What’s next for brands in light of third-party cookies going away?

Apple and Google are moving away from third-party cookies, causing much hand-wringing throughout the land. There’s been intense debate about what this means for brands, and those opinions are all over the map. Even though Google recently delayed their switch until at least 2023 under pressure from advertisers, there’s still much to discuss. Here’s our take on what brands should be doing.

ONE

Look for creativity to make a big comeback.


Storytelling and brand-building took a back seat to performance marketing in some organizations as brands grew more reliant on function over form. Welllllll…it’s time to invest in your upper funnel again. Your focus needs to include achieving long-term goals vs. just short-term results. It’s more valuable to a brand when consumers engage with your advertising because it’s genuine and compelling, vs. because an algorithm relentlessly hounded them into submission.

TWO

Plan for a first-party data renaissance.


Marketers have become accustomed to the personalized connections that third-party data affords, but tactics like email marketing still enable that. This is an opportune time to invest in leveling up and expanding how you connect with consumers. Move beyond valuing email and retargeted posts as a way to remind customers of products they browsed or shopping carts they abandoned, and start finding ways to tell empathetic stories, offer utility, and entertain.

THREE

Strategize second-party data opportunities.


Acquiring second-party data (the prime example being data gathered by credit card companies) should become a bigger priority. Start exploring relationships with entities (like marketplaces and publishers) that offer it, and pursue partnerships with those who are leveraging it responsibly & sensitive to the growing global concerns surrounding privacy.

FOUR

Look for innovative companies to fill the void that will be created.


Marketers have become accustomed to the personalized connections that third-party data affords, but tactics like email marketing still enable that. This is an opportune time to invest in leveling up and expanding how you connect with consumers. Move beyond valuing email and retargeted posts as a way to remind customers of products they browsed or shopping carts they abandoned, and start finding ways to tell empathetic stories, offer utility, and entertain.

Third party data helps contribute to the efficacy of any digital advertising created these days, but the privacy concerns associated with it are real. We’re proud digital advertising professionals, but we’re also daughters, sons, husbands, wives, dads, moms, and, you know, people. Even if the companies who’re leveraging third-party data are storing it securely and acting lawfully under the auspices of capitalism, we think privacy must be a fundamental human right.

There’s a long runway for brands and agencies to figure out how to adapt. If we can be part of your solution, we’d love to help!

Illuminator is a digital-first advertising agency designed to show brands the way forward in an ever-shifting media landscape. We believe every brand has a compelling story to tell. We’ll help you tell yours.

We’re the agency you’d create if you were creating an agency today.