The cookie crumbles: What Google’s privacy measures mean for digital marketing

Guest Column: Madison’s Abhishek Dawn analyses Google’s move to phase out third-party cookies and discusses its impact digital campaigns

e4m by Abhishek Dawn
Updated: Jan 27, 2020 9:03 AM  | 3 min read


abhishek dawn

Back in 2007, when we started our digital journey with Google, a new era of digital marketing was born. Soon, Google changed the world - the way we think, learn and interact with data. It was the Holy Grail for us. Today, when we have mastered the art of digital marketing, why do we still fear the changing ecosystem? It was always and it’ll always remain dynamic. The latest change is once again brought by Google in the form of “Privacy Sandbox”, this way Google will start phasing out third-party cookies.

What does this announcement mean for the digital marketing fraternity? Let’s take a step back to when GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was announced. Google and Facebook appeared in front of the US Senate to address our concerns regarding privacy, safety, and data ownership. The ball didn’t start rolling then. All the digital giants had already understood that the old way of collecting user information would no longer stand true, in this evolving world of mobile technology.

Cookies are primarily web browser-based technology, but when 80-90% of my users are no longer on the desktop, why do we worry? We worry because we did not shift our user base to any other platform or explore other means to track users. This is when you analyze each platform.

Google Search was never cookie-based targeting, so it will not affect your campaigns. Remarketing? No, my dear friend, that is also based on user behaviour on your website which is collected by the codes we place on the website, not cookies. Thus, search campaigns will continue to work the way it is.

Google display and Programmatic might get affected. But Google is a visionary organization which is based on technology. They are the doyens of digital marketing. So they are always one step ahead. From mid-2018, Google had already started moving away from Cookie IDs. Today we work on more advanced ways of understanding our user through Google Ad IDs or device IDs. So don’t panic; your campaigns will still work the way they used to. AD IDs or device IDs make user segments more accurate and your targeting better leading to higher user actions/engagements than cookies.

Cookie crumbling had already started a long time ago. In a field like digital marketing where change is the only constant, what is important, is to remember that we must constantly keep adapting to these changes and find newer ways to target our audience be it in the form of DMPs, Blockchain technology, Cloud products forlog-level data and other DSPs.

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