To succeed in the marketing field, marketers have always had to be bold, innovative and forward thinking. They develop beautiful branding, dynamic campaigns and strive to get their company’s message out to the world in new ways. Over time, however, marketing has needed to shift from developing and presenting this creative work to also understanding how that work contributes to the bottom line. How do campaigns translate into impressions, leads, and ultimately, sales? This can sometimes seem like an abstract concept for marketers who strive to attach a dollar value to the work they do. Marketers have to quantify and show the value their work brings to the organization as a whole.
Technology has played a vital role in this shift to quantifying the creative work of marketing. Marketers responded by automating their marketing efforts through Marketing Automation tools. These types of solutions allow marketers to personalize, measure and optimize their marketing strategy. This resulted in an exchange of data across departments, and by putting customers right at the center, the industry revolutionized the CRM (Customer Relationship Management systems) and Marketing automation systems.
Part of this shift meant that increasing numbers of enterprise marketers looked for digital innovations to understand customer behaviour. These innovations focused on tracking users through third party data, which didn’t always require user consent. Cookies allowed advertisers to track and target users across the web. Most web users had no idea this was happening or didn’t understand why tracking mattered for many years.
Today web users are much more knowledgeable and savvy than we once were about consent, the value of our data and how data is bought and used by companies. Technological advancement and customer focused data privacy practices have taken over. Web users want the choice of who they share their personal information with.
Google has announced that they will gradually phase out cookies in two years’ time, and all major browsers (Google, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) will be moving towards blocking the use of third-party cookies. This will result in a major change in the digital marketing landscape and the way in which marketers learn about their customers. Marketers currently rely on third-party cookie data for modification & personalization of all marketing efforts.
Marketers need to adapt to changes in personalization solutions. Marketers have used cookies and third party tracking solutions to track, understand and target their website visitors. With third party cookies being phased out, marketers could lose upwards of 80% of the data insights they receive to understand their customers. With a major chunk of digital marketing budgets exhausted in tracking, marketers need to ask themselves if they are ready for when Google, Apple and Facebook shift to a cookieless world.
The solution? Companies have to own their own data. They will have to rely on first party data with a cookieless solution at the center of their data collection policy.
As the cookieless world will overtake us, we need to adapt to privacy driven solutions. Marketers need to stop losing data and start learning by using privacy driven data solutions. Metricsflow’s cookieless analytics uses a proprietary AI technology that collects over 40 data points on each visitor to a website, far beyond what traditional cookie platforms can provide. Metricsflow is able to give enterprise marketers the deep data insights they need for their visitors and customers, while ensuring compliance with data privacy laws. We create a new type of relationship between customers and companies, one that prioritizes a user's privacy and allows them the ability to choose who they share their personal information with.
Yes, tracking without placing anything on a customer’s browser is a possibility and privacy first solutions like Metricsflow do not share or sell data to third parties or ad networks. The cookieless word will be a reset. It gives us the unique opportunity to redesign identity management and the future of privacy on the internet. It may be two years out but the time is now to prepare and move into the cookieless future. You may just find that by adopting a cookieless solution you learn more about your customers than you ever have before.
Marketers also need to invest in analytics tools to gather insights gained through first-party data analysis. These insights can be used to increase the relevancy of the experiences that companies provide for their customers. They can also run experimental campaigns and continuously tie engagement metrics with first-party customer profiles. This strategy can increase the effectiveness of a company’s personalized efforts and campaigns over time.
The end of tracking for marketers through third-party cookies doesn’t mean the end of attribution. The best methods for tracking and attribution of your visitor’s data don’t require cookies to be effective. Decision makers in marketing departments should start taking steps on how to transform tracking and attribution with privacy-driven solutions only. Marketers should be considering solutions which will focus on first-party data.