Will advertisers thrive in the post third party cookies era?

By Zion Rufus

Google’s decision to axe its third party cookies has continued to be a cause for worry for publishers and advertisers in the advertising industry.

Although the tech powerhouse made that call as a result of Increased privacy concerns and mounting regulatory scrutiny, Google’s plan on banning third-party cookies was announced to the horror of digital marketers and advertisers who relied on third party data for their ad tracking and targeting.

In a survey conducted by Google to empirically quantify the effect that disabling access to third-party cookies would have on the programmatic ad revenue of web publishers, the company observed that for the top 500 global publishers, the average​ publisher ​revenue decreased by 52% for the treatment group, where it effectively disabled access to third-party cookies, with a median per-publisher decline of 64%. 

Following the survey, Google revealed that the removal of third-party cookies could have second-order effects on publishers, such as decreased spend by their advertising clients as a result of lower return on investment from non-personalized ads and moving budgets to different channels; and increased overhead costs as a result of publishers having to adjust their business models when third-party cookies are disabled. 

Owing to that fact, the ad industry began to seek out alternatives. The alternatives, which include The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 and Lotame’s Panorama ID, became the go-to for ad giants such as Publicis, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, as well as publishers like AMC, Maven, The Washington Post, and Newsweek amongst others.

However, amidst the growing agitation for stronger user privacy and Internet security, Google introduced Topics, its latest third-party cookies replacement and a Privacy Sandbox proposal for a mechanism to enable interest-based advertising, without having to resort to tracking the sites a user visits.


Will that be enough?

For so long, Google has been considered an unmatched leader in online advertising as it continues to sit as the world’s most popular and widely used search engine.

Google offers advertisers access to an unprecedented and unequaled potential audience of users who are actively looking for goods and services. The conversion tracking feature of Google Ads also uses cookies. To help marketers and advertisers track sales and other conversions from ads, campaigns, and free listings.

Hence, going forward, it might be hard for the ad tech world to do better without the third party data. For decades digital advertisers and marketers have relied heavily on the use of third-party cookies to track online users, target them with personalized advertisements, compile records of users’ browsing history, and build up a profile of their interests, preferences and habits. It has also been pivotal to the way marketers measure the impact of their campaigns



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