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Marketers, don't just rest on your laurels because Google cookie wipeout is delayed

Marketers, don't just rest on your laurels because Google cookie wipeout is delayed

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Most companies worldwide might have heaved a sigh of relief when Google further delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies. Whether this was an expected move by Google or not, it certainly benefits many within the industry. While businesses and marketers are rejoicing, consumers are now left wondering what would be of their privacy. 

Wunderman Thompson's Asia Pacific chief strategy and transformation officer, Justin Peyton, told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that this is disappointing from a consumer point of view. "The move away from cookies was designed to protect consumer privacy and further delays to the changes equate to further delays to protecting that privacy," he said. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that it is probably an indication that many advertisers are still unprepared for the switch.

Anthony Chavez, Google's VP, Privacy Sandbox said in a recent blog post that the team received feedback that the industry needed more time to evaluate and test the Privacy Sandbox before wiping out third-party cookies. Peyton agreed, saying that Google is not working to protect its own interests. Instead, this was likely a response to industry readiness. "The truth is that the deprivation of cookies has the potential to be a value driver for Google as it makes their logged in understanding even more valuable," he added.

Nonetheless, this extended period does not mean companies should rest on their laurels. "These delays should not be seen by brands as a window of opportunity in which to relax, but rather a period where good strategy can offer a significant advantage when the change does happen," Peyton said. Hence, he encourages brands to develop and test sustainable targeting strategies such as using contextual data signals, logged-in user data from the platforms and a first-party data strategy.

Likewise, Mitch Waters, SVP, The Trade Desk said irrespective of whether Google delays the deprecation of third-party cookies tomorrow or in 2024, the time to act is now, not a month or a year from now. "Those who have started working on viable alternative solutions already have a competitive advantage over others who don’t. In addition, brands that have a solid first-party data strategy will be in a better position to take control of their future," he said. The Trade Desk has its own universal ID solution - Unified ID 2.0 - which counts Disney, Amazon Web Services, Nielsen and PubMatic, among others, as its main partners.

Echoing both Waters and Peyton, Yahoo's head of data APAC, Dan Richardson, who explained that it is important that the industry takes this time to continue innovating and adapting solutions that will deliver stronger results for advertisers in both addressable and non-addressable environments across the web and app, and put consumers at the centre of their equations.

"Take the time to understand the make-up of your target audience - how much first-party data can be used for activation, the percentage of your target audience that will be unaddressable and how to reach them, and what browsers and operating systems they use. Otherwise, we’re just looking at an unproductive deferral," he explained.

Yahoo is among the industry players that have launched a new unified ID solution ahead of a cookieless world. Yahoo ConnectID (previously known as Verizon Media ConnectID) was launched in 2020 and aims to help advertisers and publishers reach consumers wherever they spend their time, be it on mobile, connected TV, digital audio, or DOOH. The company has already seen results with its solutions. For example, one campaign with a Hong Kong-based insurance partner managed to garner a 19% increase in clickthrough rates and a 40% optimised cost-per-click after the activation of Yahoo's Next-Gen Solutions.

While this is the second time that Google has delayed third-party cookie wipeout, Richardson explained that the difference in this latest announcement is that it highlights privacy, transparency, and a level playing field for all. It also underscores the pressure placed on Google by regulators to bring transparency to the forefront. 

According to Google in its recent blog post, the feedback about requiring more time to evaluate is in line with its commitment to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. Developers can already test these APIs and beginning in early August, the Privacy Sandbox trials will expand to millions of users globally. Google will gradually increase the trial population throughout the rest of the year and into 2023. The Privacy Sandbox APIs are predicted to be launched by the third quarter of next year and will generally be available in Chrome at the same time.

"The delay will provide the industry with more time to learn, build their first-party data strategy, and test solutions. Nonetheless, user privacy still remains an utmost concern for consumers. The future of identity will still lie in the ability to leverage direct, consumer-consented first-party data; and in solutions that are able to adapt and infer real-time signals, not attached to a consumer’s identity, for non-addressable environments," Yahoo's Richardson said.

Also weighing in on the conversation was TrafficGuard's CMO Chadwick Kinlay, who said any disruptive move as big as this requires time, collaboration in the whole ecosystem and a 360-view of the pros and cons from a tactical to strategic level. 

"Businesses and organisations need to enable a culture of transparency and innovation - that allows them to differentiate their brand, without losing their dedication to data privacy. The road ahead may be paved with regulatory compliance and new consumer expectations, but its destination will be a golden opportunity to rebuild years of broken trust," he added.

Related articles:
Ad ecosystem breathes a sigh of relief at Google delaying cookie wipe-out to 2024
Google's parent Alphabet sees ad revenue rise amidst earnings slowdown
Google's new substitute for cookies: What do Topics spell for the industry?
Asia marketers on Google delaying third-party cookies wipe out
Analysis: Google's third-party cookies wipe out delay to 2023 sends industry lifeline, say adtech pros
Build a data reservoir: Regional marketers on Google cutting third-party cookies
Google to scrap third-party cookies: Will it crumble parts of the digital ad world?
Meta sees first revenue dip, measurement headwinds still an issue

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