Today’s the big day. 

Google will now begin to deprecate third-party cookies across Chrome with the aim of completely eradicating them by the end of Q3, ushering in a new era for digital marketing.

Compared to this time last year, the reaction of marketers right now is like night and day. Back in January 2023, we reported that 73% of UK marketers were unprepared for the cookie-apocalypse. Now, over 70% of UK marketers feel adequately prepared for the changes, according to a recent study by PrimeAudience and Censuswide.

The study surveyed 256 UK marketers in Q4 2023 to gauge their readiness and outlook as Google removes third-party cookies from Chrome.

Despite the overall confidence, the study identified education as a major hurdle, with 30% of respondents admitting a lack of understanding about how to use the Protected Audience API, and 32% facing similar challenges with the Google Topics API. This educational gap extended to other cookieless solutions, such as clean rooms (33%) and Universal IDs (30%).

Marketers indicated their preference for cookieless solutions in 2024, with contextual targeting leading at 34%, followed closely by Protected Audiences API at 32%, and Google Topics API at 30%, outpacing the adoption of Universal IDs at 28%.

While optimism remains high, the study uncovered that many marketers are still in the early stages of implementing solutions. Some are in the research phase (22%), while others are eager to start testing but are uncertain where to begin (17%). The study suggests a need for industry-wide support for those in the process of adapting to the cookieless landscape.

Looking ahead to 2024, marketers expressed interest in capitalising on online first-party data more effectively (49%) and maximizing partnerships with technology providers (44%). Additionally, there is recognition of the potential of AI (38%) in navigating the evolving marketing landscape.

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