Anticipating Cookie Deprecation 

In January 2024, one percent of Chrome users entered a new frontier of data protection. Over the year ahead, a swift change from third-party to first-party tracking will reshape digital advertising. Of course, we’re talking about the sunsetting of cookies, the trail of user data that individuals left everywhere they went online.

Cookies have been ubiquitous since the early days of the internet. Companies like Google leveraged this data to sell hyper-specific, targeted advertising to marketers. Using cookies, marketers could reach individuals based on which websites they visited and which actions they took. Now, instead of selling access to third-party data, Google engineers are encouraging the development of first-party tracking. In essence, they want marketers to innovate and use tactics that still allow users to protect their personal data.

Cookie deprecation doesn’t have to mean the end of your digital marketing department. However, before investing in a digital marketing strategy, you’ll need clear benchmarks for success. Even though you won’t have access to third-party data, you’ll still have to show a strong return on investment to justify your spend.

Users stand to gain the most as the industry shifts away from opt-out data tracking models. Instead of being served ads across the web for the same product, they can opt-in for more relevant ads on specific sites. For example, using your Google account to log in to several websites allows Google to track your online behavior because you’ve opted in.

Privacy Sandbox Initiative

Removing access to customer data isn’t in Google’s best interest, but privacy laws forced their hand. In response, they created the Privacy Sandbox Initiative, which safeguards user data and gives marketers access to it, as well. Their initiative proposes several tools to allow marketers to target and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Essentially, users are grouped into cohorts based on similar behavior. Advertisers can target specific types of users, and privacy is maintained.

The Becker Approach

Marketing for education involves navigating a complex tangle of privacy laws. The loss of third-party cookies only compounds this challenge. At Becker, we’ve created a unique approach to integrating first-party data into our advanced lead management system.

Through our system, we can feed offline conversion data back into advertising platforms to optimize campaign outcomes. More than just lead generation, our proprietary integrations use AI to ensure precise and valuable inputs that are unique to our process.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the immediate concerns caused by Google’s decision to phase out cookies in Chrome. However, the challenges of today can become the opportunities of tomorrow. Informed and consenting consumers are much more likely to engage with your school in meaningful ways. You’ll build trust and loyalty by giving your leads a chance to say “yes.”

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