Industry Reacts To Google’s Delay On Blocking Third-Party Cookies Again 

Industry Reacts To Google’s Delay On Blocking Third-Party Cookies Again 
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For the second time since the initial announcement of the sunsetting of its cookies program, Google has pushed back the expected date of the cull to the second half of 2024. Read B&T’s reporting from yesterday HERE. In this piece, industry heavyweights offer their views on the move…

ADMA (Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising) – Sarla Fernando, head of regulatory and advocacy advisory

As the internet, platforms and data-driven marketing & advertising continues to evolve, it is important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. ADMA remains focused on what the industry needs to do to prepare for changes that are certain to come – whether that be privacy law developments or the eventual deprecation of third-party cookies.  

As the dates for Google’s cookie changes are pushed back, businesses have more time to adapt and change their marketing strategies. However, it is important that businesses do not delay taking the necessary actions to prepare for a cookie-less future. Many businesses have already started to build their first-party data, which will give them a competitive advantage over those who wait for Google’s announcement dates.

As an industry, we need to get prepared for the future, regardless of what it holds. It is impractical to base our timelines on the unknown; expecting dates that are subject to change. We know what needs to be done, and what best practice looks like, so let’s just get on with it.

Impressive Digital – Arnold Djapri, performance director 

Google’s recent announcement to delay the blocking of third-party cookies has been a relief to many businesses and organisations who were scrambling to make the necessary changes. As Google delays the block, there is currently no challenge posed to cookie implementation. And, with nothing lost until 2024, this big pushback provides some much-needed breathing room.

At Impressive Digital, we have already taken steps to ensure that no data is lost in the transition process. We have already been using first-party cookies instead of relying on third-party cookies, so the adjustment won’t be as drastic for us. 

Advertisers stand to benefit greatly from first-party data, as it is essential for accurate user tracking. However, for advertisers who are not yet ready for the transition, the delay from Google may actually be a good thing, as it gives them more time to prepare as the transition process can be quite difficult and time-consuming.

In my opinion, it’s important to take advantage of first party data tracking as soon as possible. This way, you can start building up a database that will be useful when this transition actually happens. With a platform that already has some data to work with, there won’t be any significant loss in performance if you switch from third party to first party data overnight.

Impressive Digital will continue to make the transition from third party to first party cookies, despite Google’s timelines. This is because we believe that having first party data will improve performance by allowing people to more accurately identify with the right type of audiences.

Outbrain – Ayal Steiner, vice president, global VP advertising

As we can see, many advertisers are still using cookie-based audience buying in order to reach their target audiences. Google’s decision to give them more time to adjust is a good move, in our opinion.

As the world moves towards regulations like GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) and enhanced user privacy on Safari, Outbrain believes that advertising without cookies will become an inevitable reality. Brands need to learn how to advertise in a cookieless world in order to remain relevant.

Marketers need to shift their focus from traditional open web strategies to ones that emphasise real engagement and attention metrics. This means going beyond impression buying and views or reach. Instead, advertisers should concentrate on messages that create meaningful interactions.

We believe that marketers should carefully consider their platform partners and focus on those that can deliver results without cookies. In addition, we believe that the open web advertising business model needs to evolve beyond CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) in order to better match results and outcome-based buying. Paying simply to appear is no longer good enough.

As the internet evolves, so does Outbrain. We are constantly investing in our platform to make sure that we can deliver the best results for advertisers, without relying on third-party cookies. Our platform is based on contextual and behavioural data, and our deep understanding of user behaviour means that we will continue to be able to drive the best outcomes for open web advertisers, even after third-party cookies are no longer used.

Yahoo – Dan Richardson, head of data APAC

This is a really interesting announcement and very different to the announcement made by Google last year. The biggest difference is that it brings to head privacy, transparency and a level playing field for all, and really underscores the pressure being put on Google by regulators to bring transparency to the forefront.

The reality is, third-party cookies as an identifier aren’t just going to be switched off overnight, it will be a phased-out approach. So for marketers, the most important thing to note from this latest announcement, is that you now have more time to get your house in order before the phasing out begins. It’s time to really understand the make-up of your audiences – what percentage are addressable (known) versus non-addressable (unknown), what sort of browsers and operating systems can you find them on, and how much first-party data can you activate in the cookieless world?

In a market like Australia, unknown audiences are in majority, which simply means for marketers that your ability to target and measure effectiveness may soon be heavily impacted. Direct-to-consumer identity should be your number one priority when looking for solutions as then you can use tactics such as contextual targeting and machine learning to understand and reach the unknown majority.

At Yahoo, transparency with consumers and our clients has been built into our privacy solutions from the start. We have already set ourselves and our clients up for a cookieless future and have tried and tested solutions tailorable to any marketers needs. 

Yahoo ConnectID for example, our solution for known audiences, has now been integrated by over 12,000 publisher domains. There are over 200 advertisers and agencies that are directly activating first-party data through our identifiers, i.e. our solution for unknown audiences, NextGen. Yahoo ConnectID is also integrated within the Yahoo DSP, which is leveraged by all the advertisers that are on that platform. The Yahoo DSP has been delivering upwards of around 20 per cent improvements to cost per conversion.

BcnMonetize – Adib Karbouj, head of ad operations

It’s been over a year since Apple’s iOS14.5 privacy overhaul, which is a long time in the fast-moving digital advertising world. Agencies and adtech vendors have used that time to adjust marketing strategies and develop solutions to continue the delivery of relevant, measurable, privacy-first ads. Google extending the phase-out of cookies gives some breathing room for those who haven’t yet adapted, but at this point the industry overall feels well-prepared. It will, however, be exciting to see what further innovations will emerge in cookieless tracking, targeting, measurement and audience segmentation over the next two years.

 

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