How to Prepare for the Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Chrome, which makes up about 60% of US desktop browsing, plans to deprecate third-party cookies by the second half of 2023. However, Firefox and Safari, accounting for about 25% of US desktop browsing, have already blocked these cookies.

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The impending deprecation of cookies causes concern among marketing professionals who use the data to target users with ads. Division-D has been preparing for this change and offers a variety of solutions to advertisers. Below we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions for those wondering what the advertising world might look like without third-party cookies.

What are third-party cookies, and how are they used in advertising?

The third-party cookie is a small, unique file dropped on an internet user’s browser that allows advertising technologies to recognize that user across the web. With this recognition, ad technologies can apply more precise audience targeting, frequency capping, conversion tracking, etc. This method of targeting raises privacy concerns, and to combat concerns, common web browsers have chosen to eliminate cookies.

Cookies are only used in desktop and mobile web environments, so in-app and connected TV campaigns will be unaffected by this change.

What changes can I expect to see?

Division-D offers a wide variety of cookieless targeting solutions, which are being integrated into current campaigns to create a seamless transition into the cookieless landscape. However, we want to prepare our advertisers for some of the below.

Smaller audience sizes

Without third-party cookies, it will be harder to identify and target specific users, so some behavior-based audience sizes may decrease.

Increased costs

As audience sizes decrease, the market could become more competitive, potentially causing digital advertising costs to increase.

Decrease in action tracking

Today, action tracking relies heavily on third-party cookies, and while many vendors are working on alternatives, we still expect to see a decrease in the number of website actions tracked. This does not necessarily mean fewer overall conversions, just fewer conversions marketers can attribute back to a specific campaign.

The best way to prepare for these changes in advance is to test cookieless strategies now and speak with your Division-D rep about enabling enhanced conversion tracking.

Why should I test cookieless strategies now instead of when cookies are no longer available?

Division-D encourages all advertisers to start split testing cookieless and cookie-based strategies for their digital campaigns for a smoother transition. Here are some reasons why.

Save Money

While we expect increased costs after third-party cookies are eliminated, cookieless audience pricing is currently similar to cookie-based audiences. Testing these audiences now to determine what works for your brand will save money down the road once supply is limited and more expensive.

Set New Performance Benchmarks

As mentioned above, campaigns will likely see a decrease in action tracking. We may see changes in other metrics like CTR, CPC, VTR, etc. By split testing cookie-based and cookieless audiences now, we can see a direct comparison between the two and adjust KPIs as needed.

Reach More Users

With Safari and Firefox no longer using third-party cookies, about 25% of all US users are no longer included in audiences using cookies. Adding cookieless audiences can expand your reach to new users.

How can I target users without third-party cookies?

By using targeting solutions based on alternative signals advertisers can effectively target ads without third-party cookies. Below are some examples.

Contextual & Contextual Keyword

Contextual audiences target the page an ad is on rather than the user, so this targeting tactic does not rely on third-party cookies. Standard contextual audiences target based on vertical, such as sports, news, or travel. Contextual keyword audiences show ads on webpages containing certain keywords.

Weather Trigger

Weather trigger targeting can be used to show ads during a particular weather event. An ad for ice cream can be shown while it’s sunny, or snow removal services can be shown while it’s snowing.

CRM (Customer List)

If your brand has current or prospective lists of customer names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. to target, we can do so without third-party cookies.

And Many More!

There are many more options for targeting users without using third-party cookies, such as automatic content recognition, app detection, social engagement, and sequential messaging.

Reach out to your Division-D sales representative or to test cookieless targeting strategies, or download our one-sheeter for more information.

Premium Digital Advertising Services

Division-D is a leading full-service digital media partner, specializing in programmatic, search, social, and influencer marketing to deliver superior results for advertising agencies and brands. With over 20 years in business, our dedicated team of 100+ digital media professionals operates from eight national offices, ensuring widespread coverage and comprehensive support for our clients.

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