The cookie crumbles: How APAC brands can adapt to a post-third-party cookies world

The cookie crumbles: How APAC brands can adapt to a post-third-party cookies world

  • Most APAC brands (79%) still rely on third-party cookies.
  • Despite realizing the unsustainability of overreliance on cookies, many cookie-using leaders (60%) consider cookies a “necessary evil.”

As privacy concerns continue to rise and browser policies evolve, the relevance of third-party cookies is being called into question. While third-party cookies have been a popular tool for advertisers and marketers to track users’ browsing behavior and deliver targeted advertising, most major browsers are now phasing out support for these cookies. 

For example, Google announced in 2021 that it would phase out third-party cookies in 2024 and replace them with new tracking technology. As a result, businesses that rely on these cookies for personalized advertising may need to explore alternative digital advertising options or adopt new technologies. While other companies, such as Apple and Mozilla have already eliminated third-party cookies due to privacy concerns, Adobe’s recent research suggests that many brands are not taking the necessary steps to adapt their data strategies. 

The research shows that the majority (79%) of brands across APAC still heavily rely on third-party cookies, and more than half (56%) expect the end of these cookies to negatively impact their businesses. Ambiguity over cookie deprecation is confusing and delaying cookieless preparation, with one in three (38%) APAC leaders admitting they are not changing their marketing strategy due to a perceived lack of urgency.

According to Gabbi Stubbs, Product Marketing and Strategy at Adobe APAC, companies that fail to diversify their strategies are not only missing out on current opportunities but also jeopardizing their chances of gaining competitive advantages in the future. “While a wholesale change in strategy takes commitment and long-term investment, the benefits are undeniable across all currencies that matter—from customer loyalty and satisfaction to a better bottom line,” he added.

Brands rely heavily on third-party cookies

Despite the looming cookie deprecation, some APAC leaders (52%) still allocate at least half of their marketing budgets towards cookie-based activations. Moreover, 79% of these leaders plan to increase their spending on cookie-dependent activations this year. According to the majority (81%) of APAC leaders, third-party cookies are highly effective, and a quarter (23%) of Australian respondents believe they will continue to be relevant. However, 86% of APAC leaders at cookie-dependent companies recognize that at least 30% of their potential market operates in environments where third-party cookies are ineffective, such as on Apple devices and social media platforms. 

The long-term impact of being unable to reach a significant portion of potential customers will only worsen with time as the cookieless landscape expands.

The overdependence could backfire on brands

In APAC, a significant number of leaders anticipate negative impacts from the impending cookie deprecation. A survey revealed that 34% expect it to “devastate” their businesses, 21% foresee significant harm, and 25% predict moderate negative effects. The figures are more concerning in certain countries, with 54% of Australian leaders expecting devastating (31%) or significant (23%) impacts. 

The cookie crumbles: How APAC brands can adapt to a post-third-party cookies world

Source – Shutterstock

Despite realizing that overreliance on third-party cookies is a losing strategy for the long-term, many heavy cookie users (60%) consider cookies as a “necessary evil.” A notable percentage (37%) of respondents cited a lack of resources hindering their ability to evolve their strategies. While some companies are transitioning away from cookies, a third (38%) have yet to do so. Some attribute their inaction to a perceived lack of urgency, while others delay preparations.

Preparing for a cookieless future with customer data platforms

According to the research, more than half (54%) of APAC leaders who utilize customer data platforms (CDPs) have already seen benefits such as improved customer relationships, increased customer loyalty, and higher transaction value. CDPs also enhance internal workflows, with 46% stating that it improved marketing and IT collaboration, and 35% said it resulted in more efficient ROI production.

A CDP collects known and pseudonymous data from various channels, standardizes it into a uniform data format, and eliminates outliers and errors. By doing so, the CDP ensures data quality and integrity, and promotes responsible and transparent data usage. Additionally, CDPs can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fill gaps in customer profiles and create “digital twins” by analyzing similar profiles.

Using a CDP, you can create detailed and privacy-compliant customer profiles without manually compiling data, and it can even suggest the optimal time to collect customer data. It is essential for a CDP to operate in real-time, providing up-to-date information and enabling the creation of a 360-degree view of each customer. This allows for personalized and seamless omnichannel experiences.