What is a cookieless world?
Whether you are reading this on your laptop, phone, or tablet, the chances that you have either accepted or denied a cookie pop-up appearing on your screen are very high. These pop-ups appear on virtually every website, but it won’t be this way forever.
Have no fear. We will never have to live in a freshly-baked cookieless world (I hope.) However, third-party cookies are being used less and less in the digital marketing space. In fact, in 2023, 60% of global web traffic will be cookieless and Google will phase out the use of third-party cookies in the Chrome browser by 2024 (source). With chrome being “the browser with 2/3 market share,” companies need to prepare for this change and consider how this will affect their marketing strategies going forward (source).
Let’s start with the basics. What is a cookie?
Cookies are “small pieces of text sent to your browser by a website you visit. They help that website remember information about your visit” (source.). There are two main types of cookies: first-party cookies and third-party cookies. First-party cookies are created directly by the website you are visiting, whereas third-party cookies are generated by websites that are different from the web pages users are currently surfing, usually, because they’re linked to ads on that page. Companies whose ads are on the site can track your information across any site that uses their ads (source).
While cookies are helpful in enhancing a visitor’s website experience through session management, personalization, and tracking, they are also a threat to users’ privacy. From a lack of transparency, unclear usage, and the potential to sell users’ data, third-party cookies are a larger threat to users’ privacy than first-party. Sites that use third-party cookies risk users’ data being stolen or unknowingly tracked.
The bottom line: people will choose their privacy over a streamlined user experience or a hyper-targeted ad. So where does this leave businesses that rely on user data from cookies in their marketing tactics?
The absence of third-party cookies will leave companies having to identify and create:
- New ways to track and identify users on their website.
- Targeting strategies with only first-party data use.
- Updated data privacy and opt-in processes.
With these changes in mind, here are some actionable steps to get ahead of the cookieless future.
Tips to Tackle a Cookieless World
Take inventory of your cookie use now. Whether your website uses cookie data to segment audiences, personalize a user’s website experience, or ad-retargeting, compile these tactics now and take note of what will change from a lack of cookies. Getting ahead of this will help you understand what needs to be gradually changed or gutted completely before cookies become a thing of the past. Unsure where to start? We are here to help, check out our TribalVision marketing audit capabilities.
Test, test, test. Implement and test new solutions that do not require third-party cookies before you have no other option. Already have a campaign running that requires cookies? Test it without using them to see what works and what will need to be updated. Already running campaigns that use only first-party cookie data? Test and see what other channels that data can be utilized for. It may even be the case that individually targeting your customers is not generating the outcome you want in the first place!
- Quick Tip: Enter your website’s URL on CookiePro to make sure it is currently compliant with cookies, tracking, and more!
Consider your budget and the new costs associated with a cookie-less future. If the majority of your campaigns and projects rely on data gathered from third-party cookies, start to consider what your budget will look like and how you will reallocate these efforts to a cookieless environment. Keep in mind that there is no quick and easy solution.
Focus on first-party data. With first-party data, you are gaining direct access to your customer’s information. Zero in on that reliable data and utilize it through different marketing tactics, such as email. First-party data can be collected from a customer’s purchase history, account preferences, or even a survey sent out directly to your customer!
Dive right into cookieless marketing! Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new ways to target your customers. Personalize your email marketing campaigns with information your customer has given you, make updates to the look and feel of your website, or even launch an SMS campaign, which is becoming increasingly relevant in 2023 (source). The possibilities are endless!
While moving towards a cookieless world may seem daunting for the future of your marketing strategies, take advantage of the time now before third-party cookies are completely phased out. It is a new opportunity to evaluate your current marketing tactics and implement new ones!
Reach out to a TribalVision representative today to help you navigate and enhance your marketing strategy in a cookieless world!