Third-party cookies are on the chopping block, bringing with it several implications for the marketing industry and digital experience as a whole.
But first, let’s talk about what cookies are, and why organizations such as Apple, Google and Mozilla are doing away with them. Cookies first got a bad rap when third-party cookies — those used by a domain and usually a company not associated with a particular site that is being browsed — started to track user behavior across websites. This was incredibly useful for measuring the impact of an “impression.” But for many consumers it felt intrusive when the item that they looked at online began following them across the web. Globally, eMarketer estimates that about 82 percent of web ads rely on cookies and over 77 percent of websites globally have at least one or more tracking cookies.
But the truth is that third-party cookies were never all that great at driving accurate targeting or measurement for marketers. In fact, according to comScore, 55 percent of cookie-based measurement is overstated, and 35 percent of cookie-based demographic targeting is inaccurate. This data shows that third-party cookies are inefficient — they do not appear to be helping brands succeed in providing personalized experiences, nor do they give a unified view of customer activity.
In light of this, research from Winterberry Group and IAB forecasts increased spending and emphasis on first-party data and a move away from third-party cookies, which we have seen come to fruition in the last few years. We can also expect a heightened importance around identity resolution and consent, among other shifts in priorities for companies.