The Impact for Healthcare Marketers of the Chrome Cookie Phase-Out

March 25, 2020
Jeff Steblea, director of sales for Eruptr

Jeff Steblea, director of sales for Eruptr

In January, Google declared its plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by the year 2022. The announcement has led many digital marketers to panic because digital ads depend on cookies for targeting, and Chrome has significant market share. But healthcare digital marketers already have to play by stricter rules, so the implications seem to be less for them than the digital world at large.

“People are afraid of change, so I understand some measure of panic, but especially for healthcare marketers, I don’t see a reason to,” says Jeff Steblea, director of sales for Eruptr. “This space shifts constantly — this isn’t the first big change and it will hardly be the last.”

Advertisers use cookies — small files placed in web browsers to transmit information about consumers’ browsing behavior — to target personalized ads based on that behavior. This is known as retargeting, or remarketing, and is common in most industries.

Healthcare is different. Google’s advertising policy states that “personal health conditions, health issues related to intimate body parts or functions, and invasive medical procedures” can’t be used by advertisers to target ads to promote their services. While this technically allows a small amount of discretion, it effectively prohibits remarketing for practically all healthcare services and conditions.

“Ultimately, this is a good thing,” says Steblea. “As digital marketers, we can’t proselytize about how digital is there to serve the healthcare consumer, and then turn around and be upset when organizations make changes to help protect their privacy. Healthcare digital marketing is already conservative in many respects, and rightfully so.”

According to Steblea, this presents an opportunity for healthcare providers.

Read the full article now: How Does Google’s Cookie Announcement Affect Healthcare?

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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