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THIRD-PARTY COOKIES

How accurate will measurement be in the post-cookie environment?

By our News Team | 2021

UK marketer attempts to answer questions being frequently asked by marketing teams ahead of the digital cookie phase-out.

Will tailored online experiences still be possible in a world without third-party cookies? This is a question that is increasingly the subject of debate by marketers around the world.

Among those offering an opinion is Ruby Heera, Customer Experience Director at London-based full-service digital agency Roast.

Writing in the industry publication, The Drum, Heera attempts to answer questions being frequently asked by marketing teams ahead of the final phase-out of third-party cookies in the Chrome browser during 2023. Among them:

Third-Party Cookies

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Will accurate measurement still be possible?

The biggest concern among marketers is the deprecation of third-party cookies harming digital marketing performance. Measurable return on investment will drop. Some customer actions and behaviours will no longer be measurable, and there will be a knock-on effect as parts of the user journey become untrackable, negatively impacting activity such as programmatic spend.

Another key consideration for cookie-reliant brands will be measurement accuracy. Authority of measurement is in the eye of the beholder; no attribution model is completely accurate. Some tracking tools and methods will be less well-informed than before, making brands and marketers take a wider view of what activities impact their customers, moving from click-path analysis to broader econometric modelling.

There’s also a trust issue with Google. If you’re using their measurement of ROI, taking data from their own walled garden and putting it up against other advertising, how can you be sure they are not over-valuing their work versus competitors’?

To consistently vet the value driven by an activity requires planning and structured implementation with measurement in mind.

Is this the demise of CX personalisation?

For years, brands have used third-party cookies to track behaviour and collect data, improving targeting and on- and off-site experience. With the power to track and analyse interactions across websites, marketers are armed with the insights to personalise experiences and build strong, lasting relationships with customers.

This opportunity for customer experience personalisation varies industry-by-industry and depends on the state of your data. However, without third-party data there will be less visibility of a brands’ prospect audience, meaning granular personalisation via some acquisition channels will diminish. So engagement and conversion rates are likely to decrease.

Optimising and innovating customer experience off the back of improved first-party data strategies will now (more than ever) be imperative to delivering memorable experiences. Think of your own brand and industry – how different are your user journeys vs competitors? Do customers receive a similar experience across your industry? Revisiting your data strategy will help unlock powerful, real-time campaign opportunities further down the funnel.

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