Is your firm in the Top 3 of Google Search?
Our comprehensive SEO program is designed to get you in the Top 3 Google Search results and keep you there. Contact us today for a complimentary audit and review.
This site uses features not supported by Internet Explorer.
Law Firm Marketing Effects When Third-Party Cookies Go Away
Google announced this phase-out plan in February 2020. However, the company recently made another statement in March 2021 regarding the third-party cookie phase-out: Google will not be building “alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will [they] use them in [their] products.”
Firefox and Safari have already gotten rid of third-party cookies, so it is not a surprise that Google Chrome is following suit. The Google cookies news may cause law firms whose digital marketing depends on third-party cookies to seek alternative methods. We will describe some of those alternative methods and how you can continue to have an effective marketing strategy even with cookies going away.
What are Third-Party Cookies?
Google defines third-party cookies as cookies created by other sites, different from the one you are visiting. Google explains that these websites that create third-party cookies may own some of the content, such as ads or images, that a visitor views on the website they are browsing.
Digital marketers use third-party cookies to track and follow consumers online. It is stored under a different domain name than the domain that the visitor is visiting. The cookies track visitors between websites to display more relevant ads when transitioning amongst those websites. Another indirect cookie example is the support chat function that a third-party service may provide.
A relevant example is when someone is searching for a specific type of lawyer, such as a bankruptcy attorney , and visits a few sites. However, if that visitor then searches for other non-legal related services and receives an advertisement about legal services on those sites, that is due to third-party cookies. Other third-party cookie examples include ad servers and Facebook pixels.
Does Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Affect the Legal Industry?
Yes! These changes will affect all industries. Since Google announced the third-party cookie phase-out, marketers everywhere have raised concerns. The announced changes were mainly in response to those concerned about privacy issues with third-party cookies. Since the passage of the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA ), legislatures and consumers have been strongly advocating for more rights and protections for our information. The GDPR instituted privacy regulations that govern the way consumers’ information is collected in Europe. Inspired by the GDPR, the CCPA established California privacy restrictions on what information companies can collect from consumers and consumer rights concerning their information. Users demand greater transparency, choice, and control on how their data is used. Therefore, Google is now recognizing that the internet and web ecosystem must adapt to respect data rights and consumer demands.
The third-party cookie deprecation may majorly affect these areas for law firms and legal professionals:
Legal Cases Surrounding Privacy
Are third-party cookies dangerous? Well, consumers have already filed lawsuits against ad tech companies for GDPR violations. Specifically, consumers formed a class action-style litigation against data broker giants Oracle and Salesforce in the UK and the Netherlands in August 2020. The suits argue that using mass surveillance of online consumers to carry out the companies’ practices of bidding ad auctions is not compliant with strict EU laws. The litigation focuses on EU citizens’ rights to have informed, specific, and freely given consent on their data being used, as well as the right to receive a copy of their personal information. They argue that these companies are not following these laws when they use third-party tracking cookies, such as BlueKai and Krux.
There may also be additional class action lawsuits filed as more state and federal legislatures pass ePrivacy and privacy-first laws in the coming years. Proctor and Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer , Marc Pritchard, states, “We all have the responsibility to ensure we protect whatever data we have and use it for purposes of serving consumers with better media and advertising experiences. The problem is there are 27 different laws for handling consumer data in the United States alone.”
The people writing these laws often include dense “legalese” that makes it difficult to understand for the everyday consumer and even harder for companies without dedicated legal representation to understand. It is crucial to have a team focused on helping your company ensure that it complies with all of the privacy regulations that exist. This understanding is vital not just in the state where the company is domiciled, but also wherever the company conducts business and where consumers are located.
Digital Marketing for Law Firms
Law firm digital marketing will be different, as law firms will not be able to retarget users to the extent they could previously. The third-party cookie removal will affect advertising for law firms in the following ways:
While the third-party cookie phase-out will change how law firms use digital marketing, experts do not expect a decline in advertising investments but rather a reallocation or shift in how firms will spend money on digital marketing and advertising.
5 Best Practices for Law Firms in a Cookieless World
Law firms can still maximize digital marketing to expand their reach and clientele. The key is to utilize programmatic advertising and other methods that do not require using third-party cookies. Some of these best practices include:
Though the planned removal of third-party cookies may have initially caused concern for law firms and law firm marketers, this phase-out does open the door for innovation in advertising. With privacy laws continuing to develop, as seen in this American Bar article, it is an ideal opportunity to utilize less vulnerable advertising techniques and alternatives to avoid further adjustment obligations as more laws arise.
Law firms should never be too reliant on one specific technology. They should always be prepared with innovative alternatives to ensure that their firms can leverage the data they have to create new opportunities.
Every campaign that CAMG delivers is ethically sound, sustainable, and compliant with all privacy laws. As industry specialists, we understand which marketing strategies work, how to analyze and utilize the data we gather, and how to eliminate what is not working.
CAMG’s experience working with law firms in digital, television, print, and radio enables us to be an expert in advertising techniques that do not require third-party cookie usage. We are an effective, data-driven marketing company designed exclusively for law firms and are committed to bringing the legal industry relevant, timely information to support legal marketing.
If your law firm is ready to utilize digital tools and ads to complement your firm’s current advertising campaigns, contact us now to learn how we can help you.