Google’s Cookies Ban Delayed As Marketers Start To Welcome A Move Away

Why The Delay?

Google has delayed its plan to block third-party cookies from its Chrome internet browser. Cookies track users’ internet activity and allow digital publishers to target advertising. This decision followed an investigation by the UK CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) in January 2021 into Google’s Privacy Sandbox due to complaints of ‘anti-competitive behaviour’ from a number of sources. Then in June 2021, the CMA concluded that they would have a ‘key oversight role’ in Google’s Privacy Sandbox project that includes the plan to block third-party cookies. 

Fact File

What is the Privacy Sandbox?

Launched by Chrome in 2019, the Privacy Sandbox is a ‘collaborative, open source effort to develop a set of new technologies in the form of web standards’.

Its three main goals are:

  • Preventing tracking as you browse the web (this includes banning of third-party Cookies)
  • Enabling publishers to build sustainable sites that respect user’s privacy
  • Preserving the vitality of the open web.

What Google Has To Say

The Privacy Engineering Director of Chrome Vinay Goel confirmed the delay in a press release stating thatmore time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right’. According to Goel, the delay’s main aim is to ‘allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions’. There is also hope for ‘continued engagement with regulators’. He also hopes that it will provide enough time for ‘publishers and the advertising industry  to migrate their services’. Goel also recalled that ‘Chrome and others have offered more than 30 proposals, and four of those proposals are available in origin trials’. This updated timeline reflected that Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three month period finishing in late 2023. 

Interestingly, third party cookies are already blocked by a number of Google’s rivals, including Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla. However, Google’s Chrome browser is installed on more than 70% of computers in the UK, so this delay does have potentially large implications.

Marketers Wanting Out

This news proved quite frustrating for marketers who were seeing this ban as a fresh opportunity to try new techniques. As many as 78% of UK senior marketers believe that the final withdrawal will have a positive impact on their advertising strategy. This is because they are anticipating improvements in audience targeting, reaching audiences at scale, frequency capping and measurement. Furthermore, the loss of third-party cookies means marketers are eager to explore new ways to maintain their reach levels and engage high-value audiences.

As a result, this delay might have put a spanner in the works for marketers. However, it does seem to be a question of ‘when’ Google will implement this rather than ‘if’. At the moment, 2023 will be when we see these changes. 

Why a loyalty program can help you

Despite the delay of the ban, preparations still need to be made for a cookieless future. This is where a loyalty program comes in. These are the 5 main reasons why a loyalty program will help aid you in this challenge. 

  1. Loyalty programs for centralised CRM/CMS.
  2. They provide you with insight into non-loyal & loyal customers comparisons.
  3. A loyalty program can help you to identify new and existing customer segments.
  4. They help to improve retention and acquisition through referral & satisfaction (rewards).
  5. Loyalty programs allow you to establish first hand direct relationship with your customers even in industries that normally struggle to do that.

Can’t imagine what such a solution would look like for your company? 

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