A new ‘deadline’ for deprecating third-party tracking cookies has been set at two and a half years later than it was originally planned – H2 of 2024 – since Google announced their latest delay. Further timelines regarding Privacy Sandbox were also shared by Google, as the company feels that more time is needed to test and launch its features fully. This is all very understandable considering the very real challenges that face our industry in ‘getting off’ the cookie, but here at FunnelFuel, we believe the future – at least when it comes to cookies – can begin today. We’re approaching this challenge by;
- The privacy sandbox API will be released in 2023, at least generally speaking, within Chrome.
- B2B sales cycles have super-long attribution windows anyway. Considering the cookie lasts on average 30 days, and a B2B sales cycle takes ~2 years (broad average); the cookie isn’t really all that much use anyway.
- We addressed this challenge by building Journey, our B2B analytics product to be fundamentally cookieless, whilst retaining some advantages that cookies bring. These features, over the next two years, will be generally phased out, in favour of cookieless alternatives. Journey is therefore ready to capture, report on, and feed media optimisation on your long sales cycles today.
- Journey is the power-house behind FunnelFuel’s media buying; it captures data 24/7, feeding insights back to our programmatic Demand Side Platform (DSP), to enable live optimisations – so your media targeting is fuelled through data captured at account level, on your own web properties.
As we move towards a privacy-conscious future, cookieless measurement is one of the most challenging aspects for marketers as we move towards it. That is not a surprise to those in the online advertising industry. The programmatic industry is highly fragmented due to all of its media channels, formats, ad exchanges, ad servers, and demand versus demand platforms. Among the many differences between supply-side platforms and the open web, there are several different types of data, measurement, and analytics that are available to companies in walled gardens versus those outside the walled gardens.
In the present day, teams of savvy data scientists use a common identifier – namely a tracking cookie – in order to rank these combinations based on the expected return on investment. Connecting these solutions, even with third-party tracking cookies, is extremely challenging.
The cookie issue doesn’t look like it’s going to fade away anytime soon, so advertisers might stay the course with existing cookie-based campaign strategies for some time to come. However, there is more to cookieless than just Google. It’s estimated that only 30 – 45% of internet traffic relies on cookies.
Those are the two major browsers that have blocked third-party cookies for the past three years. If you find that truth shocking, let me explain it. Chrome has been the only major player to not block third-party cookies, as it holds a roughly 50% share of browsing activity globally. Cookie availability continues to be squeezed as stricter consumer privacy regulations are increasingly being enacted across the globe, which makes it even more difficult to access cookies.
The percentage of people who use ad blocking tools or go incognito is estimated to be between 7% and 40% on mobile devices – and everyone else in between. It is important to understand that cookie-based strategies over-index to only 30% of the open web, so if you are following along with your calculator, that means cookies only over-index 30% of the open web.
Funnelfuel is transitioning to a privacy-first programmatic approach, regardless of cookie availability and any further changes made by Google. For us, the future starts today
A cookie-based approach to programmatic advertising is just scratching the surface when it comes to its scale. You can easily plan, target, and optimise your programmatic campaigns without having to resort to cookies. The focus of FunnelFuel continues to be on rapidly transitioning to a privacy-first programmatic approach, regardless of cookie availability and any further changes made by Google to the deadline – not only will it be better for consumers, but it will also be more efficient as a result.
By the end of 2023, we are on target to deliver 85% of our campaigns without cookies globally. To achieve connected and accurate measurement across channels, we combine data from a multitude of our partners to create FunnelFuel Journey, a unique profile that combines multiple signals into a single profile. By focussing on running programmatic media against privacy aware solutions which don’t need cookie IDs, like our unique approach to ABM, contextual targeting and the usage of first party data to inform live creative and targeting decisioning, our reliance on out-dated tactics like ‘retargeting’ is next to non-existent.
In spite of the fact that the cookie deprecation timeline has yet again been extended, we believe that it is even more important that we take the time to rewrite the rules of digital advertising and to develop adequate alternatives that are right for your brand, while also prioritising consumer privacy and choice.