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The scoop on Google’s third-party cookie plans

13 March, 2020 | 

An interview with our Global Head of Digital Media

By now you’ve probably heard about Google’s announcement to gradually phase out third-party cookie support in Chrome. This is the inevitable next step, after Google promised to cut down on third-party tracking, announced as part of its Privacy Sandbox in August 2019. The announcement has raised a lot of questions, so we thought we’d consult our resident expert, Angel Li, Global Head of Digital Media, to address some of them directly.

Pureprofile: What will be the impact of retiring third-party cookies? 

Angel Li, Global Head of Digital Media

Angel Li: “Initially, not much will change because Google’s announcement indicates that a phasing out process will occur over the next two years. In an industry that moves at lightning speed, this is a turtle-paced change that will give us ample time to adjust to changes and find the technical solutions that will serve us best now and into the future.

In the meantime, we are working with our team of tech experts to build alternative products that do not rely on third-party cookies – this includes helping our clients build and enrich their own first-party data beyond the limitations of historical cookie tracking.”

Pureprofile: How is Pureprofile Media affected by this change?

Angel Li: “We have been expecting this kind of change from Google, especially given their consistent government and industry focus on data privacy across the web. What we know at this point in time is that these changes are most likely to have a minor affect on our retargeting campaigns and attribution reporting. This is because these campaigns rely on third-party cookies to build an audience segment. I predict that Google will work out a cookie-free way to track ROI, but at this stage we will have to wait and see how this eventuates. 

With all this inevitable change in mind, it’s important to remember that consumers nowadays are generally spending considerably more time using mobile phone apps, connected TV and audio, rather than desktop browsers – which is the only medium that will be affected by this change.”

Pureprofile: How can Pureprofile’s clients make the best of the upcoming changes?

Angel Li: “Traditionally, clients have relied on third-party cookies to collect the audience segments and consumer behaviours across the web for targeting. However, since this change has already been in place across Firefox and Safari browsers, we have already been running our campaigns based on different targeting tactics and encouraging our clients to not rely solely on third-party retargeting. Since this announcement, we have seen a positive shift in our clients’ attitude to supplying first-party data to run their digital advertising campaigns. 

First-party data is defined as data that a company has collected directly from their audience. We help our clients collect data firsthand to run their retargeting digital media campaigns. When it comes to retargeting, first-party data is the best and most reliable to use. It can be comprised of data from:

  • Behaviours or actions taken across your website, app, and/or product
  • Your CRM (can include both online and offline data entry)
  • Social media profiles
  • Subscription-based emails, products or services
  • Surveys or customer feedback

We recently ran one of our clients’ retail campaigns with their supplied CRM data. This produced some impressive results by creating different audience segments quickly and easily. Most of the time clients have the means to supply us with a huge amount of data which would take, in comparison, a large amount of time to collect using third-party cookie technology.”

Pureprofile: What’s your outlook on the future of digital advertising? 

Angel Li: “Our adaptability and expertise in the media space, coupled with our rich panel data and insights, makes me confident that this announcement by Google will have a minor impact on Pureprofile Media and our clients. As a company, we have always strived to be leaders in privacy compliance, and this change gives us an opportunity to expand our horizons, experiment with new strategies for our clients and grow as media traders. We are all for this change and are looking forward to the future of digital advertising.” 

Read more about how rich consumer insights can optimise your media strategy.

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