Digital Marketing & Advertising Without Cookies

Amy Lightbody
13th Apr 22 | Amy Lightbody | News, PPC

As the digital privacy landscape makes a dramatic shift, your digital marketing strategy needs to adapt to minimise the impact that new and upcoming changes will have on advertising and analytics.

Are cookies in advertising dying?

Although personal data privacy has been a hot topic for a number of years, more recent user concerns have escalated, forcing the big tech companies, including Google, Meta (formerly named Facebook) and Apple, to address these concerns while still satisfying their business goals. Measures such as shortening the length of a session cookie and implementation of browser anti-tracking will have an impact on digital marketing campaigns and strategies.

Curbing third-party cookies and cross-app tracking

The privacy-centric approach by most firms aims to curtail third-party cookies and cross-app tracking which aims to track a user’s online activity to help third-party marketers tailor ad targeting based on specific user preferences.

Apple’s latest iOS update has made it a lot easier for users to manage their data, with the ability to easily keep their web activity private, and bluntly block online ad trackers, which has encouraged frustrations across the digital landscape due to the drastic measures that Apple have taken. Although Google continues to support online advertisers, the search giant has also set to roll out their Privacy Sandbox initiative across most devices by late 2022, with plans to curb various types of tracking as part of their pro-privacy outlook. Similarly, Meta has begun to roll out the introduction of their new Privacy Centre, which aims to educate users on data privacy and offers the ability to raise any privacy concerns through this central system.

Removal of cookies impact on analytics and reporting

The removal of third-party cookies and cross-app tracking could see monumental impact on revenue tracking and has already started to impact Meta’s tracking and reporting. Meta reported in a blog in September 2021, that they already had misreported their third-quarter website conversion figures by around 15% due to Apple’s iOS update, and suspect that figures will be impacted even more by other major changes.

Despite still being in the testing phase, Google is set to replace third party cookies and cross-app tracking with Topics targeting which proposes interest-based advertising, preventing large gathering of consumer data. Topics gives advertisers a variety of topics which a user has shown interest in over the last three weeks, in order for advertisers to target users with content that will resonate. However, unlike third-party cookies, this type of tracking makes it almost impossible for advertisers to micro-target users as they are only given a broad topic of interest with no specific information about previous browsing activity.

Hotels and hospitality advertising and analytics without cookies

With updates continuing to roll out, brands will need to act fast by adjusting their strategies by trying new ways of digital ads targeting, and ensuring non-paid marketing activity is fully optimised.

According to Max Starkov, a hospitality and online travel technology consultant, and professor of hospitality technology at New York University, smaller hospitality firms will be impacted the most by these changes. This is due to larger hotel groups being able to fall back on their robust first-party data pools, for example, Marriot International’s 150 million Marriot Bonvoy members or Hilton’s 128 million Hilton Honors members. This means small and mid-size hoteliers and hospitality businesses will need to adapt their digital strategies to remediate expected impacts as they will not have the large amount of first-party data that the big firms have.

Will cookies impact the digital marketing strategy of my SME?

Small to medium sized businesses who rely on third-party cookies should ensure that they have quality content strategies, by optimising website experience, crafting conversion focused content, enhancing SEO and investing in influencer and social media strategies, among other digital efforts. Having an integrated digital marketing strategy allows you to strengthen your online presence and manage channels effectively.

How Click2Convert can help

Click2Convert stays ahead of the game to ensure our clients’ digital strategies are proactive instead of reactive to industry updates and data privacy changes. As your digital partner, we will guide you through these changes to ensure you aren’t navigating the volatile digital landscape on your own.

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