C is for Cookie: The Demise of Third-Party Cookies and what it means for your Ads

You may have read recently that Google intends to remove third-party cookies by the end of this year in an effort to increase web privacy. But what does that mean, and how will it affect your marketing? 

What are third-party cookies?  

Third-party cookies collect data from individuals when they navigate websites. That data is then resold to marketing firms, like Here Molly Girl, in the form of ad data when we place ads on Google, Meta, Pinterest, and Linkedin.   

For example – if we are looking for busy moms to buy a healthy meal kit subscription plan, we could purchase an audience segment of females ages 25-45 who are moms and have shopped at health food stores in the past month. All of this is part of the cost of your ad spend.  

How will this affect my ads?  

You may be thinking, “Great. There go my ads.” But the good news is that the elimination of third-party cookies will likely only have a minor effect on your paid ads.  

  •       85% of third-party cookies are used in Programmatic Ads. If you’re not running Programmatic Ads, you won’t be affected (at Here Molly Girl, we don’t run these types of ads for our clients). Learn more about Programmatic Ads here. 
  •       Many Google Display Ads utilize first-party cookies, which are not being eliminated (first-party cookies include data you’ve collected directly from potential customers when they’ve visited your website). 
  •       You may have to get a little more creative with the parameters you use to target individuals.
  •       If you run Pinterest ads, those rely heavily on keyword searching, which is user generated, and won’t be affected by cookie changes.

The good news 

Here’s the good news: Remember that Google, Meta, etc. are businesses, and they make money by selling ads. And they continue to sell ads because those ads work for customers.  

Google is putting their so-called “Privacy Sandbox” into effect, which will help all of us gain a general understanding of a user’s web browsing patterns, by categorizing people into broad interest-based sub-categories. 

Meta is introducing an offering similar to the Privacy Sandbox where it will use links users click from the Meta platform to create audience data.  

It is also highly likely that third-party cookies will be replaced by AI-powered functionality, which will benefit you in the long run.  

At Here Molly Girl, we stay on top of all of these changes and adapt as necessary to continue to provide our clients with value. Worried you’re not in the loop? Reach out and let’s discuss an ad plan for your business!