Are Existing Solutions Ready for a Cookieless World?

Are Existing Solutions Ready for a Cookieless World?

As the clock ticks on towards the end of third-party cookies, currently set by Google for Q4 2024, retail marketers have been tasked with finding an analytics solution that will help them navigate the change.

But how aware are they of the implications of the change? And what sort of progress are they making as the deadline looms?

We decided to find out in our survey Marketing in the Cookieless Future by exploring:

  • The extent to which marketers feel they have buy-in for a new analytics solution
  • Where finding a new solution sits in their priority list
  • How many tools marketers currently have in their MarTech stack and how they plan to change that

What are Google’s plans for third-party cookies?

Before we dive into the detail of the survey, it is worth providing quick context on the timeline for the removal of third-party cookies as follows:

  • Google plans to remove third-party cookies from their Chrome browser
  • This is currently planned for the latter half of 2024, although the deadline has gone back a few times already
  • With Chrome holding more than 65% share of the browser market globally the move has serious ramifications for a swathe of ad targeting and measuring solutions that rely heavily on cookies for data

So, that is the context – what is the survey data telling us about marketers’ response to the situation?

80% of marketers believe they can get buy-in for a post-cookie analytics solution

The fact that 80% of marketers are confident of buy-in for a new solution would tend to point to the fact that businesses are aware of the need for change.

And that revisiting their tech stack is going to be part of that process.

Clearly, marketers are going to look to futureproof any new analytics solution they put in place.

And that includes, not only finding a solution that sets them up to successfully navigate the death of third-party cookies, but also helps them to overcome some of their concerns around AdTech reporting bias.

Interestingly, a total of 78% of respondents have indicated that they are likely to attempt to build their own solution.

One of the key challenges is that effective attribution requires highly accurate data.

And, that is the reason why we first began looking at alternatives to cookies for attribution purposes.

Put quite simply, cookies do a particularly poor job of attributing complex, multi-device journeys – with 80% of data being incorrectly attributed in this way.

Finding a solution is only a medium priority for 51% of marketers

The headline stats make interesting reading on this one.

Leaving aside the fact that a quarter of those don’t see it as a priority (or the 5% that don’t have it on their list at all), it is interesting that as high as 51% have it sitting in the ‘medium’ category.

This matters because:

  • the clock is ticking, and we are heading inexorably to Google’s latest date of Q4 2024
  • the sheer volume of advertising spend that relies on cookie-based tracking (regardless of how poor that tracking is) simply won’t be available once they are switched off in Chrome

However, the survey also uncovered that 61% of marketers intend to implement a solution in the next 12 months – and 98% within the next 2 years – which would tend to indicate that there is good awareness that things need to change. And fast.

73% of marketers use between 3 and 10 MarTech tools

One figure that really jumped out in this section of the survey is that 73% of the market has between 3 and 10 tools in their MarTech stack.

This reflects the fact that we live in a siloed and complex world, where marketers are juggling data from a plethora of tools.

And self-reporting from AdTech and MarTech providers is endemic – leaving marketers with very real concerns around AdTech reporting bias.

What is needed is a single, unified view that removes this bias and can deliver highly accurate reporting across channel, campaign and individual creative levels.

Interestingly, 89% of respondents are confident that identity graph data or tools (e.g Unified ID 2.0 or CDPs) will meet theirs – and the regulators – needs.

With 42% of those ‘very’ confident in this respect.

This is concerning for us given that these types of solutions have already been ruled as non-compliant for GDPR purposes.

Get the full survey now

If all of this has given you food for thought then download a copy of the full survey here.