In case you haven't heard, third-party cookies are about to become a thing of the past.
Google's Chrome Browser was originally slated to stop supporting third-party cookies beginning in 2022. However, that was recently pushed back to 2023. It’s important to note this is merely a delay—not a full pardon for marketers.
Will this policy shift eliminate a marketer’s ability to track online users?
Far from it.
Alternatives to Third-Party Data
Third-party cookies are not the only technology that marketers use for tracking online behavior. Other options include local storage, IndexDB, and Web SQL—and these technologies are easily accessible.
This policy shift is simply forcing some long overdue innovation in the digital marketing world. Let’s explore some of the ways marketers can prepare for a cookieless future.
Utilize First-Party Data
First-party data is some of the most valuable data a marketer can collect. This is because it comes directly from your most ideal audience: your own!
This data can be collected by your website, apps, analytics platforms, social media platforms, and any information you have in your existing CRM.
Refocusing on first-party data brings a renewed importance of a marketer’s CRM. This treasure chest will be able to give precious insights on how to target similar audiences online with highly personalized ads. It also provides the opportunity to re-engage with audiences that have already demonstrated interest.
It’s critical that your CRM has the most robust and clean data possible. Here are some simple steps you can take to clean and grow your CRM:
- Identify what data is currently being collected versus what information is still needed. Adjust intake forms accordingly.
- Perform list cleanses of your CRM. Look for contacts with hard bounces or those that have not engaged with your emails in a decided timeframe. There is little value in a non-responsive audience.
- Develop creative reasons for your audience to give you their contact information. Understand what types of content your audience values, (insights, white papers, infographics, etc.), and use that as a hook to obtain their contact information.
Become King of Content and SEO
You've heard the phrase “content is king.” Allow us to us introduce you to our improvement on the saying: great SEO content is king!
The shift from third-party cookies will put more focus on gaining traffic from other channels, especially organically.
Marketers should take this as an opportunity to audit their current content strategies and develop a more robust strategy moving forward. They must focus on providing content that is relevant, timely, and useful for their targeted user personas.
Not only is this an opportunity for marketers to audit their own sites, but it’s also a great chance to get a clearer understanding of what their biggest competitors are doing. A deep analysis into what terms they are ranking for, what their content calendars consist of, and an overall understanding of where their shortcomings are is a great opportunity to build out a highly strategic content strategy.
Refocus SEM Efforts
Marketers’ ability to use third-party data has allowed them to get rather lazy and overlook other SEM strategies.
Losing third-party data creates an opportunity to revisit many forgotten tactics that can be incredibly effective for driving high-quality traffic. This includes lookalike audience, contextual targeting, geo-targeting, audience segmentation, and highly personalized ads.
These tactics, along with others, are long-standing best practices that will allow marketers to become even more efficient in the paid channel.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Testing is often something that gets overlooked, even in the most established marketing strategies.
Third-party data has allowed marketers to relax a bit and lose focus on this foundational marketing principle. Whether it’s running multiple ad copies, landing pages, or variations on a single piece of content, marketers need to test every possible element to ensure any given strategy is being optimized to its fullest extent.
These are just some of the ways we can prepared for a cookieless future.
There are countless other strategies that haven't been covered. This new future will force markets to innovate or be left behind. It also gives us an opportunity to push ourselves and our organizations toward better best practices.
With this invitation for growth and improvement, perhaps the best first step is to take a step back and review the overall digital strategy, looking for opportunities to improve everywhere.
A future without cookies is approaching fast. With this change, an effective omni-channel approach is more important than ever. Focusing on what the user journey looks like and interacting with potential clients at every step will provide a stronger return on marketing efforts; not only because Google will be eliminating support for third-party data, but also because it’s what end-users are demanding.
Contact TPT Digital today to learn how we can help you prepare for a cookieless future.