There’s no escaping the fact that a cookieless world is coming.
It’s one of the biggest challenges in digital marketing right now – and for good reason.
Whether it’s tracking and understanding the entire customer journey or effectively retargeting prospects, things are about to change.
But like with any change, there are teething problems and learning curves to be had. And it’s likely that we’ll make a few mistakes along the way as we navigate the new normal.
We’re chatting to a lot of marketers looking for a solution to the removal of cookies and have noticed some similarities in the way the industry is getting ready for the impending change.
Here are a few of the biggest mistakes we see marketers making as they prepare for the cookieless future.
Mistake #1: Burying their head in the sand
The biggest mistake marketers can make right now is to simply pretend the change isn’t happening and do nothing.
If you’re working in digital marketing – and tracking digital touchpoints – this change will impact you. There’s no hiding from that.
However, as Google has recently announced yet another delay for it cookie deprecation, this will have given most marketers a great sense of relief. And Google’s track record for setting delays may make some marketers feel like it’s a change that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.
But by having this mindset, not only are you putting your marketing at risk, but you’re also likely to fall behind your competitors who already have one foot forward when it comes to finding a solution.
Mistake #2: Panicking and choosing the wrong solution
The date for Chrome removing its support for third-party cookies is still looming (albeit slightly delayed). And as with any time-sensitive change, it can often lead to panic and a scramble to find a quick fix.
A search for ‘cookieless world’ brings up multiple vendors claiming that they have a solution for the removal of cookies.
However, while many analytics and attribution solutions claim that they are cookie-free, the reality is, they are simply swapping third-party cookies for first-party cookies.
Our own research found that the first-party cookie is just as broken as it’s third-party counterpart. In fact, it supplies data for attribution which is 80% inaccurate. So, the key to succeeding in a cookieless world, is to be 100% cookieless.
Google’s own solution to the removal of cookies has also proved to be questionable. Their ’Google Topics’ API aims to deliver targeted advertising in a way that protects the privacy of individuals. However, it only provides around 350 categories. This is a vast reduction in the depth and flexibility for targeting which current third-party solutions provide.
Finding the right solution can take time but implementing it can take longer. So, ensuring you understand what your business needs are to succeed in the cookieless world – and then conducting thorough research to find the best solution – is key to avoid wasted time and effort.
Mistake #3: Not educating the business about the change
We know that the world of marketing is going to be massively affected by the removal of cookies. But ensuring the entire business is educated about the changes is key to protecting the bottom line – and securing all important buy-in for any new solutions.
There was a lot of confusion about what the changes meant when the news was first announced. And there still seems to be a sense of uncertainty within the industry. In fact, data from QueryClick’s recent survey showed that 44% of marketers believe the removal of cookies will have a positive impact on their business, whereas 34% think it will have a negative impact.
While it’s important for marketers to get clued up about what the changes actually mean, what the impact will be and what can be done, the same also applies to other functions within the business. Sharing the latest content, attending industry events and keeping up to date with marketing webinars will ensure everyone is educated about how to succeed in the cookieless world.
Navigating a change as big as the removal of cookies is challenging. But hopefully this blog has helped you understand some of pitfalls to avoid when preparing for the cookieless future.
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