By -

By 2023, Google plans to stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser.

Recently Nancy Kwan - Director, Digital Marketing at Bubblebox and Philip Schweizer, Co-founder and CEO of SalesWings spoke to how marketing and advertising teams must accept a future of consent-based advertisement as third-party cookie data comes to an end.

Check out the video playback here. The session is great for digital marketing and advertising professionals looking to:

  • Understand the impacts of Google's changes
  • Gain tips to move forward
  • Explore marketing partnerships


Let's jump into it

In a move to protect consumers’ privacy, Google Chrome and other major browsers are phasing out third-party cookies by the end of 2023.

While the full extent of the impact to businesses is, as yet, unknown, Google released experiment results that suggest brands stand to lose an average of 52% in revenue without third-party cookies.

So, what can you do today to hold onto your revenue and continue to grow in a cookieless world?

Below, we guide you through various strategies you can implement in advance of this major change.


But what is a cookie?

Chances are during your web browsing sessions, you’ve noticed websites dropping cookies on your browser. But what are cookies and why do brands use them?

  • A cookie is a small text file to identify a web visitor using a string of characters a.k.a. a unique identifier

  • Brands use cookies to track visitor preferences and deliver a more personalized experience each time you visit their websites

  • Cookies also play a big role in keeping you logged into everyday sites, e.g. your email client

  • First-party cookie (the nice cookies!):

    • A cookie placed by the brand itself on their website to learn about web visitors’ preferences first-hand

    • Data collected via first-party cookies can be used by the brand and its partners 

    • Example: Amazon uses first-party cookies to learn about your interests first-hand and show you relevant products while you shop

    • First-party cookies are likely here to stay

  • Third-party cookie:

    • A cookie placed on a website visitor’s browser by a third-party website

    • Mostly used for advertising — brands make media advertising buys for ad space on other sites

    • While initially well-intended, third-party cookies are now being phased out after concerns around how the data is collected, e.g. Smart devices on standby mode often listen into conversations in order to gather more profile information to share with advertisers

    • Example: Think of Google or Facebook tracking your behaviour across the internet and showing you personalized ads on every site you visit

    • Third-party cookies are expected to fade out mid/late 2023 from all major browsers


How will going cookieless impact my business?

If third-party cookies allow brands to target ads accurately across the web, what will be the impact to sales revenue without them?

  • A whopping 65% of web users prefer Google Chrome globally

  • The elimination of Chrome’s third-party cookies, translates to a huge impact on data gathering and access for brands

  • To assess the impact on your business, start by asking yourself: What percentage of my sales revenue is driven by advertising based on third-party cookies?

  • If a big portion of your advertising budget is dedicated to this area, it’s time to start strategizing a new way to get to know your customers and acquire new ones


Additional burning questions from the marketing community

  • What about my retargeting ads?

    • Initiatives to share data with advertisers are not going away — they will be more controlled

    • You will have to obtain consent directly from your customers to collect data about their preferences

  • How will I juggle privacy & personalization?

    • It is crucial to find the balance between your customers’ privacy concerns and how personalized you want your experience to be

    • Adobe found that 80% of customers prefer to buy from brands that cater to their unique needs and offer a special experience

  • Where can I find new data (sources)?

    • Chances are you already have access to customer data, even without third-party cookies

    • It’s time to evaluate all touchpoints in your customer experience that will capture meaningful data and insights

  • What about dealing with tougher regulations?

    • Become familiar and adhere to the data and privacy regulations 

    • Seek legal counsel when you unclear

    • Most importantly, respect your customer’s privacy


What are the risks and potential consequences of not adapting to the cookieless world?

  • Your competition is rolling out their first-party data strategy — you don’t want to be left behind!

  • Non-personalized and disappointing customer experiences as a result of not trying to get to know your customer in other ways

  • Not adhering to government compliance and regulations

  • Potential customers will see your mass advertising and label your brand as spam if your messaging is not relevant to them

  • Financial penalties if customer data protection regulations are breached (fines can go up to the millions per violation!)

  • Negative brand reputation — do we need to say more?


Mark Cuban said: “Because if you’re prepared and you know what it takes, it’s not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there.” 

We couldn’t agree more — here’s how to move forward!


Five ways to move beyond cookies

  1. Your first-party data strategy

    1. Focus on collecting visitor data yourself — this is data that you have explicit consent to use

    2. This is highly accurate and reliable data that allows you to create great customer experiences

    3. Your sales representatives can collect and validate data during customer interactions and update your CRM system

    4. Evaluate your transactional data, purchase history, preferences collected through marketing platforms (such as Marketing Cloud, polls, and contests)

    5. Look into web behavioural data (available via CDPs and other digital ecosystems) where first-party data is unified to create a holistic profile of each customer

    6. Develop a strategy to source, centralize, and leverage your first-party data and moving forward, collect more with the consent of your customers

  2. Compliant consent management

    1. Know the consumer data protection regulations 

    2. Make sure your customer preference center is updated accordingly (this  also helps build quality first-party data)

    3. Keep your CRM updated with opt-in information in case any regulators reach out with questions

    4. Set up your unsubscriber journey to ask why someone unsubscribed and how you can better engage them with relevant messaging (actionable questions only — make sure someone in the business is accountable to leverage the results and implement change)

  3. Value differentiator and content strategy

    1. Your customer preference center is valuable — it allows customers to tell you what type of content they want to see from you (helping you shape the personalized experience they’re looking for)

    2. Ask each member of your team to answer: What are your top 3 differentiators vs. your competitors’ top 3? This exercise helps you identify your brand positioning and evaluate if you really are delivering value (and if you’re on the same page!)

    3. Use the engagement data available via other channels (such as email, website, social, etc) to refine your content strategy and messaging — for example, what are customers clicking on? What do they perceive as a value differentiator? What forms are they filling out on your website?

    4. Look into the RFV model (Recency, Frequency, and Volume) to identify what content resonates most with your audience and brings them back

  4. Personalization and customer journey

    1. As a marketer, you have the ability to create hyper-focused content that will actually land with your audience

    2. Use these trends to create a nurture campaign to guide your customers towards the next best action

    3. You also have access to powerful automation tools that offer both historical interaction data and technology to offer an even more personalized experience in real-time

  5. Explore second-party data

    1. You share this data with other companies via collaborations (not related to cookies at all and upon consent from your customers)

    2. Start by identifying a brand that offers a different service to the same audience you want to engage

    3. Partner with that brand to create expert content (such as a webinar or whitepaper)

    4. Design a marketing campaign around this co-branded content, covering emails, ads, and a combined landing page where viewers interested in similar content in the future from either brand can opt-in to receive messages from your brands

    5. Look into ways to unify the digital IDs (such as email addresses) to create more meaningful customer profiles and grow your second-party data


So, what are my next steps?

  • Health Check Assessment

    • Evaluate: How will these changes impact your business?

    • Start having conversations with your team to prepare for these changes

    • Educate your peer groups on potential impacts between now and 2023

  • Prioritize strategies

    • Which of the strategies we covered above will you implement?

    • How will you continue moving forward?

  • Rollout change

    • Focus on actionable steps you can take to stay connected to your customers’ preferences


Take the time to get everyone in your organization up to speed on the recent changes. 2023 is coming around the corner. As marketers and advertisers, ensure that you’re already beginning the conversation with your teams at all levels and put a plan in place to shift to a cookieless world.


Whether you're new or existing Salesforce users, we're here to help! Contact us.


See what other subscribers are reading: