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Beyond the Cookie: 5 Ways Advertisers can Prepare for a Cookie-less World Today

20210811_Beyond the Cookie

When new change arrives, there are always winners and losers. The same goes for the world of digital advertising when third-party cookies are out of the picture. Advertisers should be prepared to adapt to changes so they can always be in the win column. 

Brief background: 

In January 2020, Google announced its plans ‘to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within two years’ (yes, so now it is only a year left) By that time, all major browsers (namely Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari) will block the use of third-party cookies. This could potentially alter the landscape for digital advertising which currently relies extensively on third-party cookie data for personalization. 

What will be the impacts for digital advertisers? 

Questions that may pop up in the mind of advertisers or marketers when they first hear about this change perhaps involve around “Does it impair the ability to target individuals? , Does it increase ad fraud? or Does it affect the campaign outcomes?. 

To answer such questions, we break them down into two main issues: 


Privacy for consumers will definitely increase, which is a good thing. This will hurt ad tech companies that have been violating consumers’ privacy without their knowledge or consent. Nevertheless, the increase of privacy is relative, rather than absolute. Google still has a massive amount of data on their users who are constantly logged into free services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android devices, etc.  That being said, personalization will still be possible with other currently available solutions (namely first-party data, location and time-based messaging) across several digital channels/platforms.    

As a result, advertisers are expected to benefit from greater customer confidence over time in consuming online content and purchasing online safely. 

Ad Targeting:

We have been realizing for quite some time that too many marketers are paying extra to “chase people around the internet” or in other words they are over-targeting their customers. And most consumers know how crappy that is. The restriction will impact third-party cookies, the information sources that usually go into building user profiles (such as interests and purchase behaviors) to enable advertisers to target the customers. Therefore, advertisers should consider carefully whether targeting down to the level of the individual is actually worth it, given how deprived the data quality will become.

How should advertisers adapt to this drastic change? 

It probably will take a whole day to discuss how advertisers should react to this particular change. But don’t worry, we have summarized the key strategies into just “five” for you: 

1) Utilize and maximize the use of first party data

2) Understand how to protect user’s privacy, security and compliance

3) Team up with advertising platform/agency that can provide precise audience data with cookie-free space. This is the area where HotPlay can help with our custom games and in-game advertising solution.

4) Create best UX for GDPR compliance

5) Unlock the power of your ‘content’

There is much more information that we can add and discuss further in the future blogs for each specific strategy. The ‘cookieless future’ is indeed bright and not as grim as one may imagine. Yes, the change might not be so decent for ad tech vendors that have been profiting off of privacy-invasive data collection from users. But it is actually a good thing for good advertisers.  Let’s get ourselves prepared and learn to unlock our advertising spirit together for the new era. 

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