Let me set the stage...
Brands, Publishers and Advertisers have been relying on cookies(AKA Browser or Tracking Cookies) to provide relevant messaging, optimize their advertising efforts and track overall customer and prospect browsing behavior roughly since the internet began.
Governments, Countries, States and Brands are taking steps to protect customer data through Internet Privacy legislation and new Internet Browser privacy controls. Below is an approximate timeline of some of the most impactful milestones throughout the last several years that are driving the push for more internet privacy specifically through limiting cookie tracking.
2017 – Apple’s Safari ITP(Intelligent Tracking Prevention)
2018 – GDPR(General Protection Data Protection Regulation)
2019 – Firefox ETP(Enhanced Tracking Protection) and Google Chrome’s Cookie Blocking Announcement
2020 – CCPA(California Consumer Privacy Act)
So what does this mean?
In an oversimplification of the situation, Consumers have expressed concern over the application and security of their sensitive personal information that is being gathered by companies. As a result of this public demand for privacy, governments are passing laws that enforce brands, service providers and advertisers to take steps to comply with the new rules and regulations that are made to protect consumer data.
Apple’s ITP 2.2 is cutting the first-party cookie’s lifespan from seven days to one day. As a result, the first-party cookies that Google and Facebook have introduced to continue measuring site traffic and attributing ads will be deleted after 24 hours. For example, if a user clicks on an ad for a product on Friday and wants to take the weekend to decide whether to buy it or not, then the cookie wouldn’t be around on Monday to register if the user returns directly to the brand’s site to buy the product.
“Many actions advertisers are interested in attributing back to digital marketing efforts happen outside the newly implemented 24-hour window, creating a blind spot for advertisers and brands,” said Amanda Martin, VP of Enterprise Partnerships at Goodway Group.
Google Chrome and Firefox also announced that it will be improving cookie controls to better protect user privacy and choice on the web.
Regional Data privacy laws are increasing legislative focus on digital privacy and control. Nevada and Maine are just a few of the states that are already considering similar regulations.
What is the impact?
As internet browsers continue to improve and evolve their privacy settings, tracking, measurement and attribution is going to become less reliable. Marketers and brands will have to look to adapt to new strategies and technologies to deliver results for their campaigns.
So, what should we do?
Digital Marketers and Brands should be auditing partners and reviewing privacy statements. As well as begin to focus on People-Based Marketing. What is People-Based Marketing? People-Based Marketing is a strategic approach in which marketers target individual people, instead of cookies.
This is incredibly powerful because the modern consumers have much more diverse purchase journeys across channels and devices. Although cookie tracking has been a staple of modern marketing technology stacks, it has never quite been a perfect approach.
Unifying data is critically important when trying to execute personalized ad experiences to consumers. The cookie-based targeting approach often falls short when matching user data because cookie-match rates range from 40%-60% when a cookie from one site is not passed to an adtech platform. Additionally, cookies are device-based, so cookies can’t help advertisers provide a seamless experience when one user switches from desktop to mobile or switches computers or browsers.
Furthermore, In this study performed by an ad-serving firm, they analyzed 20 advertisers and more than 5 billion impressions in fourth-quarter 2017, and found 64% of their tracking cookies were either blocked or deleted by web browsers. The rejection rate on mobile devices was higher — at 75%, compared with 41% on desktop. As a result of this, advertisers can be spending their ad budgets inefficiently targeting the wrong users or missing opportunities to connect with valued users that could convert.
Back to People-Based Marketing.
This term is not new but it is growing in popularity with brands and advertisers. The approach is one that is aligned with how consumers want to interact with brands and complies with the legislation that is being passed. The Data Privacy movement is not coming, it’s here. How are you preparing to grow your brand in the New Era of Digital Marketing?