It’s been just over a year ago that Google announced its plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in their Chrome browser. If that didn’t strike fear in hearts across the entire ecosystem, the mic drop last week from their director of product just might.
In a blog post, David Temkin, Director of Product Management for Google, wrote, “…we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”
All the implications of Google’s announcement are still pretty murky at the moment. One thing is crystal clear: It’s critical that publishers and advertisers do what it takes to earn a strong, direct relationship with their users. In fact, Temkin said “developing strong relationships with customers has always been critical for brands to build a successful business, and this becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world. [Google] will continue to support first-party relationships on our ad platforms for partners, in which they have direct connections with their own customers. And we’ll deepen our support for solutions that build on these direct relationships between consumers and the brands and publishers they engage with.”
How Google will facilitate first-party data across their product suite also remains muddy. Whatever it ends up being, Leverage Lab believes it will be among multiple solutions, including Unified ID, backed by an industry consortium led by The Tradedesk / IAB, and LiveRamp’s proprietary ATS. If the prospect of navigating multiple solutions seems daunting, publishers and advertisers would do well to prepare now. The good news is a direct relationship with users, including consent to respectfully gather behavioral data, is the skeleton key that will unlock any future addressability solution.
Leverage Lab applauds Google’s position. We say good riddance to the third-party cookie and enthusiastically encourage the industry to seize this opportunity to hit refresh on the entire digital marketing ecosystem. Let’s lay a privacy-first foundation and work hard at reestablishing trust with consumers.