The past two years have been busy! We have faced a global pandemic, international war, societal upheavals, and talks of a recession. Not to mention, especially in the advertising and marketing world, the upcoming death of the cookie. Even over the past week, the cookie conversation continues to change as Google extended its life until at least 2024. While this extra time might come as a relief to some, a word of caution to those still reliant on cookies: do not not let up on implementing the necessary changes now as your competitors most certainly aren’t either.

Conversations started in early 2020, with Google setting an ultimatum that they would remove third-party cookies from Chrome. This forced many to quickly figure out how they will revamp existing tech stacks in order to continue to track, target, and engage with key audiences. Since then, many brands and advertisers have done just that- they have made adjustments and started to work with new partners in order to future-proof their business. Some are either close to completing, or have completed, upgrades so that they are no longer reliant on cookies, and are already benefiting from that hard work.

It is important to remember that the cookie conversation is not the only topic of privacy policy. Other regulations have already taken effect, like GDPR and CCPA, further changing how brands and advertisers engage with consumers. Consumers will only continue to have the regulatory support when it comes to how their data is used. The brands and advertisers who are not working towards alternative ways to target and communicate with consumers will soon find their competitors pulling ahead and dominating their respective markets as they’ve adjusted quickly and accordingly to the new regulations.

Now is not the time to slow down and take the pressure off meeting your own internal deadlines that address the inevitable demise of the cookie. Take time to strategically find ways to greet these new regulations head on, and be flexible for when future regulations come into play.

Don’t be left trying to clean up the cookie crumbs – be the one who crushes it first.