For years, brands have been using cookies to track their website visitors, customize the visitor experience, and collect data that helps them serve ads to their target customers. Cookies have been instrumental in helping marketers get the insights they need and yet, most companies don’t realize that they could be losing upwards of 70% of their visitor data by using cookie tracking solutions. And this data loss will continue to grow dramatically once Google phases out the third-party cookie on the Chrome browser, making it nearly impossible to get the data that marketers need to optimize their marketing efforts.
The phase out of third-party cookies was originally planned to happen by the end of 2021 but Google has now extended this to 2023 to give advertisers more time to find cookieless tracking solutions. Google has announced that they won't be building alternative ways to track individuals as they browse across the web.
One reason for this phase out of cookies is that governments around the world have been cracking down on data privacy issues. As laid out by privacy laws like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) & the CPPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), users must consent to all cookies when they visit a website or cookies cannot be placed on a user’s browser. The issue arises when user’s data is sold or transferred unlawfully. This has resulted in companies being fined millions of dollars and upwards of billions, like Facebook’s potential fine of 1.63 billion in 2018 for a data breach related to GDPR.
Data privacy is an urgent concern and the time is now for marketers to look at new cookieless solutions to deal with this.
While third-party cookies will soon be no more, first-party cookies will still remain. Although companies will still continue to rely on first-party cookies to track their customers and use this data for marketing decisions there will always be a cookie problem. Cookies are constantly being deleted off customer’s browsers, cannot track across platforms or devices and create duplicate and inaccurate data, leaving huge gaps when trying to understand a customer’s journey. Opportunities are lost because most companies are losing roughly 40% of their visitor data due to traditional cookie tracking solutions.
If you're an advertiser or marketer whose focus is on third-party data, you might be worried about how you'll navigate this pivot. No need to worry! New cookieless alternatives are emerging and can provide even more visitor insights than cookies do.
To help prepare for the cookieless world, Metricsflow has a cookieless data attribution solution available on the Salesforce AppExchange that can provide all the data that marketers need to replace any traditional cookie platform. We make 100% of visitor data accessible and actionable for sales and marketing teams. We use a unique digital identifier that allows us to track customers across all platforms and devices in order to provide the full prospect and customer journey. Furthermore, the data is never sold to third parties or ad networks. Metricsflow provides all first-party data that belongs only to the companies we work with so that our customers can stay compliant with the ever changing landscape of data privacy laws. This privacy-focused solution can help you transition into a cookieless world with ease.
Going forward, the best thing to do as a marketer is to continue to stay current with third-party cookie news and other data privacy laws that could impact your business. If your marketing strategies rely on third-party cookies, start considering alternatives now that don’t rely on cookies and stay compliant with all privacy laws. It’s time to stop losing opportunities from data loss and start learning from accurate visitor data.
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.