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Trends & best practices

No more third-party cookies. Brands need to pivot.

March 30, 2021 By: Alex Torres

What’s happening to Google’s third-party cookies? 

Earlier this month, Google announced that the company was no longer tracking third-party cookies, at least for its ad networks and the Google Chrome browser. Google is following in the footsteps of Apple, which now requires apps to request permission before tracking your activity across your iPhone and other devices. 

While Google will continue collecting your data and using that data to target ads, the search engine giant will stop offering web ads based on each user’s browsing history. For now, the company will only target ads based on how users interact with Google’s own platforms.

Google’s plan to block third-party cookies has been a long time in the making. The company announced their plan to end third-party cookies in 2020. For years, Google has been preparing internally for this change so that their business wouldn’t be impacted by the decision.

But, blocking third-party cookies will greatly impact the digital ad industry. Companies use Google’s third-party cookies to track users behavior as they surf the web. They use your search history to understand your interests and build a profile that includes important demographic information. With that information in hand, companies send ads targeted to recent searches. 

Why is Google ending third-party cookies?

Privacy has become a major concern for governments, users, and tech companies alike. 

Regulators in the US, EU, and elsewhere continue passing privacy laws to protect their citizens. On the heels of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), New York, Maine, Nevada, and other states have passed additional privacy laws to address cybersecurity concerns and data breaches. 

All of the data collecting and tracking “has led to an erosion of trust” in the public, with 72% of people believing that they are always being tracked online, according to Google.

How will the end of third-party cookies impact brands?

In turn, the drive to protect user privacy will drive up ad costs for organizations. Now, third-party advertisers will have to think twice about every single engagement across every single campaign. 

Rather than depend on third-party data capture, a less reliable means of information on customers, brands will need to rely on their own first-party capture. This means they will need to develop stronger first-party relationships with customers in our future privacy-first world. To survive this digital transformation, brands will need to place more emphasis on real-time customer signals that analyze how users interact with applications, websites, and other digital channels. 

This means that brands must be monitoring customer signals and behavior in real-time via secure first-party capture data platforms.

How can companies make the shift?

This shift will require companies “to deliver highly personalized and perfect experiences on digital that cater to their audiences, much like they did in physical stores,” Quantum Metric CEO Mario Ciabarra told WWD earlier this month. 

Privacy concerns are prompting companies to reevaluate their relationship with digital transformation. Instead of pouring money into ads, brands will need to shift their attention to building digital user experiences. 

Quantum Metric, the Continuous Product Design platform, helps brands to leverage first-party cookies in a secure, encrypted data capture solution. With Quantum Metric, brands can discover and quantify the business impact of each design choice and iteration. The platform offers tools such real-time updates and anomaly detection technology, which allows organizations to anticipate problems before they impact a large segment of users,

You can learn more about how the Quantum Metric platform can help your team adapt to a digital world without Google’s third-party cookies here.

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