One of the few areas where pre-existing trends carried on without major disruption from the pandemic: key among these are the winding down of the cookie as the main form of online tracker, and more active regulators around the world.

The policy situation, then, is quite complex. A likely outcome of a cookieless future is that the platforms selling tracking capability will become even more essential to running online. Already, players like Facebook and Google are under scrutiny for their dominance of their respective markets; without an industry standard as an on-hand solution.

For marketers, this is an aspect of their work that will require a lot of consideration; without measures, it becomes even easier to waste budget online.

Still, WARC’s 2021 Marketer’s Toolkit found that despite this pressing issue, a minority of marketers say they have plans in place to respond to the cookie’s demise (the proportion of agencies saying the same of their clients is even lower).

In response, first-party data (and those that have lots of it) is likely to become crucial. The growth of those companies touting capability in this space, such as Martin Sorrell’s S4, are expecting to make hay. Meanwhile, the real winners will be the platforms, like Amazon, that can provide a fully closed loop.

As our lives moved online, sharing data became even more important, and people became more willing to share it, as ARF research found. At a political level, efforts to ensure data protection have continued, driving the importance of privacy-first marketing.

Sourced from WARC