With the release of iOS 14.5 on April 26 of this year, Apple now requires users to opt in at the app level to share personal tracking information with advertisers. In 2022, Google will follow suit, joining Safari and Firefox in banning the use of cookies. The cookie jar is quickly becoming empty, and it’s by design. But what does that mean for consumers? And what does that mean for digital advertising agencies, media companies, and others that depend on digital marketing revenue?  

Why is Apple driving this effort? 

The main driver behind the end of cookies and tracking in mobile advertising and, in their absence, the rise of other segmenting methods, such as contextual and behavioral targeting, is Apple. Why? Apple’s dominance in the consumer electronics space is undeniable, with more than 113 million Americans currently using an iPhone. This translates to Apple having a serious amount of clout in digital advertising – and in how digital advertising operates across the more than 1.8 million apps available in its App Store.  

Why now? 

The glib answer is “why not?” Audience segmentation and targeting can’t sit still, and we always need better ways to align our campaigns with the people who should see them. Beyond that, concerns about consumer privacy continue to be an important force that influences how tech companies, especially huge ones such as Apple, adopt, discard, or develop new ways to track consumers.  

Is Apple becoming a digital media company? 

That’s not what it says on the front door, but for all intents and purposes, Apple’s big shift in its privacy policy absolutely gives the company enormous clout and influence in the world of digital advertising. So, while the tech giant may not be a player on paper, it absolutely has a huge say in the rules of the game.  

Will it be better? 

It won’t be worse, and it could be better, thanks to potentially more accurate and meaningful audience indicators. Third-party cookies have been a useful tool, but they don’t have the depth and sensitivity of other “signals of intent.” Contextual and behavioral targeting isn’t new, and we can expect to see even more innovation in that area.  

What do I need to do now? 

If you haven’t already started thinking about a cookieless world, it’s absolutely time. 2022 is fast approaching, and then Google will deprecate cookies (that’s a nice way of saying they will make them extinct). Compulse is well prepared for the changes and challenges that will come. Thanks to our strong relationships with other martech leaders, we are always on the forefront. If you’re currently a Compulse client, get in touch with your marketing consultant for more info. If you’d like to learn more about working with Compulse, get in touch for a free demo.