Google announced last week that it would end third-party cookies for one per cent of users in the first quarter of next year, ahead of a general depreciation sometime later.
Of course, the end of third-party cookies has been coming for a while. In fact, B&T wrote last year about Google delaying the change.
However, with Google now committing to a start of an end to third-party cookies, adland finally has something to work with. Here’s what the great and the good of adland had to say, including:
- Sarla Fernando, head of regulatory & advocacy advisory, ADMA
- Trent McMillan, founder and chief digital officer, Kaimera
- Joshua Lee, national head of digital & data, Zenith Media Australia
- Travis Clinger, senior VP, activations and addressability, LiveRamp
- Jonas Jaanimagi, technology lead, IAB Australia
Sarla Fernando, head of regulatory & advocacy advisory, ADMA
“The people who have an intentional plan, it has separated those [from everyone else].
“There are some players in market that would have a very strong position if they were to be a bit more intentional about their plans. Don’t forget that the market, at the same time this has been happening, has had to consider regulatory change, a shortage of skills because of COVID and all the stuff going on through the supply chain of marketing, which has impacted their budgets.
“If this announcement has come as a surprise to you, then you’re already behind. There is no later date that you can start to prepare. You need to start understanding your different advertising practices, look at cleaning out and make sure that you clean up your first-party data and the way you operate your cookies on your websites. Start speaking to your tech agencies and asking them to test with Google. Speak with your Google contact because, in July, Google will be giving access to particular APIs so developers can start testing in the area so they’re more prepared for the cookie-less environment.
“Start looking at the different solutions that the different ecosystems are offering because we’re moving from a system that used to work across all different platforms and across the web to different offerings within each ecosystem.
“Businesses that aren’t ready will definitely struggle. The businesses that haven’t done their homework in understanding their own operations will struggle. Some of them may get by on luck but others won’t. Eventually, we will see better marketers because of this, all the privacy and regulatory changes, the accountability expected of businesses and changing consumer expectations.
“Lazy marketers won’t survive. The lazy marketers and the marketers that decide to just go along for the ride, they might find that the ride is a little too unnerving for them.”
Trent McMillan, founder and chief digital officer, Kaimera
“With deprecating just one per cent from Q1 next year, it highlights that Google is treading very cautiously. There’s a lot of unknown still. There won’t be big holes in revenue, there will just be changes in methodology for how things are attributed. There are currently a lot of blind spots anyway — the changes just mean that these blindspots will either grow or change in terms of where they sit.
“It’s not one-size-fits-all for our clients. We’re looking at next-gen targeting and measurement solutions across the board for our clients. Depending on their existing tech stack or their respective data requirements, we take a different approach. Some of that has been Unified ID 2.0, some of that has been testing Yahoo ConnectedID and some of that has been playing around with the Privacy Sandbox. It does add an extra layer of complexity but it allows flexibility to adapt and change depending on the client’s perspective.
“We’re testing a lot at this stage and getting the team to drive a lot of that. I’m letting the guys actually go out there and explore and test one, if not two, solutions in parallel for our clients.
“I’ve got no real concerns but the big thing now is that we have a line in the sand and a date that we can really start working towards. That gives us clarity over when we need to be ready and have a solution in place. The wavering point for me is that it’s clear Google does not have a robust solution currently, hence it dipping its toe in the water and testing.
Joshua Lee, national head of digital & data, Zenith Media Australia
“I think the change will be more or less welcomed. The staggered approach will give time and space to advertisers of all maturity levels so that they feel comfortable with their chosen cookie-less approach.
“Google hasn’t released all of the Sandbox solutions yet and there are still a lot of questions around the efficacy of those. I’m quite excited to see some of the more tangible results from some of those things like Topics Api and Protected Audiences.
“I would be concerned for clients that haven’t changed their ways but, across the agency, we’re trying to do a lot of test-and-learn on cookie-less targeting tactics. You’re still going to have a big chunk of the old methodology but we’re still working with clients that use last-touch attribution. We’re trying to help them move away from that.
“When there’s this kind of news, we go straight into re-education mode. We’ve always had it a bit on the back burner because we were waiting for Google’s solutions to come out. But we’re making sure that the rest of the agency, especially with new staff coming in, are across the Privacy Sandbox solutions, reading up on it and all the material provided by the IAB Tech Lab team.
“One concern I had is that while one per cent might be perceived as a small number but it isn’t [one per cent of Chrome users constitutes more than 26 million people]. I worry that this might further delay buy-in across organisations to invest in the necessary tech stacks. You can start with one per cent now but it would be good to know whether it is planning to increase that to five per cent by mid-year or by the end of the year, for example. This would give advertisers a way to map out their own plan of attack.”
Travis Clinger, senior VP, activations and addressability, LiveRamp
“While Google formalised its timing last week, we’ve been ready for the final transition to cookie-less for some time, and are already enabling addressability for more than 450 marketers and more than 14,000 publisher domains. Marketers, publishers, and other stakeholders may have adopted a wait-and-see approach, but the codifying of the timeline is encouragement for those who may be delayed.
“Google’s update provides further clarity for the ecosystem and encourages stakeholders who have not yet begun their own cookie-less transitions to start now. Cookieless marketers are already benefiting from more accurate reach, measurement, and better ROAS across the internet as a result of cutting-edge integrations and partnerships.”
Jonas Jaanimagi, technology lead, IAB Australia
“It’s not that it’s becoming more complex, but simply that the processes are changing. The industry has to engage with the changes and lean into the processes (potentially with their various partners) for testing via the dedicated origin trials.