As companies contend to improve and expand after two years of uncertainty, 2022 brings with it the promise of bigger and better opportunities for digital marketing. But with the ‘death of the cookie’ looming, how can businesses gain valuable insights into their audiences without third-party data? 
While Google’s initial announcement came in January 2020, this year will mark the elimination of third-party cookies from their Chrome browser. In an online statement, the company asserted their decision to be user-led, citing a demand for “greater privacy – including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used”. But what does this mean for businesses in the new year? 

What’s Changing with Google Cookies Tracking? 

Let’s start with a quick definition first. Cookies are files made by a website when you view a page, and they stay on your computer system to make it easier when you visit again. They allow you to keep signed in, recall your site preferences, and personalise your user experience. There are two types of cookies – first-party and third-party – and it’s only the latter that Google will remove
While first-party cookies are made by the site you visit, third-party cookies are made by other sites who own pieces of content, such as an advertisement. The problem is that many users won’t know and can’t control the use of cookies by these external sites, which has brought into question online privacy concerns, particularly on the back of the recent GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). 
Other browsers including Firefox, Brave, and Apple’s Safari blocked third-party cookies some time ago, but with Chrome accounting for over 56% of the web browser market and more than half of all global web traffic, the latest changes are likely to have a long-lasting impact on the use of cookies. 
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What Does it Mean for Businesses? 

Without the audience insights provided by third-party data, businesses will need to find other ways to understand their customers, to attract and retain site visitors, and to improve conversion rates. The competition online has never been greater, so building a strong brand identity will also be vital. 
Attracting and engaging with target audiences should therefore be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy in 2022. Companies need to use their online content to create conversations with customers to gain greater insight into their needs and wants. Using zero-party data (where data is given directly) and the use of CRM (customer relationship management) tools can also be beneficial
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Essentially, the update will make it more difficult for companies to track and analyse the way users are engaging with their online content, and their ability to adapt their digital marketing techniques to suit. However, the good news is that through using effective copy, including SEO, and improving brand identity, businesses can connect with customers and keep their content audience focused. 
Looking to improve your website and social media for 2022 and beyond? Find out how we can help. 
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