Google has been phasing out third party cookies from its web browsers for a while now, and yet brands are still very much reliant on cookies. New research from Adobe shows that brands aren’t taking the necessary steps to evolve their data strategies.

The global survey of more than 2,600 marketing and consumer experience leaders (including 405 respondents from India) explored marketing investments and strategies of brands.

In India, the majority (82 per cent) of brands still rely heavily on third-party cookies, with over half (61 per cent) of leaders expecting the end of third-party cookies will hurt their businesses. The research shows that one in every two respondents (53 per cent) agree that the ambiguity over cookie deprecation is causing an overall acceleration in the prioritisation for readiness for a cookie-less world.

Advertisers not capitalising on the open internet

At almost 600 million users, the open internet has gained prominence in India, reaching 62 million more than walled gardens. The open internet — comprising news and general websites, over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV), music streaming and online gaming — has witnessed accelerated growth, says a research report by The Trade Desk and Kantar.

In the last year, four in five consumers (80 per cent) increased their consumption of the open internet. While more users consume content on the open internet, digital advertising in India has not capitalised on its rapid growth. Based on the research, half (52 per cent) of the 307 hours that the average consumer spends on digital media per month is on the open internet.

This marks a shift away from walled gardens such as social media, user-generated content (UGC) platforms, and live game streaming. However, walled gardens still command five-and-a-half times (5.5x) more ad spend in India, compared to the open internet, which accounts for a fraction (15 per cent) of India’s digital ad budget.

Clearly, advertisers need to re-examine their digital media spends.