Advertisers explore comprehensive data strategies amidst privacy timeline shift

By Zion Rufus

Coming against the backdrop of Google’s announcement to yet again delay phaseout of its third-party cookies in Chrome until the second half of 2024, agencies and marketing specialists have advised that the ad industry should not relent on their efforts to stay privacy focused even as they explore comprehensive data strategies that will enable them to innovate and capitalize on the paradigm shift.

The proposed 3P cookies phase out which had been slated for 2022, was pushed to 2023, and now 2024. Although cookies have been a source of privacy concerns for years, it has long been used by online advertisers to target customers. However, as a result of increased privacy concerns and mounting regulatory scrutiny, Google made the call to axe the third party cookies in Chrome. Meanwhile, the announcement threw digital marketers and advertisers who relied on third party data for their ad tracking and targeting into a dilemma.

Reacting to Google’s latest announcement,VP, Research and Training, ADMARP, Segun Ogundipe shared in an interview with MARKETING EDGE: “Marketers control their destinies. Google had moved from Jan 2020 to the second half of 2023 after initial pledges to make the switch by 2022. Announcements that date back to 2019 when they announced a superficial way of tracing web users with a Privacy Sandbox. I guess we will now have more time to test the Privacy sandbox proposition- along with other privacy-focused identity solutions.”

“Although there are still debates on the method adopted by Google, the plan is to expand the Privacy Sandbox trial to Chrome users beginning next month all through 2023. With this, users who are not interested, can choose to opt-out.”

Meanwhile, Liza Nunes, Global EVP, Google Partnerships advised: “Our recommendation is for our clients and agency partners to remain privacy-focused. Cookie depreciation is inevitable. We know the winners in the race to a cookieless future will be agencies and clients that use this time wisely to prepare and innovate whilst maintaining pace. Some companies are already leading the pack and have begun utilizing alternative solutions like data clean rooms for ad targeting. We know that brands that prepare for a cookieless world today will be ahead of their competition tomorrow. Here are our six tips to avoid being left behind in the race to a privacy focused future.”

Digital marketing specialist, Christina Sibilsky said: “Interesting how Apple’s Safari and other browsers have already phased out third-party cookies, yet Google holds on for another 2 years. Regardless if Google kills third-party cookies or not, I think it’s time to use our creative minds to develop a better solution. Google doesn’t seem as reliable as they once were.”

Daniel P, Vice President of Marketing at Bozzuto believes that the best advertisers will get even better once this deprecation finally happens. In his argument, Daniel opined that many advertisers are pushing back on Google because they are not ready for this shift that has been looming for years.

Analyst, Jason Davis shared: “Not exactly a shocker that the biggest request Google has gotten around this is “the need for more time to evaluate and test” tooling in support of the change. It’s still another year (Q3 23) before Google’s Privacy Sandbox tool becomes generally available. Of course, required changes will extend will past Google’s tooling and will impact data, adtech, and martech systems & strategies more broadly. At the end of the day, Google is still holding strong to affect these changes as first announced almost 2 years ago now and it’s never too late to start preparing.”

Validating its reason for postponing the phaseout, Google said: “The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting. For these reasons, we are expanding the testing windows for the Privacy Sandbox APls before we disable third-party cookies in Chrome.”


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