Creatives Are Ahead Of The Curve In Welcoming A Future Without Cookies

Should you be particularly bothered that third party tracking cookies are set to become extinct within the next couple of years? According to research, it may depend on what role you play in advertising.

The figures from Mymyne shows that one in four senior ad executives are highly concerned about losing the ability for cookies to track people around the net. In contrast, 0% (yes that's nobody) shares the same feeling in creative.

In fact, nearly four out of ten creatives think it's going to be a great move, making them three times more likely to see ditching tracking cookies as their counterparts in the rest of the industry.

To cut a long story short, creatives aren't bothered about losing the ability to track leads and customers around the net, whereas the advertising executives tasked with finding where they are and serving apt content most certainly are. It must be said it was a small survey and so may not be overly representative. The takeaway, that creatives are less bothered than the media guys, is probably on the money, though. 

Ultimately, it's a moot point. Cookies are going away and smart ad execs have probably moved on from concern to think about how they will target people without third-party tracking codes. By the time Google finally calls time on tracking -- expected to be by 2022 -- the technology will be on its last legs anyway.

Safari and Firefox have given users the ability to control cookies at the browser level, rather than a site at a time. The upcoming ePrivacy Directive in the EU (bets are off over whether the UK will comply) will compel technology companies to empower consumers to switch off tracking and so, as mentioned, by 2022 third-party cookies will become an afterthought.

It puts the walled gardens of the tech giants in a very strong place. Who else holds more first-party data on us than the social media giants and Google? It also puts publishers in a strong position. As collectors of first-party data across multiple sites, they are already talking up a revenue boost from leveraging that insight into audiences instead of letting it leak out of their control. 

I was talking to a CMO of a high street bank the other day who was very upbeat about putting a lot of media spend with a publishing group specifically because they had so much pooled first-party data about customers and visitors and they were working out cheaper than going behind the walled garden of Facebook.

So, the finding that creatives are more welcoming of a future without tracking cookies than the rest of advertising is a moot point. Everyone will have to get with the programme here and deal with publishers with first-party data on audiences, be that a magazine or newspaper company or a tech giant.

Following people around the net has always been rather creepy, and nobody who wants to carry on the more transparent digital marketing relationship with clients enshrined in GDPR will mourn the loss of code that followed those prospects around the web while they were busy getting on with their lives. 

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