In a recent Pew Research poll, the majority of Americans think their data is less secure than ever, with more than 75% of respondents noting significant concerns about how their personal data is collected and mistrust of the entities that collect it. 

Put simply, people don’t want to be tracked via third-party methods. Most consumers think the potential privacy risks outweigh the benefits. 

In response, technology companies have begun to roll out sweeping changes that will severely impact the future of third-party data, if not eliminate it altogether. While this may appeal to the consumer, it will also have a massive impact on many brands and marketers, who have historically relied on this type of consumer data to inform their marketing strategies. 

Today, we’ll review these changes and discuss how businesses can respond. 

Google and Apple Remove Third-Party Cookies  

In the past, consumer data was the fuel that modern marketers used to learn more about their existing customers. Website cookies helped third-party data aggregators collect consumer data and then group it into one of four categories: 

  1. Personal data
  2. Engagement data
  3. Behavioral data
  4. Attitudinal data

Armed with such information, brands could have a better idea of who their customers were. This could then be leveraged to identify new high-quality buyer segments and then craft more targeted content that spoke directly to that person’s desires, interests, needs, etc. 

In June, Google announced that Chrome would be phasing out third-party cookies and cross-site tracking. This sent shock waves through the marketing world. And, a few months later, Apple’s announcement that iOS would use Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which would hide user IP addresses for email.

While this is a significant change to the marketing status quo, not all is lost. It simply means that the strategies need to shift and marketers must employ different methodologies to learn more about their customers.

The Solution: Transition to First-Party Data   

Many brands have pivoted from the old data collection model to a new one that leans heavily into first-party data collection. 

This type of data can be gathered with customer consent, of course—through your website, mobile applications, social media channels, POS systems, CRM systems, and eCommerce portals. 

But simply having troves of consumer data isn’t useful in and of itself. Many businesses have turned to data management systems to make the most of that information. These platforms make it possible to centralize, analyze, and then act upon.

How so? 

Common marketing strategies you could leverage include:  

  • Creating personalized marketing campaigns that target segmented audiences
  • Leveraging Facebook and Google analytics platforms to use first-party data to create customer lists
  • Tracking important first-party metrics like:
    • Lifetime value 
    • Consumer engagement
    • Customer feedback
    • Repurchase rates 
    • Cart abandonment
  • Retargeting customers
  • Building high-quality content that is experiential in nature 

Semgeeks—a NJ Digital Marketing Agency

The changes to third-party cookies will have a significant impact on the way businesses go about consumer discovery and targeting. And companies will need to shift their customer research strategies accordingly. 

Need help with that? 

The team at Semgeeks are digital marketing experts and Google Analytics consultants that you can lean on to find out more about your target audience and then craft messaging that resonates. 

Interested? Let’s talk.  


Pew Research. Americans and Privacy.

CNBC. Google Plans to Kill Support for Third-Party Cookies.

Apple Press Release. Apple advances its privacy leadership with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8.