For many years now, cookies have been utilised by companies to track their customers experiences and purchases on their websites, and collect data that helps target ads to the right audiences. Now users are insisting greater privacy, transparency, choice and control over how their data is being used. This has become crystal clear that the web ecosystem needs to progress to meet these fast demands. Although Firefox and Safari have phased out their third-party cookies, Google announced that it will phase out the third-party cookies on their browser by 2022. As the tech companies work with advertisers who will need to operate and use only first-party cookies. It also encourages the use of opaque techniques such as fingerprint to reduce the internet users every move.
The cliche right now is that these third-party cookies are on death watch as these didn’t have the best track record for effectiveness. There are many questions arising post-cookies attribution and future methodologies taking their place. The responses by marketing executives to the above scenario was the importance of first-party data and customer engagement, identifying resolution as a successor to cookies and adopting a more sophisticated holistic strategy. By staying updated about all the privacy norms that could impact the business and transition away from these type of cookies. The tech giant Privacy Sandbox could still serve as a lucrative alternative for ad targeting.
The plans to render these third-party cookies obsolete has begun, but it will not disappear completely for some time. In this mixed economy marketers and brands will look for creative ways to assess the effects of digital campaigns in a privacy-compliant way. Using messenger apps ensures more tailored advertising and better conversion rates. As they allow the brands to understand their audiences, personalize messages based on their interests. As also measure in-store visitation results, genuine interaction to resolve issues faced and turning to location as a part of their holistic strategy. Contextual advertising can be also revitalized which allows the circulation of PPC ads on websites that rank for same keywords as your ad which means if the seller is selling sports apparel, this ad could show up on sports-oriented websites.
Another huge trend would be employee advocacy, as consumers want to ensure their preferred brand, treats their staff well before supporting them with a purchase. Empowering employees to be the voice of what your business stands for, really adds to the brand value and boosts sales. Relying on their own website analytics for data instead of third parties will benefit in click-through conversion to some extent. To make brands sustain from monopoly-related or governance policies, strategies could still be used to target customers even without cookies, and still benefit from the latest tracking software. Live Ramp, the largest company which enables online to offline linkages through cookies has already started by making some changing moves and being less vulnerable to technology.
The other methods of targeting customers online could be Data Enrichment and Probabilistic cookie syncing. Data Enrichment allows the brands to understand their users from the data collected from different identifiers and make better informed marketing decisions from their own AI and learning models. Cookie syncing happens when ad agencies gather data on the visitors online browsing habits like IP address, location, gender etc. Their algorithms are able to locate patterns and identifies the customer across many devices and channels. So the different brand companies are leaning towards ADIDS, the substitute for cookies which have many advantages like they track devices not browsers, work great on mobile including in-app as they are permanent and unique per device.
By also ensuring that the customer information remains safe as some of the brands target users unnecessarily. It is a big issue today unless proven that it has a positive outcome on creativity and enriches the lives of users. This is a serious problem for the advertising firms as an industry to enable that the budget set aside is genuinely being spent on human engagement and not just robots.
Recently France’s data privacy watchdog has handed out the biggest fine of 100 million euros($121) Million to Google for breaching the country’s rules on online advertising trackers(cookies). Amazon was also served a fine of 35 million euros for the same breach of trust as both had failed to provide clear information to users about how the firms intended to make use of online trackers and how the french websites could refuse any use of the cookies. Such problems could arise for other companies as well if they do not adhere to cookie-less technology.
Advertisers need to use both accuracy and scale to develop the right kind of marketing strategies that fit each client personally, and this needs to be done without compromising on their ethics and values for which their brands command a promising market today.