Third-Party Cookies: What You Need to Know


Third-party cookies are third-party web beacons that track and collect information about a user’s browsing habits.

They are ending because they have been found to violate the European Union’s GDPR regulations. This new regulation has caused third parties to stop using third-party cookies for fear of getting into legal troubles, which can result in an increase in online advertising costs for advertisers.

We will now discuss third-party cookies and what marketers need to know about them!

What are third-party cookies and why should marketers care about them

Third-party cookies placed by third parties, send data to the company hosting a website, app or other online property. It’s one of three types of web browser tracking methods and can be used for marketing purposes.

Third party trackers collect your browsing history (including visited websites). Web browsers can store third party data about a website visit for six months to two years.

Marketers use ad serving platforms to manage digital advertising campaigns which use third-party cookies to track users’ browsing activities. Ad platforms will use this information to serve you targeted ads.

The companies who leverages the third-party cookies can include advertisers, analytics companies and social networks. Third-party cookies have been criticized for being an invasion of privacy as they store a lot of sensitive data about consumers such as their location, browsing habits and other third-party data.

How do third-party cookies work

Third parties can use third-parties cookies to follow a user’s online activity from website to website in order to deliver targeted ads and promote products or services that the individual is likely to be interested.

Third-party cookies are created by domains that are not the website (or domain) you’re visiting. These cookies will usually be used for online advertising purposes and can either show up on a site through adding scripts or tags.

A third party cookie is accessible from any other site if it loads content from one of these servers, which means advertisers could track your journey across many sites as well – such as when reading news articles about an election campaign!

For example, when visiting your favorite news outlet’s site, it will use these types of ads in order to track where you go from there based on what type of browser history they have access too depending on their policies; this allows them more insight into who views their content so they know how much money needs to spend designing future webpages

The end of third-party cookies

In response to privacy concerns, Google Chrome announced in September of 2017 that it would remove third-party cookies from the browser for users who are signed into a Google account.

Google said it will delay the discontinuation of third-party cookies until the end of 2023, the timeline has changed due to push back from marketers.

The privacy concerns of third-party cookies center around these third parties selling this personal data without the individual’s knowledge.

In addition, third-party cookies are being cancelled because of the users’ distrust in third party websites that use them to track and store their information. Third-party sites don’t allow for user control over what happens with your personal data, which is a major concern among web browsers today.

In the past few years, users are more aware of how companies track their data and they started to push back on an increasingly intrusive online experience.

Regulators have even stepped in with legislation like GDPR in Europe or CCPA California that protects user privacy. At the same time mobile has decreased browser-based cookies’ value so marketers don’t know what’s going to happen next as a result

The goal of the data protection regulations that have been created over the past few years (such as GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California) is to inform users about what data is being used. The user can then choose who they want their personal information shared with, giving them more control over it than ever before.

How can marketers create more effective campaigns without third-party cookies

The idea of not relying on third-party cookies may seem like a marketing nightmare. But it is possible to create effective campaigns without them.

Check out these three tips for how you can create more successful campaigns while still respecting your audience’s privacy:

1) Invest in first-party and zero-party data

First party data has become increasingly important with today’s society where people feel like technology knows too much already so by gathering other personal details such as age, gender etc.

As a digital marketer, it is your job to make sure that you have first-party data. If you don’t collect this type of information about the user on your site then their experience will be incomplete and not optimized for them as an individual consumer or customer.

The marketing industry is undergoing a major transformation. With the rise of digital and social media, marketers are now able to learn more about their customers than ever before. But this information doesn’t come for free—we have to invest in first-party data or we risk being left behind.

Forrester coined the term zero-party data, and states it’s “Data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. This can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, how they want to be recognized by your company or organization.

Zero party data has become increasingly important as new iOS 14 changes require users to take more responsibility in managing what websites track about them through cookies which are identifiers associated with each web browser on an individual device.

2) Use targeted advertising based on personal interests

Marketers know that the best way to reach their audience is through targeted advertising. But how do you know what your customers want?

One of the most effective ways to find out is by looking at their interests on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, or even through your first party data in your CRM.

If someone who likes “The Walking Dead” also likes “American Horror Story,” then it’s safe to say they’re into horror TV shows and movies. Knowing this, marketers can place ads for horror films in front of them when they browse other websites, which increases the chances that they’ll click on it and convert into a customer.

So if you’re a marketer looking for new ways to advertise, start by taking a look at the target audience’s personal interests.

3) Promote products that align with user preferences

Marketing is all about the customer. Consumers want to know what they’re getting before they buy it, and marketers are expected to provide this information. But how? The key is in understanding your audience’s preferences for products.

Let’s say you have a new product that offers more features than its competitor at a lower price point – but only 40% of your target market would be interested in buying it based on their preferences for the type of items they typically purchase. This means you’ll end up with limited sales and wasted marketing dollars because you didn’t do enough research into user behavior and preferences beforehand.

Marketers have to stay on top of the latest marketing tactics in order to be successful. One tactic that has been proven time and time again is aligning your product with the needs of consumers. However, this can be a challenge without good first party data and analytics, so consider investing in first-party and zero-party data.

In Summary

Third-party cookies are ending, and marketers will need to invest in first-party data and zero-party data. The most effective way for organizations to use this information is through digital advertising.

Today’s consumers want personalization; they don’t want ads that feel like spam or waste their time with irrelevant content. They also value transparency about what kind of information the advertiser has on them, how it was obtained, and what the advertiser intends to do with it (e.g., retargeting).

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my content.  If you've liked what I've had to say please subscribe!


Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.