Cookie deprecation: adapting media strategy to cookie-less environments

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On January 4, 2024, Google deployed its long-delayed cookie-less environment to 1% of its Chrome browser users. The goal is to apply it to 100% of their users, having recently announced third-party cookie phase out will start early next year. Google is the last of the major providers to deploy this, following Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox release in 2019. With 60% browser share, Google is potentially signaling the next evolution of tracking and targeting for marketing purposes.

Google’s journey to a privacy-safe mandate has been a long one, with some significant bumps in the road. Since Google operates as an ad marketplace facilitator, they stand to lose revenue if they roll out updates that severely disrupt the digital ecosphere, a problem that neither Apple nor Mozilla needed to worry about. What does this mean for brands who advertise on Google? In a cookie-less environment, you may need to change your targeting approach to mitigate waste.

Depending on the scale of a brand’s first-party list and objectives, one or more of the following solutions may be recommended:

  • Authenticated and Probabilistic IDs: these commonly leverage first-party data sets, such as email addresses or phone numbers, with probabilistic pairing of disparate sets of data to make ID assumptions

  • Cohort IDs: utilizing machine learning to categorize people into interest groups based on content and location cues

  • Ecosystem IDs: establishing an identifier based on activity across a publisher’s owned and operated channels

At Inizio Evoke Media, our strong partnerships with Google, data providers, and demand-side platforms (DSPs) empower us to deliver optimal solutions for our clients. Our consultative approach ensures that we identify the most effective strategies for media activation. For instance, if a first-party solution is limited to a single media tactic or vendor, we can offer proprietary solution alternatives, such as Narratev. This HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant solution provides valuable insights into online journeys, guiding our initial media strategies and tactical decisions. With Narratev, our campaigns launch with enhanced efficiency from the outset.

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