Web marketing

When Web Cookies Crash, Companies Will Need New Marketing Revenue

Have you ever visited a website and when you go to a completely different website, an advertisement pops up for what you just searched for?

Well, it’s not your imagination. Your browsing activity was tracked across the web by third-party cookies, which are used by marketers to understand users’ preferences, interests and shopping behavior and to target advertisements accordingly.

But over time they have raised privacy concerns, which is why Google will block third-party cookies from its Chrome internet browser by the end of next year, forcing marketers to find new ways to collect consumer information and personalize their message and offers.

“There is no simple solution for marketers, as they all lose the ability to target and measure campaigns as accurately as they have in the past,” says Stephanie Liu, Boston-based analyst at Forrester, which focuses on privacy and marketing.

Third-party cookies have been around since the 1990s and are small text files created by websites that store user data on their browser. They track your web activity and marketers use them to personalize offers or target ads, Liu says.

They’re meant to improve user experience, but over time they’ve gotten bad press for infringing on users’ privacy rights, says Rob Pepi, co-founder of Goodpep Digital Marketing in Huntington, a marketing agency. digital marketing.

Rob Pepi is co-founder of Goodpep Digital Marketing in Huntington.
Credit: Streamcast Network/Huntington Chamber of Commerce

“It really comes down to being transparent about what you think you’re doing on a website and what’s actually being tracked from a data perspective,” he says.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 in 10 American adults say they don’t think it’s possible to get through everyday life without data being collected about them by companies or the government. The situation breeds distrust of Big Tech and outrage among privacy advocates.

Given this, it’s no wonder that third-party cookies are on the way to extinction. Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox have already eliminated cookies, but Google’s decision is even more significant since it controls more than 62% of the web browser market. Google first announced phase-out plans in 2020. See https://tinyurl.com/h6c7c9ry.

So what can marketers do?

Liu thinks marketers should rely on draw data, which is basically data that consumers give you voluntarily. You can do this through tactics such as surveys, polls, and quizzes on your site or on social media. For example, Liu was tricked into taking a quiz on a cosmetics website about her foundation preferences so she could have that shade permanently stored on file for replenishment.

Stephanie Liu, a Boston-based analyst at Forrester who focuses on...

Stephanie Liu, a Boston-based analyst at Forrester who focuses on privacy and marketing. 1 credit

Additionally, Brian Winum, director of digital marketing at MAXPlaces Marketing LLC in Farmingdale, a digital marketing agency, says businesses should also focus on organic search engine optimization, known as SEO. This involves optimizing a website with relevant keywords to ensure you rank higher in web searches.

He also thinks businesses should focus on producing strong content for their website and social media, which will help them attract visitors and connect with those users.

Also, they should try to collect information about their target audience, such as email addresses, and they can use these lists to send out relevant offers and communicate directly with customers, he says. If you know someone’s email address, including company domains, you can even use it to target ads to people who work for that company on LinkedIn, Winum explains.

Eliminating third-party cookies means “there will potentially be a bigger push towards organic inbound marketing,” which involves creating content tailored to what the customer is looking for, Pepi says. He also believes in investing in SEO and creating more engaging content that might show up in your users’ “long tail” keyword searches.

One such long tail search, for example, could be “a blue cashmere scarf,” he says. This helps bring visitors to your site or blog rather than having to follow them only with ads across the web.

Jillian Weston, owner of Jillian’s Circus, an Oceanside-based online marketing company, says it’s about building a brand that customers want to engage with.

Jillian Weston, owner of Jillian's Circus, an Oceanside-based online marketing company...

Jillian Weston, owner of Jillian’s Circus, an Oceanside-based online marketing company.

Brands need to identify this very specific profile of the type of person they want to sell to, and every piece of content they create needs to speak to that customer, she says.

“Your content and messaging should appeal to the people you want to attract,” which will help them actively engage with you, says Weston.

Quick fact:

It can be harder to personalize ads and offers with the loss of third-party cookies, but a Merkle survey found that 90% of consumers surveyed expressed a willingness to share more data about themselves if they have a positive experience with a brand.

Source: Merkle Q1 2022 Customer Engagement Report, tinyurl.com/4rtt52mm