Data and Cookies in 2021 - What to Expect

January 12, 2021

The end of the third-party cookie is approaching, which means marketers can expect quite a few changes coming their way. And that’s not just speculation, Google announced it at the beginning of 2020. It plans to completely block third-party cookies by 2022 while competing browsers like Safari have been already doing it for years.

Though the world has already seen a glimpse of what a world without cookie-based measurement and targeting would look like, the focus hasn’t been all that strong yet. But in 2021, marketers and businesses can expect a much more powerful effect caused by the disappearance of these measurement models.

But what exactly does the death of the third-party cookie mean for the future of marketing? Well, 3 elements stand out:

  1. More consumer control over data
  2. New technologies will emerge
  3. Data will become more accurate than ever

Privacy and consent over data have always been some of the biggest issues when it comes to third-party cookies. With first-party cookies, the user can consent to have their data stored on the site to improve their navigation, such as having the browser remember their login information or returning to the products in their cart later on. But with third-party cookies, many users may not even be aware of what they are consenting to.

There has been a big discussion regarding personal data online, specifically for what purposes can marketers use said data for marketing personalization and remarketing. On the one hand, users expect certain features to be handed to them, such as a complementary offer to the product they’ve just bought. On the other hand, increasing concern regarding how that data is used means marketers will have to get a lot more honest about their intentions and let the consumers know exactly what is collected and for what purpose.

Another notable change marketers will have to consider is the new technology that will likely emerge to allow better tracking and personalization. Though first-party cookies will still come into play, websites will not be able to rely solely on them when it comes to personalizing user experience.

And with any boom in new technology comes a learning curve and an additional investment. Brands and agencies will have to devise an effective strategy that will allow them to integrate new tracking technologies into their operations if they want to remain competitive and improve the quality of a consumer’s digital experience.

Lastly, there is something to be said about the importance of data accuracy. Right now, data lies at the backbone of many marketing endeavors, such as anticipating user preferences or empowering remarketing campaigns. But data that is not accurate doesn’t serve any purpose, in fact, it may hinder success when it comes to marketing and advertising.

With the new technologies that will emerge, data will likely become more accurate, especially if marketers need to promote themselves outside of walled gardens like Facebook or Google, who have well-established means to acquire accurate user data. In essence, the disappearance of third-party cookies may mean publishers will have to become their own wall garden, which drives competition and gives marketers many alternatives to focus their efforts on.

Third-party cookies are still present as of now, but brands and marketers must already start looking towards the future and figure out a way to live without them. Much of the changes won’t happen overnight, which can give businesses enough time to rethink their marketing plans and improve their efforts.

Do you need help improving your digital marketing efforts in 2021? The excelerate team is happy to help. Call us at 866-530-2729 today.