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DIGITAL MARKETING

Marketers are showing a surprising lack of concern over cookies

By our News Team | 2021

In 2023, marketers and those in related industries will transition to an online world without cookies. A study finds most are unconcerned.

Are the advertising and marketing industries prepared for a post-cookie world in 2023? Or are these sectors facing their own version of the ‘Y2K’ problem that so concerned the world as we transitioned from 1999 to the year 2000?

That’s the question that a recent US study asked of marketers, publishers and ad tech specialists. The results, according to the researchers, were alarming, with the uncertainty of ‘what’s next?’ continuing to breed inaction.

“Our research found clashing beliefs in confidence and preparedness, resulting in a lack of urgency to address essential steps before the moment the switch is flipped,” said Samantha Powers, who leads the marketing research team at TripleLift, Inc, an international ad tech company that works with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Internet cookies

Photo by Shahadat Rahman on Unsplash

Most don’t have necessary resources

“While a little more than half of marketers reported having a high sense of confidence in their company to navigate the future of privacy and identity, 70% say they do not have the resources necessary to move through the change with success. 

The disparity is because marketers believe that ad tech will be responsible for identifying post-cookie solutions. But, even though SSPs/DSPs will take the lead on identifying solutions, marketers still need to familiarise themselves and align with solutions to obtain future success.”

Powers says the overconfidence in SSPs/DSPs suggests many marketers have a false sense of security that they won’t be ready for a cookie-less future.

“Given the 2023 deadline is an extension, solutions should be well underway. But a lack of urgency and low level of awareness for solutions have created what amounts to a false sense of security for marketers, leaving the majority of marketers placing their confidence in an uncertain future.

Marketers know that change is coming

“To be sure, most marketers (84%) are aware change is coming. And yet, those polled admit they have little understanding of potential solutions. In fact, marketers are more than two times more likely to be aware of the shifts in privacy and identity than they are aware of solutions to them,” she noted.

Perhaps most concerning of all, is that the vast majority of marketers essentially do not think the end of cookies matters all that much. 

“Yes, you read that right,” Powers says. “According to the survey, 71% said they didn’t see the end of cookies dramatically impact their purchasing behaviour for digital ads. 

“There seems to be a feeling in the industry that boils down to this: ‘If I don’t look at privacy and identify shifts directly in the eye, then they won’t impact me’.” 

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