Lately, my iPhone has grown increasingly persistent. With each tap of an icon, it asks me whether or not I’ll allow that app to track my activity across other apps. When put so bluntly, the answer is no — and big tech knows. Apple and Mozilla have blocked third-party cookie tracking on their browsers and Google plans to do the same this year. With the need for third-party cookies diminishing, brands must move to a new strategy.
We’ve covered Cryptocurrency 101, so welcome to Cookies 101:
- A cookie is a small text file that stores personal preferences when you visit a website.
- For consumers, it helps websites remember passwords and save shopping carts.
- For brands, a cookie interprets how visitors navigate its site, offering insights for updates/improvements.
- Also, it helps advertisers follow consumers around the internet (often much more than they realize).
But, cookies don’t always do their job. According to Nielsen, marketers say 35% of the demographic targeting they base on third-party cookies is inaccurate. Then, consumers are still shown relentless advertisements for products they already purchased, which only annoys and turns them off.
On top of their unreliability, cookies’ “big brother” element fueled the passing of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and similar laws that clear up into how cookies are used. Frustratingly, according to research from Epsilon, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with brands with personalized experiences.
So, how do companies offer personalized experiences without data capture through cookies?
1) Build trust
First, brands must be more transparent about how personal data is collected, used, and shared. Many consumers don’t even know what rights they have over their data, so tell them! This can be a pop-up on your homepage or a footer across your entire site. Today, every piece of data management must put the consumers’ interests first because, in the age of endless choice, it’s both good business and good ethics.
2) Emphasize content
Engaging content can capture interest at every stage. Content is also a permission-based interest strategy that promotes products and services while building relationships that are helpful, useful, engaging, and informative. But, before it can support your data strategy, the content you produce must be authentic and hyper-relevant to your target consumers. Ask yourself:
- How does our audience prefer to consume content (informative videos, long-form reports, newsletters)?
- Why are we promoting this product? How will it help our audience save time and/or money?
- Do we have any special offers or exclusive access to provide as an incentive for sharing data?
3) Analyze data
Consolidate the information collected data across sources, into a single, accurate representation of each customer. This will help create relevant and responsive experiences that deepen customer relationships. Also, considering doubling down on first-party data and search intelligence to build qualified audiences.