Welcome to another year of wondering about how life will be once Google finally starts removing third-party cookies. While there are still some question marks, it’s time to accept that cookies are disappearing and stop clinging to that last strand of hope that cookies can stay longer.
The CEO, Greg Isbister, and CTO, Aaron Mckee of Blis gave us three things to bear in mind to ensure good campaign performance and an excellent start to 2024:
COME OUT OF THE DENIAL PHASE
Yes, Google’s delays in removing third-party cookies gave the industry this false sense of having a little longer to get their heads around cookieless solutions. However, Chrome is the last browser to support cookies. So, if you still rely on cookies, you’re already missing around 50% of the market, especially your high-value users. That’s a problem that can’t continue to get pushed under the carpet. So, yes, folks, it’s time to come out of denial and accept that advertising needs – and will – move on without cookies. That’s the only way to move the industry forward and regain consumers’ trust.
FOCUS ON WHAT THE WORLD WILL LOOK LIKE AFTER THE NO COOKIES ERA
Prepare to hear a lot of noise about the benefits of cookieless solutions (and some nonsense, too!). Make sure to analyse the options with long-term results in mind so you don’t replace dying cookies with another band-aid solution. Ask yourself, is the solution you’re hearing about something that consumers and regulators will embrace or just another step in the arms race? Will your brands want to be caught up in the press over grey-area solutions? There are multiple options, but the secret will be to find holistic targeting and measurement solutions to help you run things similarly across every touch point of your campaigns. Otherwise, you may have to assemble way too many alternative solutions that do things radically differently. And your performance will pay the price.
HOLISTIC MEASUREMENT NEEDS TO BE TOP OF MIND
The way we measure advertising campaigns is going to change; there’s no point in denying that. Rich multi-touch attribution is gone, along with the ability to measure individual consumers’ journeys. There are companies promising alternative identifiers and a ‘business as usual’ view of the world, but even a cursory review will show these promises as highly fragmented, vastly incomplete replacements. However, as with any changes, that also brings the industry new opportunities. A new breed of holistic measurement that doesn’t rely on connected cookie pools is emerging. For the first time, you can effectively measure a digital campaign alongside CTV, video, DOOH, and other channels. And you can do this across online conversions, footfall, as well as brand uplift. This opens the door for advertisers to focus on effectiveness and efficiency in a way that still drives outcome-based performance across every touchpoint. Most vitally, it shines an even brighter light on what matters most: your audience and how they engage with your brand.
While we don’t pretend to get things right all the time, these are three realistic predictions for next year. I hope we can all accept that cookies are going away for good so everyone can stop grieving and start seeing the bright side of all these changes. It’s time to move on and build a better advertising industry together