Online marketers have enjoyed the cookie and all its benefits for decades. Originally created by Lou Montulli for Netscape in 1994, cookies have been used to turn the internet into a viable commercial marketplace. Since Apple’s announcement that their iOS 14 update would require opt-ins instead of opt-outs, the cookie has come into jeopardy.
Next, Google announced their Privacy Sandbox initiative that would do away with all third-party cookies within the next two years. Firefox has already begun to implement enhanced tracking protection that deletes redirect tracking cookies every day in addition to blocking third-party cookies.
The future of the cookie may look grim, but the truth is that only third-party cookies are going extinct. First- party cookies will still be around if you’re using the Google browser.
First-party cookies are cookies that go to the browser from the website that person visits. They can help advertisers, publishers, and retailers to better understand their site visitors. These cookies also help guide them to improve the user experience on their site.
Third-party cookies help websites, businesses, and online marketers to recognise a user across platforms and across different websites. This tracking across the web can help marketers to better understand the individual user and what they want. They can then advertise to them online with an offering that is more suitable to their interests and behaviours.
That’s why you sometimes feel as though someone has been watching you and listening in on your conversations. By simply tracking your online behaviour, predictable and analytical algorithms can predict your interests and behaviours to a high level of accuracy that can seem haunting.
The extinction of third-party cookies seems enticing to internet users who feel their privacy is being breached. In truth, it could have unintended consequences. The convenience of a single sign-in experience that allows one sign-in across multiple platforms and websites may no longer be possible. For advertisers, tracking ROI and justifying spend on digital marketing may become trickier.
The absence of third-party cookies has the potential to set advertisers back by hundreds of years in their ability to advertise to an interested audience versus guessing who may or may not be interested in their offering.
The end of the third-party cookie isn’t good news for everyone, but many marketers and advertisers are re-thinking how to deliver consistent results and where to allocate revenue. Many brands and businesses are now considering various forms of collaborative solutions.
The adoption of these solutions is motivated by more than just the exodus of the third-party cookie. Push from regulators and the prediction that more restrictions on collecting user data is coming can encourage companies and brands to adopt current and evolving collaborative data solutions. Even though the cookie is gone, marketers know the demand for ROI and consistent consumer interaction isn’t going anywhere.
According to Winterberry, collab data solutions are the go-to fix for many companies and marketers in Europe. These collaborative solutions are more than just a way to bypass the third-party cookie changes. Companies are looking to more holistic ways to partner with brands, agencies, data owners, and the tech companies that work with them.
Data cooperatives are initiatives where many brands combine their first party data to get second-party insights. Some models also apply these insights to third-party data for retargeting (this may fall away). These systems are permission based, getting permission from consumers and brands. The data is then managed by the cooperative.
Although cooperatives were originally designed for offline use, they present a powerful opportunity for online use too. These tools can ingest digital signals and create predictive models that extract data across thousands of contributing companies. See examples in the below infographic.
Marketplaces exist where owners of data can exchange it for third-party targeting or analysis outside of marketing.
Exchanges are similar to marketplaces. Exchanges are based on permissions, for example, cloud providers and other data management solutions. Datta is extracted either on a one-to-one basis or co-mingled and exported in a single These exchanges create flexibility in how users can exchange and distribute data.
These data environments are designed for the highest privacy and security when businesses partner. There are several models, which can include versions where the data is moved to third-party hosted environments or where data is not moved, but a key helps facilitate the exchange and analysis of the data.
However companies approach the collection, analysis, and use of data, one thing is clear. Internet users and audiences on the platforms marketers use crave privacy and a respect for their personal data. Now more than ever, proving that your brand is trustworthy plays a pivotal role. Consumers want to know they can trust your brand when engaging with them online, buying from them, or consuming and communicating with their digital products.
Without mutual trust, many of these collaborative solutions won’t be feasible, as they are dependent on permissions or the consumer “opting in”. Research by Winterberry indicates an uptrend in collaborative data solutions, with up to 80% of UK companies and 70% of US companies adopting these. We can expect to see a trend towards these sorts of solutions growing stronger in South Africa in the coming years too.
P.tch has over 15 years’ experience in Digital Marketing Consulting and growing eCommerce companies and platforms in South Africa, having worked with brands such as Wantitall.co.za, Netflorsit.co.za, Hairhousewarehouse.co.za, Digital Planet, Hpshop.co.za and many more. If you’re looking for an eCommerce growth and development partner, please contact us.Sources: Winterberry; Globe News Wire; criteo; Content Marketing Institute;