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Cookieless Tracking: Digital Marketing strategies and solutions

Measurement plays a crucial role in the success of online advertising strategies, traditionally carried out through third-party cookies. These cookies allow platforms to track user activity, providing essential data for decision making in advertising campaigns.

However, the announced disappearance of third-party cookies in 2024 introduces a significant change in measurement, in response to growing concerns about user privacy and data protection regulations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Google Privacy Sandbox: Preserving privacy in a cookieless World
  • Impact and solutions in a world without third-party cookies
  • Cookieless Tracking and Retargeting: Adapting to transformations
  • Conversion API (CAPI): The future of advertising measurement
  • Conclusions: Preparing for success in a cookieless world

On January 4, 2024, Google took a significant step toward ending third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. After multiple delays, Google finally disabled third-party cookies for 1% of randomly selected Chrome users worldwide as part of its plan to eliminate them completely by the end of the year, affecting approximately 32 million people.

Google introduced a new feature called Tracking Protection that, when enabled, automatically cuts off a website's access to third-party cookies. Unlike other browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, which blocked third-party cookies by default for years, Google has been discussing phasing out these cookies in Chrome since January 2020. This change represents a significant approach to how it addresses online privacy and user tracking.

 

Google Privacy Sandbox: Preserving privacy in a cookieless world

Google's decision marks a crucial milestone in the evolution of the digital ecosystem, aligning itself with Privacy Sandbox. It seeks to limit the transmission of personal information through third-party cookies, with direct implications for the accurate identification of users and the measurement of advertising results.

Privacy Sandbox provides a set of tools and standards that allow advertisers and publishers to obtain information about user behavior in a more private and secure way, without relying on invasive third-party cookies. This approach seeks to balance user privacy with the needs of online advertising in an increasingly cookieless world.

Currently under development, Privacy Sandbox aims to:

  • Deve.lop new technologies to preserve the privacy of user information.
  • Enable publishers and developers to deliver online content without relying on intrusive tracking.
  • Collaborate with industry to develop new Internet privacy standards

The end of third-party cookies in Google Chrome and the introduction of Privacy Sandbox represent a major shift in the online advertising industry toward more privacy-friendly practices.

 

Impact and solutions in a world without third-party cookies

The disappearance of third-party cookies projects a significant increase in Cost Per Action (CPA) for conversion campaigns and link clicks, as it implies a loss of key tools to track user activity, attribute conversions and optimize campaigns efficiently.

Faced with this challenge, the advertising industry is looking for solutions, and the adoption of the Conversion API (CAPI) is emerging as the industry standard for measurement in the cookieless era. This transition involves sending conversions directly to advertising platforms, bypassing the reliance on third-party cookies.

In this context, Adsmurai presents its end-to-end One Tag solution, formerly known as Serverless Tracking. This innovative implementation combines pixel functionality and the Conversions API in a single subscription, making it easier for brands to adapt to the new reality of online advertising without third-party cookies.


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Cookieless Tracking and Retargeting: adapting to change

Since their introduction in 1994, cookies have been essential to advertising technology and paid media marketing strategies. The distinction between first-party and third-party cookies becomes crucial in a context where first-party cookies are destined to disappear due to growing privacy concerns.

First-party cookies are used to enhance the user's experience on the visited website by saving preferences and sessions. On the other hand, third-party cookies, essential for tracking, retargeting and personalized advertising, are at risk of obsolescence.

Nowadays first-party cookies have many uses, but they are mainly used to save the user's preferences on the website and to save their sessions. On the other hand, third-party cookies are used to create consumer profiles, track their habits and personalize ads. Let's look at their uses in depth:

  • Personalization: To show personalized ads to the user based on their previous visits and searches. This can also be called behavioral targeting.

  • Audience segmentation: To impact those users who have already visited a website and match certain previously established criteria. Third-party cookies allow your ad to reach a specific audience with a specific message.

  • Tracking and measurement: To track and measure the effectiveness of an ad. Cookies determine the impact of serving an ad to a user by showing you who clicked on the ad or made a purchase.

Cookie-based data is the most widely used data for digital marketing strategies. The loss of third-party cookies basically means more difficulties in validating the effectiveness of digital campaigns. 

For example, tracking the user through a campaign will be difficult without third-party cookies and this will directly affect retargeting strategies. Since the algorithm can no longer be used to effectively display personalized ads to consumers, it will be more difficult to deliver relevant information to the user. 

In addition, it will be more difficult to impact a user on different websites and find groups of similar audiences to create lookalike audiences to gain new users, generate brand awareness and personalized ads. 

Another aspect related to lower effectiveness is frequency crapping, without the cookie with information from different domains, it would be difficult to know and limit the number of times a user sees your ads in a given period of time. 

Last but not least, third-party cookies give the marketer a complete view of the mix of platforms used in the strategy. You can see what is working and where to spend more money based on the results. So view-through attribution strategies will also be affected by this removal.

Faced with this reality, the industry is focused on adopting cookieless tracking and retargeting technologies. Solutions such as Adsmurai's One Tag emerge as effective responses, allowing online user tracking without relying on third party cookies.

one tag adsmurai

 

Conversion API (CAPI): The future of advertising measurement

With the obsolescence of third-party cookies, the Conversions API (CAPI) is cemented as the industry standard for accurate measurement in a cookieless environment.

Major advertising platforms, including Meta, Google Ads, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat, have already implemented their own CAPI solutions. These seek to ensure the effective collection of conversion data without relying on third-party cookies, ensuring accuracy and privacy in the measurement of advertising results.

The key trend is the implementation of server-side CAPI, allowing the delivery of events directly from the server. This strategy is presented as a viable and durable solution in a cookieless context, ensuring traceability of user activity.

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This new process restores transparency and efficiency in marketing procedures as it is GDPR compliant, helps unify the user data journey and combines events from multiple touch points or improves the speed of your site as there are no analytics pixels slowing it down.

 

one tag adsmurai

Adsmurai's One Tag simplifies the adoption of CAPI, addressing the complexity and associated costs, making it accessible to advertisers of all levels.

 

Conclusions: Preparing for success in a cookieless world

The transition to a cookieless world presents substantial challenges, but also significant opportunities for marketers. Proactive adoption of technologies such as Adsmurai's One Tag becomes crucial to successfully navigate this new digital landscape.

The phasing out of third-party cookies and evolving privacy policies require continuous adaptation of strategies and technologies. Marketers must be ready to embrace solutions like One Tag and explore innovative approaches to ensure effectiveness and privacy in the cookieless era.

The ability to adapt and adopt advanced technologies will be crucial to success in post-cookie online advertising.




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