Google just announced a further delay to the deprecation of third-party cookies in order to provide “effective, privacy-preserving technologies and [ensure] the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions,” as explained in a blog post on Wednesday. The delay allows Google time to solidify its alternatives to both fully protect consumer privacy, as well as ensure advertisers continue to see the results they rely on for growth. Although it may feel like we have plenty of time until the new deadline in the second half of 2024, it is important to take this time to get our own solutions right. Now is the ideal time to continue testing cookieless solutions so we can trust in our strategy when third-party cookies are finally deprecated.
Use the extended time as a safety net to experiment with all available options and learn what works for your brand. Here’s what marketers should still be doing so that they are ready when third-party cookies eventually deprecate:
Adopt a Test-and-Learn Approach
There is no one-size-fits-all solution that will drive results for every business. Brands need to figure out what works with their audience, brand identity, core values, and more.
Experimentation is the key to a future-proof growth strategy, as you are continually learning new best practices, what doesn’t work, and what can be improved upon. Allocate a portion of your marketing budget to test out different channels that are optimized for the cookieless future. Consider solutions like streaming platforms, connected TV, and gaming, as well as experimenting with new content or a bigger budget on channels that already perform well to maximize your results. Be sure to consider your holistic growth strategy and see how each channel fits into your customer’s overall purchase journey.
Continue to make the most of Google’s current offerings. Google’s Performance Max campaigns are a future-proof paid search campaign solution and by August and September, Shopping campaigns will transition to Performance Max. We expect that 50% of the total paid search ad budget will be assigned to Performance Max campaigns by Q4 2022 and will progressively increase to 80%+ over the next 12 months from there. It is important to test and learn what works best for your brand now, as the 2022 holiday season will rely predominantly on Performance Max campaigns. Use the rest of Q3 to compile your baseline performance, initial tests, and top-performing assets. Performance Max campaigns leverage Google’s machine learning algorithms and strong content options to promote the best ad for each customer. There are three input signals that matter for Performance Max campaigns:
- Campaign goals
- Campaign set up
- Creatives (content and design assets)
A critical success factor for Performance Max campaigns is setting the right signals from the start. Google’s machine learning algorithm builds off the initial signals added to the campaign to find similar audiences who will engage with your ad. Ensure you are feeding high-quality audiences into your signals with NetElixir’s AI-driven digital marketing platform, LXRInsights. LXRInsights combines with Google Ads to fill in the gaps of identifying your high-value customers — brand loyalists who spend three to five times more than the average shopper.
Google’s actionable insights and diverse content opportunities will strengthen your paid media campaigns by finding out what makes your customers click. LXRInsights will help Google target and engage higher quality customers to sustainably and profitably grow your brand. Leveraging AI to synthesize the best ads and audiences will allow marketers more time to strategize and make better decisions based on data and results.
One of the most important tenets for the cookieless future is relying on data-driven insights for better business decisions. Only through innovation and experimentation will you drive performance that sets you apart.
Update To Google Analytics 4
There is one deadline that is not changing: Google’s choice to sunset Universal Analytics in July 2023. If you have not already upgraded to Google Analytics 4, now is the time to do so. If you’re still using Universal Analytics, you will not be able to see YoY data for 2022-2023. Every day that you don’t upgrade is a day of data lost.
A major benefit of GA4 is its predictive analytics regarding your customer’s likely online shopping behavior. GA4 offers more accurate reporting, cross-device insights, event tracking, and more to help you glean actionable insights from your website data. More reliable insights means you can be more confident in your business decisions.
Prioritize Your Customer Relationships
Consented, first-party data is some of the most powerful data you can collect to inform your marketing strategy. While we won’t need to rely on it just yet, having first-party data collection systems in place now will acclimate your customers to sharing their information with you and give you a headstart on building stronger, more meaningful relationships. Getting data now shows initiative that you already value your customer’s privacy. And the more you learn about your customers now, the better you can personalize your messaging, sales, and products to meet their needs.
At NetElixir, we specialize in identifying, targeting, and winning high-value customers through LXRInsights. On average, high-value customers drive 3-5x more revenue than the regular customer. By leveraging Google’s AI capabilities to find and engage shoppers who are similar to your high-value customers, you can create a sustainable customer acquisition and growth strategy.
Brand relationships are only becoming more crucial. Sharing your values and story in an authentic and transparent way will earn you meaningful customer engagement, especially among the younger generations. In your marketing strategy, continue to respect and prioritize customer’s privacy, as that is where the e-commerce landscape and consumer sentiment is inevitably heading. Hone in on customer values and expectations so you can be sure to retain their loyalty and already have first-party data to use when the third-party cookie finally crumbles.
In short, the delay of third-party cookie deprecation should not change any of the cookieless strategies you had been working on. Now, you just have more time to continue testing and learning what works best for your brand so you can be more confident in your solutions for the future.
Taking the steps now to future-proof your business will help your brand navigate any and all opportunities and challenges. Google may continue to postpone third-party cookie deprecation, but it is an eventuality. Preparing for that eventuality now will help you stay ahead of the competition with a robust strategy in place. As such, NetElixir will continue to update our Cookieless Corner with freshly baked insights to keep your strategy hot and ready.