Did you know that Google Chrome currently has over 60% browser market share across all devices?
That’s over 3 billion users.
It’s a significant number.
So when Google announces that they are making changes to Chrome, it gets our attention.
Google has announced that they will be phasing out third party cookies and cookie tracking from 2024.
In this blog post, we will explore the impact of these changes on advertisers and small businesses that rely on digital advertising channels.
So, what exactly is cookie tracking, and why is it important for advertisers?
Cookie tracking allows advertisers to retarget consumers based on their previous online activities, such as website visits and engagement. It has been a widely used method for almost a decade, enabling businesses to reach their target audience effectively.
It’s important to note that Google is not the first browser to restrict cookie tracking. iOS and Safari have already implemented similar restrictions, starting back in 2019. Google has been gradually following suit, but now they plan to completely eliminate cookie tracking by implementing a new feature, known as ‘Google Topics’.
Google Topics will replace cookie tracking and provide advertisers with an alternative way to target consumers based on their browsing history. The way it works is your browser will determine a handful of topics that represent your top interests that week based on your browser history. These are kept for a total of 3 weeks and old topics are deleted. This data will be controlled by and kept entirely within Google and won’t be sent off to other servers – making it more secure for consumers.
This shift to Google Topics represents a significant change in the way advertisers can reach their target audience. Instead of relying on cookie tracking, advertisers will have to use the Google advertising channel to retarget their ads. This means that if businesses want to retarget consumers based on their browsing behaviour, they will have to do it exclusively through Google Ads, as opposed to using other advertising channels such as Facebook.
So, what does all of this mean for real estate agencies specifically? As an industry heavily reliant on digital marketing, agencies need to adapt to these changes and find alternative strategies to reach their target audience effectively.
One important strategy to consider is leveraging direct response marketing.
Direct response marketing involves setting up ads, campaigns, or landing pages that prompt an immediate response from the user, such as filling out a form or providing contact details (examples include booking a free appraisal or downloading a sellers guide/market update). This approach focuses on getting quick results and generating leads that can be added to the agent’s own database for direct communication. By pushing direct response marketing, you get a higher response rate and a higher number of leads generated. Not to be confused with direct marketing, which has the sole purpose of keeping clients informed – sometimes resulting in a lead.
Making your website the central hub for content and communication with clients is also crucial. Agencies should concentrate on creating valuable content and directing their audience back to their website, using various tactics such as organic social media posts or QR codes on letterbox drops. By focusing on building your own database and gaining consent to communicate directly with potential clients, agents can maintain control over their marketing efforts without solely relying on advertising channels like Google Topics.
It’s also important to note that direct response marketing and direct marketing are two different strategies. While direct marketing encompasses broader direct communication methods such as SMS or email campaigns, direct response marketing is about generating immediate attention and converting leads quickly.
By adopting these strategies and focusing on database growth and quality, real estate agents can effectively navigate the changes brought about by the elimination of cookie tracking.
Remember, your database is one of the most valuable assets you have, so take the time to maintain its quality and communicate with your contacts appropriately.