5 things brands should do with the time Google just gave them
It looked like the advertising industry might be able to get through the summer without big waves, but Google’s latest tweak to its cookie depreciation schedule is turning our collective heads once again. After a year and a half of preparing and planning for a transition to a post-cookie world, advertisers now have two more years. Or are they doing it?
While the delay is a major giveaway, no brand or agency should react to the news by sticking to the status quo for the next two years. Google’s more measured incremental plan doesn’t change the writing on the wall – cookies always disappear.
Rather than rejoicing, brands and agencies need to take advantage of the extra time they have been given. Here are five things they should be doing – or continuing to do – with the gift of more time.
1. Remember, we are in the age of privacy first
Consumers are more aware than ever of how their data is being used. Apple invests a lot of money in advertising campaigns based on privacy concepts and changes its policies accordingly.
Now is not the time for advertisers to retreat. Some brands may feel like they only have an extra two years to take advantage of exploit tactics, hunt consumers with the same retargeting ads, and seek to maximize click-through rates. It would only hurt the long-term prospects of the ad, so it is essential that we do not abuse or abuse this new window.
2. Stick to your schedule
Before this announcement, even the most optimistic visions of the future admitted that the industry would be a bit lost in the woods in the early days of the post-cookie era. Many of the proposed solutions are not ready for massive large-scale testing, so there was going to be a big sorting transition period, without the cookie to fall back on.
Google has adjusted its calendar for precisely this reason, as even its favorite cookie alternatives aren’t ready for prime time. Brands must move forward at their current pace in order to test and learn throughout 2021 and 2022, building on their progress and gradually refining the solutions they deploy.
3. Test alternative data solutions
Ahead of last month’s news, many of us thought the third quarter would be full of ads on cookie-less targeting platforms, new IDs, and privacy-compliant data products. Many vendors have likely changed their plans or adjusted launch dates in light of this news, but there will always be a constant pipeline of emerging solutions, and marketers will be well served to devote the same level of attention and attention. urgency they expected to devote before this latest news.
First-party data, cooperative data, context data, survey data, and many other forms are always important. There is simply more time to test, experiment and develop the right mix and better understand how to develop cookie proxies that will maintain performance without using data practices that infringe on consumer privacy.
4. Don’t ignore inventory on Firefox and Safari
Together, Safari and Firefox represent approximately 39% of the US browser market on computer, mobile and tablet. Chrome holds the largest share, around 49%, but this other group still represents nearly two out of five Internet users. For a long time, many advertisers have been comfortable avoiding targeting this group altogether, simply because these browsers turn off tracking by default.
The focus on a post-cookie Chrome eventually caused advertisers to take a serious look at this large segment of the audience that was missing from their plans and start exploring how they could incorporate it into their targeting strategies. Firefox and Safari will remain important testing grounds for the next two years as marketers try to figure out what cookie-less performance looks like. For brands mastering cookie-less targeting before 2023, the audience on these two browsers will be a field of opportunity.
Also, keep in mind that Google’s latest move shows that things can change in no time. While the new plan is more progressive, there’s still a chance Google will follow the rest of the browser industry and turn off tracking by default, so cookies will remain supported but not active for all users.
5. Focus on measurement
Google’s original timeline motivated many tech vendors to adjust their roadmaps and develop new methods of attributing performance. Cookies are a loss in terms of data collection and targeting, but also attribution.
The urgent need to maintain measurability has driven many developers to create new ways of locating conversions in non-attributable environments. Again, you have more time to collaborate, test and evaluate.
As brands deepen their collaborations, they will get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t. Brands will eventually choose the ideal mix of post-cookie solutions to achieve their best performance. Once they find what works best, they need to push shopping platforms to make integrating those solutions as easy as possible. DSPs will need to respond with platform updates.
While Google’s adjusted timeline brought understandable sighs of relief, it’s imperative that no one take this giveaway for granted. We know where the market is going and what matters to consumers. We have had a rare opportunity to rebuild and live up to the high standards consumers expect. Don’t slow down now.