The jar is emptying and the cookie’s moment in the limelight is coming to an end. The good news is marketers, their agencies, publishers and platforms have all been preparing for this for a long time. There isn’t a sole solution yet to cookie replacement, but rather a series of approaches being tested underway. R3 Senior Consultant, Craig Stein, provides some considerations for marketers in the meantime.

1/Join the FLoC
Google will sell to advertisers’ clusters of cohorts which can be used to target certain like-minded segments the way advertisers did with cookies. These cohorts can be used across the Google ecosystem.

2/Agency PII Tools
The major holding companies and many independents are all using their proprietary PII data tools to action marketer first-party data smartly, garner insights, and plan media activations.

Build relationships with data and publisher partners directly to ensure consistent definition across audience segments and to protect consumer privacy at the same time.

4/Cookie Alternatives
Products like The Trade Desk’s Universal ID, Neustar’s Fabrick ID, and LiveRamp’s Automated Traffic that were built from the likes of hashed email addresses, phone numbers, and phone IDs hold the promise of cookie workarounds advertisers can leverage in this new paradigm.

5/ Walled Gardens & Non-Google Environments
There also is an opportunity to leverage publishers’ second-party data (e.g., email addresses, phone numbers, geo-location given upon site/app signup/registration) which is not affected by Google’s more announcement that it will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals in their browser or products.

6/1PD is Critical
There’s no better data than your own as a marketer, and Google agrees as they will only allow first-party data – where the marketer has a direct relationship with the consumer – to be used within Google Marketing Platform.

What Should Marketers Be Doing Now?

It’s important to work with Google directly or with your agency partners on the various tests being done with an eye towards a midyear 2022 solution. If you can, test all possible methodologies in this interim period, so you’ll have findings and processes in place ahead of schedule. This will likely be a slow, iterative burn, but this is a strong period of opportunity for marketers to place their bets.