How do we prepare for the end of third-party cookies?

If you are a digital marketer or advertiser then you would have heard that Google are planning on phasing out the third-party cookie by the year 2022. This is leaving a lot of companies asking…how do we prepare for the change?

With this change coming, it’s safe to say that the implications for digital advertising and the foundations of the internet itself are huge. For many marketers, cookies allowed them to not only track users that came to their websites but also improve UX and target ads at the right audiences.

As we all know, Safari and Firefox have already removed third party cookies from their search engines and since a lot of advertising is based on cookies, it means that brands will have to be more data-driven.

In this blog, we are going to show you how to utilise your digital platforms to acquire and initiate direct consumer relationships, make the most out of existing first-party cookies and give you tips on how to prepare for the end of third-party cookies.

What is the “Privacy Sandbox”?

Try not to panic. This change is going to change the way a lot of marketers and advertisers work but the good news is that Google has prepared for this switch up. Google has announced the “Privacy Sandbox” solution that will help publishers and advertisers succeed while also protecting people’s privacy as they move across the web.

In a nutshell, Google wants ad targeting, measurement and fraud prevention to happen according to the standards set by its Privacy Sandbox. This will mean that cookies are replaced by five application programming interfaces. The new Privacy Sandbox is presenting an alternative path for the ad industry to take, relying on anonymized signals (that are not cookies) within a person’s Chrome browser to profit from that user’s browsing habits.

For more information on Sandbox and how it will affect you, see this article from Digiday



How can I prepare for the end of third-party cookies?

Utilise existing first-party cookie data

Google’s customer match and Facebook’s custom audiences are great tools to use to help you analyse information that your customers have shared with you to create targeted ads across search, Facebook, Gmail and YouTube.

You can also help your first-party data flourish by coming up with new ways that will encourage users to share data with you. Hosting events (Covid safe of course) are a golden method of hooking in your desired customer. Another fool-proof data collection method is landing page subscriptions. This tactic is used a lot on e-commerce sites. By tempting a lead to sign up to a newsletter you’ve gained vital data to use in the future.

Begin testing contextual advertising

Contextual advertising is the practice of placing ads on web pages based on content published on those pages. This strategy is often overlooked, but it’s a great strategy to use as it doesn’t use third-party cookies.

Contextual Advertising can help you:

  • Protect User Privacy
  • Target Niche Audiences
  • Maximize Performance

A lot of advertisers suggest that targeted audiences are more likely to respond to these ads as they won’t feel as though their privacy has been breached or that they’ve been “tracked”. Building trust with customers is the key to strong lasting relationships.

Focus on First-Party Data

These are areas that will help tremendously when third-party cookies disappear. First-party data is extremely accurate and represents actual customer behaviour from your owned channels. Some of the best ways to collect fire-party data include:

  • Email campaigns/newsletters
    Take this opportunity to work on an active email list of people that willingly signed up to receive marketing materials from you.
  • Social Data
    Start by analyzing the followers and conversations on your social media. By assessing your audience’s social profiles and your analytics dashboards, you can learn about your audience’s interests and behaviours.
  • Customer Reviews
    Some of the most valuable first-party data is direct customer feedback. This could tie to a number of future strategic developments such as UX, ads, site copy etc. All feedback is valuable whether it is positive, neutral or negative.

What does Brave think about the end of third-party cookies?

The removal of third-party cookies will mean that most advertisers will have to modify entire strategies. Regardless of the industry, this is going to leave many brands needing some major revamping around data collection. This will, unfortunately, mean that many may fail. But you don’t have to.

Whether you’re a small business, international brand, or advertiser, you will need to start thinking about the post-third-party cookie world. Brave are a fully integrated digital marketing agency based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and we have teams specialising in pay per click marketing, SEO and marketing design that can work with you to plan and overcome the change. Want to see how? Contact our team today.


Written byJamie Flett

Google Partner
Facebook Marketing Partner
Microsoft Ads