By the end of 2022, Chrome will join other popular browsers, in withdrawing support for “third party” cookies. On mobile, Apple has applied a formidable privacy filter with iOS14. These restrictions will have profound effects on digital advertisers;

  1. Spending to reach new customers will push higher. According to Hubspot research 44% of brands project having to increase budgets to achieve same results 
  2. Brands will have to do a much better job of collecting and interpreting 1st party data
  3. Audience surveys, focus groups, cohort analyses to play a larger role in CRM planning
  4. AI will become a (more) critical tool in stitching together more fragmented data sets to identify patterns, opportunities
  5. Email contacts to be engaged more frequently, more strategically. Expect brands to acquire more email lists and devise more sophisticated drip campaigns
  6. Similarly chat/messenger social should enjoy another leg up in usage. Brands must extend the investment into follower growth on social, to improve customer engagement (chat) and private traffic opportunities
  7. Brands will have to become more adept at identifying and converting on ‘micro-moments’ and subtle opportunities to move customers along purchase paths (through Websites, Email, Chat)

Brands with large pools of first-party data will be able to defray some of the impact, but will still need to refill the top-of-funnel. Many high-churn DTC brands who live hand-to-mouth will face greater pressure to pivot toward new tactics.

3rd Party cookies have allowed brands to efficiently target (and re-target) customers across the Web as those interest-qualified audiences move from one site to the next.  These strategies meant that that entire Web could be used to cultivate sales. Blocking 3rd party cookies could have some unintended consequences. It’s possible that big platforms (eg. Facebook) will become even more important for advertisers  - while the Web (which cannot be re-targeted) gets de-emphasized.