Third-party cookies first gained a bad reputation when they began tracking user behavior on websites. This was incredibly useful for measuring the impact of "impressions" and retargeting. But for many users, it seemed intrusive when the product they viewed once appears each time they open a new tab. According to eMarketer, approximately 82% of ads worldwide rely on cookies, and more than 77% of websites have at least one or more cookies to track.
However, according to comScore, over 60% of home computers are shared, which means shared cookies. These data suggest that cookies are not always effective - they do not seem to help brands succeed in providing a personalized experience and do not give a general idea of customer activity.
In light of recent changes, Winterberry Group and IAB predicted that marketers intend to further intensify their efforts to collect, manage, and use first-party data, mirroring a wider industry trend towards proprietary data ownership in response to new privacy regulations. That allows mitigating the risk associated with reliance on third-party data in a targeting environment that can no longer rely on cookies.
So what’s next?
Protecting user privacy
There were times when data and privacy were not a priority for users, this is not the case today. People are more aware when it comes to the personal information they share online. That is why brands and marketers need to be transparent in their methods of processing consumer data, using clear, concise, and clear messages. Users in their turn will have more control over their data and can be sure that untrustworthy companies will not be able to use it.
Increased attention to user trust also means that data management will become a strategic priority for the business.
For 2021 first-party data is at the top of the agenda for marketers. This data is especially useful for marketers and brands because it is unique to the business and gives a clear idea of your customers. Using this data will also help to improve the online experience, which will benefit users, as a result leading to more conversions and a higher ROI.
Having a connected data strategy was significant for driving revenue and cost savings. Nowadays, user privacy and leveraging first-party data have become critical.
For brands and marketers now it's time to achieve true personalization. Elimination of cookies means that we can no longer rely on the pre-categorization of potential customers based on cookies. Instead, companies that work hard to use their data to meet the needs of a new customer will be rewarded with greater brand loyalty from a large pool of satisfied customers.
Over time, with the development of cookie-based retargeting and its higher effectiveness, the audience has come forward. It became not important where to place an advertisement - the main thing is that it is seen by the very user whom the advertiser wanted to attract. Now when the end of cookies is imminent, the targeting pendulum has swung back towards contextual advertising.
Contextual targeting allows showing ads only on relevant pages of sites, focusing on content and keywords. Unlike demographical or social targeting (based on historical data about audience segment behavior), contextual targeting is based on the context of a specific page, that is, cookies are not used.
User ID solutions
A new wave of cookie-free identification solutions has swept the ad tech industry with the end of third-party cookies support. This came on the heels of tightening privacy regulations, growing user discontent about the intrusiveness of online ads, and competing browsers taking the lead on tracking prevention.
Many different vendors are promoting these new standardized ways to identify and store user data without using third-party cookies. Advertising industry players are actively seeking and experimenting with ways to digitally identify their audience in a way that ensures data privacy. User ID solutions solve this problem in several ways.
Anonymization. User IDs contain no information about who they are in the real world. It's a string of numbers and letters that cannot be reverse-engineered to an email address or any other form of identification.
Control. IDs allow users to log in and monitor and adjust how their personal data is being used.
Transparency. Opt-in allows publishers and advertisers to provide users with a more personalized experience.
The protecting user data trend is understandable and occurs on several fronts at once. At the moment, the advertising industry is studying initiatives and smoothly preparing its systems for global changes in the storage and transfer of personal data of users.
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