Over the last few years, there have been several changes to how browsers handle first and third-party cookies. And now it looks like it might be time to say goodbye to third-party cookies for good. Yet the largest internet browser, Google Chrome, just announced that it is delaying its rollout of removing cookie tracking from mid 2022 until mid 2023 in an attempt to make sure they get things right. With that said, you need to start preparing now in order to set yourself up for long-term success. And we’ve got a few smart ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Breaking down more than just the loss of cookies
Understanding your customers in a rapidly-shifting environment is no small task, even in the best of circumstances. But mastering today’s digital landscape can seem particularly challenging for marketers due to the introduction of, not just one, but a combination of three major changes:
- Third-party cookie loss
- Regulatory changes (such as the GDPR)
- Browser changes (such as tighter controls on data collection)
- Network feuds and changes (ie. Facebook vs Apple)
Marketing without third-party cookies might seem like a daunting task for marketers to tackle, especially if they’ve come to fully rely on such data sources for their primary consumer information. But there’s no need for panic. Here’s a rundown of what all marketers need to be aware of concerning third-party cookies and consumer tracking in a privacy-first online world.
This is about much more than cookies, however. Other changes to the online ecosystem are on the horizon as well, making this a crucial time for marketers to renovate their current data-gathering strategies to better suit our evolving digital landscape.
Finding the strongest way forward
No more cookies means no more easy-peasy tracking data from consumers. But that doesn’t mean there are no good options. Quite the opposite, in fact. The great cookie crisis isn’t as hopeless as it’s been made out to be, despite what many marketers believe. And the Genius Monkey platform can attest to that in a big way.
While third-party cookies have been a staple in the pantry of behavioral targeting, they’ve never been the only, or even most important, ingredient in Genius Monkey’s strategies for success. Targeting isn’t going away altogether; it’s just going to be utilized a little differently–similar to some of the tactics Genius Monkey’s been using all along. For example, instead of targeting individuals, marketers can target groups of individuals.
The purpose of this change is to make consumers feel more comfortable. With these targeted ads being aimed towards groups of consumers with similar interests and behavioral identifiers, they can still be just as efficient.That being said, it’s also not “easypeasy” and therefore requires a bit more work than tracking in the past. Marketers really only have three options here.
- The first is to surrender and return to the way marketing used to be with hazy metrics and unimpressive experiences… No, no, we’re kidding, don’t do that!
- The second option is to run your data strategy via trial-and-error, which can be a bit costly… Seems like a brilliant business plan to me?
- The third option is to learn how to use aggregated groups to your benefit while also beefing up your first-party data strategy for maximum results.
The future of digital marketing is headed in a privacy-first direction and everything comes down to the quality of and the way you collect customer data. Data matters in a big way so healthy data collection practices are important.
What marketers can do to prepare
Data matters. A lot. Using inaccurate data (or not enough data) can lead to a total breakdown of every aspect of your marketing plan; targeting, personalization, attribution and analytics. So it’s understandable that the loss of third-party cookies would have marketers in a bit of a panic about what to do next. Have no fear. We’ve got you covered. Here these are the three primary areas to focus on as you prepare for a cookie-less world.
1) Cultivate a Strong First-Party Data Plan
Because first-party data comes directly from your customers, it’s far more accurate, and therefore, trustworthy. Plus, by building a solid first-party data core you won’t have to rely on third-party cookies, which gives you far more control with precision targeting. . You also know this data is going to be effective, cause you are essentially building a lookalike audience off of the audience you know already is your client base.
2) Adjust Media and Analytics Strategies
As a result of these majors changes, how and what you’re reporting on will look different. For example, You may not be able to show the same granularity of demographic reporting that you once could, or every detail of what targeting tactic drove what click. However, a good programmatic vendor, such as Genius Monkey, should be able to retain that information within it’s algorithm, for optimization purposes, in a safe and secure way. That said, you should be sure to verify with any other marketing partners outside of Genius Monkey that you will not be losing critical reporting data due to the transition from cookies…
3) Building Customer Relationships
This really comes down to providing value to your customers to create long lasting customer relationships. With these relationships, you’ll have the ability to identify returning customers and can better personalize their experiences. One way to get started with this is by being fully transparent with your data usage policy by explaining to visitors how and why you’re collecting their data. This fosters trust and provides access to more first-party data for your strategy down the line.
No cookies, no problem
If this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t be concerned. The end of cookies will not be the end of digital marketing nor the end of highly targeted ads resulting in the performance that you have become accustomed to. Genius Monkey continues to work with the iAB and our partners to create the best balance between consumer privacy and providing results driven campaigns for advertisers. As always, we believe in win-win solutions. If you have any questions or you would like to pursue your own win-win solution contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org