Automotive marketers and car dealers are facing further disruption as Google plans to put an end to the use of third-party cookies on its platforms in 2022. To discuss this development further and explore how it will affect car dealership advertising as a whole, is Lance Schafer, General Manager of Product and Technology at LotLinx.
Cookies have been around for 20 plus years, pretty much since the inception of the web browser. At their core, cookies are small snippets of code that get put on a person’s device depending on the websites they visit. Schafer explains that the reason cookies were invented was to create a custom experience for consumers. Advertisers then took that concept and developed third-party cookies. Third-party cookies analyze the way consumers behave on one website and then use that data to target that consumer across other websites.
Schafer reveals that a huge reason why third-party cookies are being phased out by providers has to do with privacy concerns. Over the last decade, regulators and consumers have expressed their concerns about being ‘followed’ or ‘tracked’ on the internet. While the original goal of third-party cookies was to customize the experience, website visitors also want to maintain a certain level of privacy.
Consumers will now have the choice to enable third-party cookies or opt-out of them on certain platforms and devices. This means that automotive marketers and car dealers will have one less tool to reach a wide range of online shoppers, especially if their ad programs rely heavily on cookie use. The area that automotive marketers will probably see the biggest change, is in their retargeting strategies.
Schafer says that LotLinx has seen this development coming for some time, and they, along with other vendors, have to rely on other methods of targeting. Luckily, conceptual targeting is still powerful in the retail auto industry.
“We’ve used a bunch of machine learning systems to try to predict where the users will be, and the good news is, it really made us focus on our cookie-less solution that works very well,” says Schafer. “I think, you know, everyone will have to follow suit.”
Schafer admits that the retargeting might be tough to replace. However, car dealers will still be allowed to capture information from the consumers through emails or cell phone usage. Dealers can then upload those first-party data lists, and target customers in that way. Using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other tracking models, is the dealer’s best defense against this shift is advertising.
Be sure to visit the CBT News Market Center powered by LotLinx for current data on the retail auto market.
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