Q: When does the cookie deprecation begin?
A: Cookie deprecation began in 2017, when the internet browser Firefox began phasing out third-party cookies. Google’s decision to complete cookie deprecation by 2023, and Apple’s cookie deprecation policies for phones and applications make it even more critical for businesses to shift their strategies.
Although cookie deprecation began some time ago, marketing, data, and security leaders are concerned with the changes Google plans to implement by the end of 2023. Google’s cookie deprecation deadline, coupled with new policies for Apple phones and applications, signal the end of third-party cookies as a viable part of customer data strategies.
Cookie deprecation deadlines
The main deadline to keep in mind when you’re planning your new strategy is Google’s third-party cookie phase-out commitment for late 2023. However, as the data landscape continues to evolve, it makes sense to begin planning as soon as possible.
What you need to do to prepare for cookie deprecation
Getting ready for the end of third-party cookies involves several steps:
- Assess your risk to determine where you use third-party data now, and the impact that has on your operational processes and metrics.
- Develop a new customer data strategy to meet your goals and KPIs using second-party, first-party, or zero-party data instead of cookies.
- Gain organizational buy in and budget to support the effort, including any needed changes to your martech stack.
- Implement and execute the strategy, adjusting as you go.
- At the final point of cookie deprecation, begin with a tested system that’s ready to go.
How to build your timeline
The easiest way to build a timeline to achieve customer data readiness is to work backward. Since we don’t yet know the exact day when Google will complete cookie deprecation, and it’s likely to happen in phases, we recommend planning to have your new strategy in place and operational by the end of the second quarter in 2023. This gives you time to measure and adjust before the end of the year.
From there, determine how long your organization generally needs to manage change given how complex the shift will be for your unique position. Add in time to develop and socialize a new strategy with your stakeholders, and don’t forget to budget time for that initial risk assessment so you know how much effort you’re looking at.
In most cases, the ideal time to start is now.
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