Will Williamson, director of Derby digital marketing firm JDR Group, who is warning that Google’s decision to phase out controversial third party cookies by the end of the year is another reminder that the online world is ever-changing – and those who use it to promote their businesses need to stay in touch.

A leading Derby digital marketing agency says Google’s plan to outlaw the practice of advertisers tracking people as they visit websites is a reminder to company owners to keep on top of their online campaigns.

JDR Group, which is based in Pride Park, says Google’s move, which involves phasing out controversial third party cookies, is another reminder that the online world is ever-changing – and those who use it to promote their businesses need to stay in touch.

Cookies are text files which enable websites to track how users interact when they arrive on the page, helping them gather valuable information about what interests and habits they have so that they know what products to market to them.

They come in two sorts – first party cookies, which are stored directly by the website in question, and third-party cookies, which are placed onto a website by other unconnected organisations, such as marketing firms, advertisers and social media sites.


This gives them data on the individual user’s website activity and means they can show them adverts related to that company’s website when they visit other sites, such as Google or Facebook.

This technique is called remarketing and it has controversial because of concerns over data privacy and consumers’ growing unease at the feeling of being followed around online and the experience of having adverts for goods they have just searched for suddenly appearing on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Google is aiming to scrap third party cookies on its Chrome browser by December, bringing to an end one of the most effective ways for digital marketers working on behalf of millions of companies large and small to create targeted online campaigns.
But Will Williamson, a director of JDR Group, says that while the industry will adapt, the move is a reminder to customers that things change very quickly online and that marketing requires constant vigilance and input.

He said: “Google is following browsers such as Safari and Firefox in scrapping third party cookies and their removal means we’ll be losing some tools that have become very useful for us.

“Not only will it increase the value of gathering your own customer data by building a subscriber list, for example, it’s a reminder to everyone who markets themselves online that they can’t afford to put a plan in place and just forget it, because it can become out-dated and ineffective very quickly.

“Change is the nature of the beast online and it’s getting quicker all the time. Companies shouldn’t just rely on one channel or tactic and they should seek professional advice from experts whose job it is to stay on top of these things.”

However, Will adds, while one door closes, another door opens, with AI marketing tools such as ChatGPT set to help even more marketers and their clients during 2024.

He said: “We use AI writing tools across our business and we feel that we’ve learned about everything they can do and everything they can’t.

“It’s true that they can save time doing repetitive, simple tasks, they won’t turn someone who lacks the skills and talent for writing into a good writer. Very often they offer a good starting position but not the finished article, which is why they will become ever-more useful for marketers this year without removing the human element that is so important in communications.”

JDR Group provides web design, social media and content marketing to around 200 small to medium companies around the UK, the majority of whom operate in the B2B market, including construction, manufacturing, and professional services.