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We know you had some other priorities in 2020, so we’ll forgive you if Google announcing the official phase out of third-party cookies flew under your radar.

So, here’s the scoop: Cookies are a tool websites use to track visits and activity.

Third-party cookies are placed on websites by an outside organization (think Google or Facebook) to collect visitors’ browsing data and serve them content like hyper-targeted banner and social media ads. This makes them vital to digital marketers, including yours truly.

In response to a cultural push to better protect user data, Google Chrome—the browser that casually accounts for over half the world’s web traffic—banned them.  

Which is what we in the biz call a “big yikes.”

So my colleagues ’round the world sighed with relief after Google delayed the ban until 2023, one year later than the initial goal.

But what does it mean for us Cookie Monsters when the jar is empty?

Well, smaller platforms and publishers have been preparing for the big bake off by making their algorithms and AI stronger. But for the rest of us in the pro-cookie contingent, here are tips to combat the upcoming purge:

Utilize first-party cookies.

In contrast to their third-party brethren, first-party cookies are created and stored by the website you are visiting directly to improve the user experience and store data like what you may have put in your cart. They aren’t going anywhere and will continue to be an effective way to stay connected with potential customers.

Focus your impact on intent.

By carefully crafting a search network keyword list to cover every nook and cranny of the business or product you’re promoting, you can maximize the opportunity for your ads to be shown to potential customers Googling (or Bing-ing) your product or service.

Dip into programmatic.

The Trade Desk, a big name in the programmatic world, crafted new tech called Unified ID 2.0 that hopes to help accommodate fallout from the cookie ban (or what we’d like to think of as “cookie crumbs”). The new software securely codes sensitive data and lets consumers set preferences around how it’s used, so everyone can have their cookies and eat them too.

Luckily, we all have some time to realign strategies, test new platforms, and use proprietary data to drive success before cookies go to the big oven in the sky.

Speaking of: don’t forget to observe Toll House Tuesday.

Have a chocolate-chip-sprinkled weekend, everybody!

—Your always-down-for-dessert friends at Brokaw

Exit pop-ups are .007% less annoying than intro pop-ups.

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