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Lately, marketing news has been inundated with new privacy settings that return power to the customer. 

With tech giants like Apple announcing iOS 15 privacy updates and Google slowly phasing out third-party cookies, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the impact on marketers. However, these changes come with opportunities for enhanced targeting and investments in more qualitative customer communication based on consent, resulting in an overall positive step forward for the relationship between brands and their customers.


But first...what’s a cookie?

A cookie is a tiny piece of software code that gets installed on your web browser when you visit a website. Cookies help the website identify you and recognize you on subsequent visits.

For example, have you ever wondered how your favorite online retailers remember you from a previous visit?  Most likely, they’ve put a cookie on your web browser when you visit the store's website.  This is what we call “first-party cookie.”  The cookie allows the retailer to recognize your account so you don’t have to sign in every time you visit.


What exactly are the changes?

There are two major changes in the news: Google’s third-party cookie announcement and Apple’s latest iOS 15 features.

  • Google is in the process of completely removing third-party cookies on Chrome by the end of 2023

  • Apple’s recent iOS 15 announcement allows users to turn off activity tracking in the Mail app which was effective in September 2021

  • These changes aim to give the customer more control over their data, tracking, and privacy settings

  • Google and Apple now allow users to even decide how long their data is stored


What is the impact of these changes?

  • Google’s announcement results in a loss of cookie-related data, such as being able to track customers’ online behavior across other websites, browsers, and even devices

  • Nearly 70% of web users prefer Chrome, signalling a huge impact on data gathered via Chrome’s third-party cookies — in fact, Google released experiment results that suggest brands stand to lose an average of 52% in revenue without cookies

  • Apple’s latest updates mean certain email marketing data (including if the email was actually opened, who the subscriber is, and where they are located) are no longer available to marketers


So, what does that mean to a marketer?

  • More difficult to target your marketing campaigns if you do not take the time to start planning and adapting to the change.

  • Less access to third-party data and tracking pixels is becoming less effective, meaning it is more difficult to build customer profiles if you are only dependent on data collected via internet browsers such as Google Chrome. 

  • More difficult to evaluate how successful your campaigns are, especially if you’re focusing on the wrong metrics

  • More difficult to know if your content is actually being read and relevant to your audience

  • More important for you, the need to verify that the vendors you are working with are compliant with new privacy regulations


How do I adapt to these changes?

We recently released a guide on how to adapt your strategy for Apple’s iOS 15 updates (click here to read the full guide). Here’s what you can do to prepare for Google’s cookie announcement:

  • Re-evaluate your first-data strategy, and make first-party data your differentiator

  • Evaluate your campaigns to ensure compliance with new regulations, respect for the customer’s preferences, and that your brand is being represented in the best light

  • Explore programmatic media activation platforms that work with data providers and publishers, such as Allant Group, to become the go-between for data and activation platforms for the advertising ecosystem.

  • Shift your focus towards understanding the customer’s needs using pre-existing cookie-based data and increase quality touchpoints with the customer

  • While you update your strategies, consider audience targeting where you use the method of separating consumers into segments, based on interest or demographic data; leverage existing location data and other general interests such as consumers’ lifestyles  for current campaigns


Looking forward — what does marketing in the post-cookie era look like?

  • Continue creating a digital customer experience based on trust and transparency

  • Empowered customers to decide how much information they want to share via preference centers and opt-ins 

  • Emphasis on making it easy for customers to unsubscribe or opt-out of certain campaigns

  • Working with partners with advanced analytics capabilities within privacy regulations such as Bubblebox and Allant Group

  • Employ machine learning solutions that accumulate and analyze omnichannel data for you

How should brands approach marketing partnerships and future investments?

  • The key to success is exploring solutions that wors across all digital channels and not just one; as well as providing the consumer with greater control.

    • An example/alternative solution worth exploring are ones provided by Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 where they create a digital ID based on hashed email and browser IDs.

    • Another example is LiveRamp where they’re continuing to work on developing a cookie-less ID and building a pool of users across the digital ecosystem known as Authenticated Traffic Solutions (ATS) which allows a two-way value exchange between brands and publishers, enabling publishers first-party authenticated identity across the open internet, providing addressability without third-party cookies.

  • Assess what values your brand stands for and if current marketing efforts (and tech) meet these values before determining where partners fit into your overall post-cookie strategy

  • Select the actionable metrics you will now use to evaluate your campaign results

  • Investments will now lean towards first-party data, meaning learning about your customer’s preferences directly from the customer themselves

  • Huge focus on consent-based marketing, allowing customers to select their own preferences and tell you what they’re interested in themselves

  • Brands must assess potential partners and tools based on privacy compliance and expertise navigating campaigns that rely on transparency

Will the focus be entirely on brand-owned data?

  • While there are huge advantages to collecting and owning your own audience data, exploring partnerships will help your speed to market

  • This is a good time for data aggregators to refine their services as more brands turn to them for data in a privacy-compliant package

  • Brands will be asking partners for more transparency in how audience data has been collected in the first place — and if consent was first obtained

What action should I take to respond to these changes?

  • Start planning — 2023 will be here before you know it.

  • Gather consent; for example, start by refining your preference center

  • Harness the power of chatbots as a communication touchpoint

  • Shift to actionable metrics that actually drive results move away from vanity metrics

  • Explore omnichannel integration to create a better, single view of the customer, allowing you to personalize content based on where the customer is within the sales journey

  • Shift towards company-owned data instead of third-party, meaning leveraging technology to create opportunities for customers to tell you what they want to see from you

  • Offer more value in exchange for customer data, such as more personalized emails with content (such as product offerings) that cater to their specific interests

  • Introduce more communication touchpoints that exist outside email and browser-based marketing, such as SMS channels

  • Understand your customer to help you outline an experience that actually meets these needs — this will build trust that later translates to more customers opting in to share data with you


Next steps:

2023 is coming around the corner.  As marketers, 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. 

Start by learning more about the upcoming changes; don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Bubblebox.  In a joint effort with Allant Group, we can speak with you and help re-evaluate your strategy and data needs.

We’re here to help. Contact Bubblebox today!


About Allant Group

Allant Group is a marketing services provider focused on supporting mid-market and emerging brands through a holistic set of offerings in support of marketers’ customer engagement needs, including data integration and management, martech system integration, analytics and other application-layer integrations.  Allant's expertise and market knowledge enables delivery through faster customer and 3rd party data integration, improved analytical insights, easy to understand data visualizations, and effective campaign management execution to enable targeted and personalized communication by marketers to acquire, retain and win back customers. Allant is a privately held company headquartered in the Chicago area.  For more information, call 800.367.7311 or visit


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