Adapting to a Cookieless Web Environment

Primelis . May 23, 2023

In recent years, there has been a notable surge in restrictions governing the utilization of web cookies, which enable the tracking of users throughout their online journeys and the collection of data primarily employed for targeted advertising endeavors.

Whether it pertains to reestablishing users’ control over their data via consent requisites or the gradual abandonment of third-party cookies by diverse web browsers, advertisers are confronted with an imminent “cookieless” future, necessitating paradigm shifts in their advertising strategies and methodologies for gauging performance.

Exploring the Fundamental Limitations Imposed on Cookie Deployment

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted by the EU in 2018, mandates that companies secure user consent before gathering and deploying their data.

In 2020, Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers commenced default blockades of third-party cookies. This implies that cookies set by websites other than the one the user is actively engaged with will be curtailed.

Initiating in 2022, Google Chrome initiated a phased elimination of third-party cookies, with plans to discontinue their support by 2024.

How Does this Impinge on Advertisers?

The constraints on tracking and restrictions on third-party cookie application directly impinge on advertisers and advertising platforms. These tools have historically played a pivotal role for platforms such as Meta and Google, empowering them to provide intricate advertising targeting options.

This transition is compelling advertisers to increasingly lean on first-party data, garnered from their own websites or applications, and to pivot toward contextual targeting to reach users. Leading advertising platforms like Google and Meta are channeling efforts into predictive models fortified by AI and machine learning.

Navigating the Ramifications of a Cookieless Web

Advertisers are presented with an array of avenues to counteract tracking limitations and cookie usage stipulations:

– Incrementality Testing: This involves collating customer data by segregating them into test groups exposed to advertising initiatives and control groups, to appraise the influence of advertising on the targeted cohort as opposed to the control group.

– Marketing Mix Modeling: This approach entails assessing marketing undertakings over an extended timeframe, while factoring in market dynamics and an assortment of other variables that could have influenced advertising efficacy.

– Conversion Modeling: This technique employs machine learning algorithms to gauge the repercussions of all marketing activities when actual conversions are challenging to ascertain.

Furthermore, advertisers should contemplate transitioning to a server-side tracking solution, entailing the storage of third-party advertising cookies directly on their web servers, thereby transforming them into “first-party” cookies, avoidig third-party blocking by web browers.

In any scenario, advertisers who adeptly adapt to the cookieless landscape will be the ones best positioned to safeguard enduring advertising performance.