that make it possible to remember the contents of a shopping basket on a website.

But why is such a change happening?

Privacy protection measures related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are now reinforced. Indeed, the notion of consent has been redefined as: “any free, specific, informed and unambiguous expression of will by which the data subject signifies their agreement, by a declaration or by a clear positive act, to personal data relating to them being processed”.

In the past, simply continuing to browse was seen as consent to the use of cookies. Now, users must have the right to accept or refuse all third-party cookies.

What does this mean for the future of online advertising?

Third-party cookies allow the tracking of users by checking their web activities. Through the use of cookies, high-quality advertising targeting is possible. Audience buying and retargeting techniques based on third-party data are, therefore, bound to change or even disappear completely.

However, Google is developing an alternative called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). This functionality will allow advertising market players to target groups of several thousand people. Indeed, the aim of FLoC is to automatically classify Internet users into audience segments, also known as cohorts, established by algorithms based on their browsing habits. This technique is, therefore, much less intrusive than third-party cookies.

As the groups composed of thousands of people are quite large, it is not necessary to reveal the identity of Internet users to allow precise targeting. Marketers will, therefore, be able to select the targeted segments of Internet users through a programming interface in order to offer their ads.

There are already alternatives, such as fingerprinting, an algorithmic technique that consists of collecting information on the Internet user’s device. In this way, it is possible to build a “fingerprint” in order to recognise Internet users and track their activity on a website, thanks to their IP address. Individual targeting is, therefore, far from disappearing despite the absence of third-party cookies and the ethical issues they represent.

A challenge or an opportunity for brands?

Asking for a user’s consent will allow a relationship of trust to be established with them. Indeed, Internet users attach great importance to the respect of their private life.

This change should, therefore, not be seen as a threat but rather as an opportunity! It is an opportunity for advertisers to reinvent the way they communicate by placing trust, consent and UX at the centre of their advertising approaches.

Furthermore, there seems to be a renewed interest in so-called first-party cookies, which allow the collection of personal data completed by the users themselves. The exploitation of this data is accepted for profiling or advertising targeting purposes.
The challenge for companies is, therefore, to find a balance between respecting the privacy of users and the quality of the targeting of their advertising campaigns. The latter greatly influences the browsing experience, which is one of the foundations of many consumers’ purchasing decisions.

In conclusion, it is imperative for any marketer to pay close attention to these changes. Therefore, it is an opportunity to rethink the way you communicate by testing new practices, such as influencer marketing. Indeed, influencer marketing is interesting because the way of targeting lies in the choice of the influencer and not in the collection of user data. Influencer marketing, therefore, offers many growth opportunities to companies and is a good alternative to third-party cookies.

Don’t wait any longer to adapt your digital marketing strategy to all these evolutions and establish a relationship of trust with your audience today!