Last-minute checklist as Chrome switches off third-party cookies.

It’s happening right now - the cookies last rites. Chrome's version 115 to be released this July will have all the capabilities of the Privacy Sandbox, which is its replacement of third-party cookies. We've got until January 2024 when the cookies begin to go away so here's a checklist as your organisation prepares over the next few months.

1. Create the list of third-party cookies your website depends on today. 

Here’s a free cookie checker you could use: https://www.cookieyes.com/cookie-checker/ Paste in a few webpage URLs from each domain you own and note down all the cookies that are third-party. For example, we have seen a number of Linkedin cookies in B2B companies and advertising-based cookies in B2C companies (one of them had over 50 third-party cookies that will be impacted!)

2. Note down the teams who will be impacted and open dialogue on their plans to make good. 

It will be good to encourage bigger thinking and use the opportunity to do better than the status quo. E.g. if you had a cookie to retarget ads across multiple devices, explore if you can now collect details directly from customers about their devices owned to provide them better digital experiences. Encourage teams to bring up a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves as they work to replace the cookies’ function.

3. Connect with your tool vendors and discuss what’s changing.

Whether it's advertising, marketing automation or reporting and analytics, many of these tools would be using cookies. Email your vendor account managers to get the whole list of cookies impacted and their plans to make good. Conversations here will also give you good ideas as you build your strategy forward.

4. Strengthen website visitor consent and customer data consent. 

Do you transparently share what data is being collected and tracked, and provide options to opt-out? Not just for web cookies but for personally identifiable customer data too. Now is a good time to audit and keep up to date all policy and systems around privacy and consent.

5. How detailed is your customer database today? 

What do you know about your prospects and customers, their preferences, interests etc? As you move away from cookies to identities, now is a great time to think through details you’d need to be able to offer a great customer experience across the customer journey.

6. Refresh and strengthen your first-party data strategy. If you haven’t yet, implement a Customer Data platform that goes beyond cookies to connect the dots across customer touchpoints.

Brainstorm as a group what else the company can do to collect relevant customer data at various stages of the customer lifecycle. Think solutions that involve customers deeper like quizzes, competitions and awards apart from the usual registration forms and discounts. 

7. Dig into the Privacy Sandbox and its APIs, remember it’s all live this July!

If you like technology speak directly from the horses mouth, this is a great reference guide as you prepare: https://developer.chrome.com/docs/privacy-sandbox/third-party-cookie-phase-out/

8. Embrace a partnership mindset across the digital ecosystem.

Everyone is affected by the cookie phase-out. There will also be businesses who need to pivot because of their huge dependence on cookies. An example that comes to mind is Criteo who now provide a 'first-party media network' where advertisers can safely bring their first-party data and look for similar audience over their platform- a smart evolution from the retargeting player they once were. Now is the time to connect with your network, learn how they’re dealing with things, brainstorm and offer support where possible. There are some huge retailers who own huge media networks - your competitor could have their own media network to then become your best acquisition channel!

9. Set up Data clean rooms where you can partner with media houses and other first-party data holders to safely enrich audience data for better results.
10. Double down on contextual advertising and identity-based targeting. The good old days of great, helpful content are back!

Checklists are a drag especially for this author who runs on one daily but hope we helped by stopping at ten items on this one :) We're taking a break from our series of posts on third-party cookies too.

Who made the first ever cookies?

It was a 23-year old Netscape engineer who invented the web cookies all the way back in 1994. Here’s what he thinks about his invention after all these years of use and misuse! https://qz.com/2000350/the-inventor-of-the-digital-cookie-has-some-regrets

And who baked the first ever cookies at ZEPIC? Today we had BK walking in with a surprise bag of amazing cookies! #gratefulFriyay!

Recent blogs post