The rumor had been bouncing around throughout 2019, but on January 14, Google announced it had finalized the timeline for phasing out support for third-party cookies by 2022. The search giant describes its actions as a path towards “building a more private web.”

Adweek reports that some marketers don’t share Google’s outlook. They are calling it the “cookie-pocalypse.” In any event, the cookie’s days are numbered, and advertisers have a two-year window to transition away from their reliance on this way of identifying and tracking prospects and customers.

 

Not just Google

Google won’t go down in history as the killer of the cookie. They’re not even the first to dial back support or cooperation with industry cookie providers. Apple started pulling away from cookie support in April of 2017 when it began to prevent intelligent tracking within the Safari browser. Firefox followed suit shortly afterwards.

With almost 70 percent market share – and gaining – it will be Google’s inclusion of Chrome that brings about the end of marketers’ ability to use cookies as a main form of identity tracking.

 

What comes after the cookie?

Some experts predict that many advertisers will shift more of their budget to sponsored messages on social media, or websites with paywalls. These two sources have the ability to offer authenticated data – which might also mean they will increase the price to have access to it.

Meanwhile, other organizations might choose to apply solutions offered by Google and its Privacy Sandbox program. The marketing and advertising industry as a whole has 24 months to come up with an alternative to the cookie before the biggest browser of them all joins the others in refusing cookies.

One of the most powerful and efficient approaches utilizes artificial intelligence to collect, sort and combine identifiers across multiple platforms to create an omnichannel view of prospects. Yes, cookies help you track an individual – but the trail turns cold when they block the cookie, move to a different device or switch to having a conversation with a smart speaker.

Artificial intelligence is capable of gathering behavioral data from a wide variety of sources – including the Internet of Things (IoT). It then uses a process called Identity Resolution to assemble a robust prospect profile. Marketers have a confident view of who a customer is and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

People today already have the option to block cookies, so the eventual demise in two years’ time is actually a challenge you have right now.The consumer is already anonymous and getting more so, as up to half of all Internet searches have become voice-based, and nearly a third of all searches are accomplished on a device without a screen.

Schedule a call to learn how we can break you free of dependency on cookies right now, with 49 alternative identity and behavior collection signals we utilize via our Identity Graph to show you who is shopping for what you sell – right now.