Third party cookies are going away…(and no I’m not referring to discs of deliciousness given to you by someone else – thank goodness!). Google Chrome will stop using them in 2023 – Firefox and Safari have already stopped their use. In a nutshell, this means people will have more privacy when browsing online but it does present some initial challenges to businesses that use this data to create consumer profiles to market to. Keep reading to find out how a cookieless future could present more opportunities to optimise your sales and marketing processes.
What is a third party cookie?
A third party cookie is one that is stored under a different domain than the one you are visiting. For example if you go onto a website that has a Facebook like button – it places a cookie on your computer that can then be accessed by Facebook to identify you and the website(s) you have visited.
They are typically used by advertisers, marketers and social media platforms to serve you what they deem are relevant ads to you based on your browsing history. The way to a cookieless future has been paved by privacy concerns – the majority of users don’t like the idea of being tracked around the web and due to their very nature, third party cookies could be in violation of privacy regulations such as GDPR.
The benefits of a cookieless future
No longer being able to track user behaviour around the web via third-party cookies will force companies to take a more transparent and proactive approach to learning consumer behaviours using first party data. This gives users more control over what is shared whilst actually giving marketers and advertisers access to a higher quality data set about their target market.
Third-party data isn’t all that reliable anyway
How many times have you innocently searched something online off the cuff only to be bombarded with ads for weeks on end? The end of third-party cookies will put a stop to this.
First party data opens up the conversation
When you take the time to ask your target audience what they’re looking for, they’ll appreciate you all the more for it building brand authority at a time where user and customer experience is everything. Starting an open dialogue with your audience that asks the right questions and incentivises them to articulate their needs can provide you with detailed insights that can shape your offering into something they want to buy into.
The Small Business Handbook does this really well – whenever they are in the process of formulating a new product or service they actively ask their audience for feedback via social media and surveys. They incentivise their target audience by offering them discount codes on their products in a win-win strategy that sees TSBH getting the data they need to perfect their products, the customer feeling seen and heard plus getting something back for their efforts and spending more with the brand because the products are hyper-aligned to their needs.
Enhanced brand tracking
Brand tracking offers invaluable insights into how your brand is perceived, consumer sentiment, purchase intent and brand awareness. Without third-party cookies businesses who want to know these things will need to step up and regularly check in with their target market(s) to know what’s working and what’s not. This means consistent and regular research to ascertain what is making a difference and what could be done to offer a better product or service.
Increased brand loyalty
Whilst I briefly mentioned this earlier, it bears repeating. People want to know they are following brands that align with their values and respect their custom – in an increasingly connected world – privacy is a huge part of that. Taking the time to listen to your customer’s wants and needs before using them to finesse your offering will only serve to propel your business forward and increase brand loyalty.
So there we have it – whilst putting together digital advertising that targets people based on other websites they have visited will soon be a thing of the past, I believe it opens the door to the possibility of having a clearer picture of what your audience actually wants. If you’re ready to put the work in, the benefits of a cookieless future await!
I’d love to know your thoughts and questions – do leave them below in the comments!