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Are You Prepared for a Cookieless Future?

By July 8, 2021 No Comments

Are you prepared for a Cookieless future?

No, we are not talking about the sweet and delicious dessert you eat. We’re talking about the cookies you constantly must accept or deny every time you visit a website. Cookies track a consumer’s every move as they browse the internet to analyze, personalize and save information about each user’s session. You ever wonder how you’re looking for a new set of towels on Amazon, and five minutes later, the only ads you see are for bath towels that seem to follow you on every site you visit next? Welcome to the world of cookies.

Organizations have benefited from leveraging cookies. Why? Because marketers LOVE data. Cookies provide insightful data that help personalize content to consumers, audience targeting, behavior tracking, remarketing, and more. But news alert – cookies are going away (at least some of them). What does this mean for organizations leveraging data as an integral part of their strategies to connect with consumers? Well, let’s dive into understanding the types of cookies that collect data. 

Cookieless future; a hand holding a cell phone with a Terms and Conditions disclaimer

Not all cookies are created equal

There are three different types of cookies: first, second, and third-party. First-party cookies are the data a company collects directly through form fills, customer feedback, emails, ads, content distribution, websites, surveys, etc. Any method a company uses for direct contact with a consumer can gather first-party data. Second-party cookies are data obtained directly from another business. It’s essentially another company’s first-party data that they sell to other companies. Finally, third-party cookies are data collected from various sources with no direct link to the consumers it was collected from. Companies use them to track consumers as they go around the internet, build a consumer profile around their interests based on sites visited, and then feed that information to paying businesses looking to use that data as part of their strategies.  

Are all cookies going away?

So, why does it matter if cookies are going away? To be specific, not all cookies are going away – it’s the third-party cookies that are the ones burning in the oven. (Pun absolutely intended.) Consumers are apprehensive about their privacy and want more control over how and when their data is used. Over the last three years, there have already been data privacy regulations that now have consumers seeing pop-up notifications on just about every site asking to accept or deny cookie tracking. But now there’s more – with browsers blocking third-party cookie collection. Several years ago, browsers like Safari and Firefox made efforts to block third-party cookies. Now, Google has announced that it would be blocking third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2023.  

Third-party data is going away, and now organizations that have leveraged data from this source in the past have to rethink their strategy. Businesses need to find alternatives through first-party data or other sources to gather information from consumers to continue delivering personalized experiences and messages. 

Future-proof your business

2023 is not too far off in the future. Hence, the time is now for organizations to redefine their strategies around gathering consumer information to deliver personalization through customers and their journeys. Suppose your advertising and personalized messaging strategies rely on third-party data. In that case, your organization should immediately spotlight the first-party sources they already have in place and look to maximize its usage. Taking a wait-and-see approach could cause last-minute hotfixes that don’t deliver long-term differentiation. Consider these questions: 

  1. How are you currently using the information your organization gathers through your forms on your website, apps, emails, ads, and other first-party sources? 
  2. Are you ensuring you are honoring consumer consent? 
  3. Where are you funneling this information into?
  4. What are you doing with that data? 
  5. How quickly are you acting when a consumer provides consent and responds to your forms? 
  6. Are you including phone calls as an extension of your first-party strategy? 

There cannot be a delay between when a consumer buys something or fills out a form and starts receiving additional information. And, when a consumer has given you consent to contact them via phone, are you considering how to make a maximum impact via the phone channel? Imagine having a consumer fill out a form on your site asking for help or more information. What happens when you call them back? In most cases, they don’t answer. And why? Because you show up as an unknown number. Only 14% of consumers answer unknown numbers. Now, imagine if you could brand that call – displaying the “who” and “why” behind it? Your business calls would finally reach consumers. 

Additionally, what if you can take the data and powerful analytics you would get from the call and marry it with the first-party data you have already collected? What do you get? You empower your teams with good data and intelligence from two sources that provide a holistic means to get to know consumers and drive personalization.  

Now’s not the time to panic; third-party cookie deprecation isn’t the end of personalized marketing and getting to know your customer. Instead, look at it as a catalyst: one that is allowing your organization to revitalize the usage of first-party data and introduce new technology into the mix – like Branded Calling by First Orion – to deliver innovative branded calling solutions to drive better business and consumer connections and experiences.