Third-party cookies are at the core of online businesses. Marketers depend on them for targeting, retargeting, display advertising, and behavioral marketing. However, customers demand greater privacy, transparency, and control over their data. Firefox and Safari had earlier addressed these concerns, and now Google announced the phasing out of third-party cookies by 2022. This announcement created uncertainty among marketers around advertisement and customer strategies as Chrome accounts for more than half of the global web traffic.
Loss of third-party cookies will have a fundamental effect on developing digital strategy and audience targeting. At first, data-driven strategies and solutions are becoming very important. Companies need to understand where they stand on customer data. Then, they need to check what the potential options are to get ahead. Retargeting and display advertising is becoming trickier with the loss of third–party data. Focusing on in-session conversion is becoming inevitable. No room to lose visitors during the session as calling them back to the online store is becoming very difficult and expensive. As the token falls out of use, personalization which relies on third-party data is under pressure. Companies will have difficulties delivering relevant offers to customers. Fostering the power of first-party data with modeling, automation, and advanced analytics is becoming the key to success.
You may be feeling devastated and daunted. Some big changes are underway for sure but do not worry as new alternatives are emerging. The game is changing. Marketers are seeking a new set of best practice digital measurements for the post-cookie world. There will be a new way of approaching the data, modeling, and analytics. Frontier technology tools can help companies in this transition. Now let's focus on how you can stay ahead in the cookie-less world.
Start devising your customer data strategy as a first step. Your customer data strategy should include creating a first-party data roadmap. Understand where you stand on your team and technical capabilities Identify the areas where you need new technologies, tools, or talents. And make sure someone in your team will be responsible for it.
While marketers will undoubtedly want to work within Google and Facebook’s first-party environments, to build the strategy they need to augment their first-party data. So, start maximizing the benefits of your data. With the latest ML technologies, you can collect, clean, and analyze first-party data in real-time. All can be done on a budget thanks to more affordable real-time data streaming technologies in the cloud. It all starts with comprehensive first-party tagging. Ensure that you are collecting as much first-party conversion data as possible and have the largest data sets as possible as it can be. Now it comes to turn unstructured data into actionable intelligence. To be able to run you need a very good infrastructure, data engineers, and data scientists. If you do not have these internal capabilities, you can look for AI as a service tool.
Don’t forget first-party data sets are privacy-friendly. Try owning your first-party data just to be ready for any privacy change and be flexible to get the most out of it. First-party data is richer, more impactful, and insightful when it comes to improving your website’s performance.
Just because advertisers can no longer track every user interaction online does not mean you can’t undertake brilliantly effective campaigns. Consider focusing on in-session conversion. Digital marketers are struggling to understand why visitors are on their websites and what they are looking for in real-time. So, they lose 98% of their new visitors. A very big opportunity lies here to improve the performance. And it is a big proof of no need to track every online interaction of every prospect. Deep learning algorithms can analyze user's clickstream data to predict the intention of visitors in real-time. After 3 clicks of visitors, these models start to understand the real-time intention of visitors. This will lead to intelligent segmentation of audiences. From there you can continuously improve your campaign performance and in-session experience.
Deep learning algorithms can identify patterns and behaviors around product preferences, price level, the likelihood of conversion, and visitor’s hesitations. They do it based on recency and frequency of online customer activities. With advanced machine learning solutions, you can automatically tailor messages and offerings accordingly. Your actions can be personalized along the customer journey of each visitor. While improving the experience, you can avoid overspending on your campaigns. Also, you can gain real-time insights to plan your marketing actions within budget.
Significant investment in time (more than 8 months) and technical resources are in need if you want to build these internally. The recruitment of data engineers and data scientists is expensive as they are in high demand. It will also require a substantial amount of learning time after you build the system before it will be intelligent enough to recognize and influence buying decisions. For this reason, you can consider using advanced AI as a service tool which are using the latest technologies.
To boost your online sales in the cookie-less world focus on your first-party data strategies. Continue investing in real-time first-party data-related infrastructure and ML technologies. This will bring you a competitive edge as companies focus more on offline data alongside their digital data. Real-time deep learning algorithms work like a dream. They can understand the visitor's intention at the very moment. Then they provide relevant offers and personalization along their journey. You can always be one step ahead of your customers to delight them.