Data tracking is used by online businesses to advertise with precision to boost profits. By using data tracking, businesses can target adverts toward the people most likely to buy their products or services. However, Google is intending to scrap the cookies that enable this tracking, in favour of federated learning of cohorts. Cookies have been useful for companies: they can track items that customers have viewed online, personalise user sessions and recall previous preferences. Below, we explore the changes to data tracking and what it will mean for online businesses.
What Google says about cookies
Google announced changes to cookies in 2021 and the alterations are scheduled to be made around 2022/23. The main change is that Google announced that they’d be blocking third-party cookies in their chrome browser, leaving just their cookies. Instead of using third-party cookies, Google will instead offer a new privacy sandbox on chrome that is said to build a more anonymised profile of consumers’ online behaviour. The privacy sandbox timeline has been announced, and many small businesses are fearing that this will limit their ability to build their behavioural profiles.
What this may mean for you
For your business, this will mean that you’ll have to switch from third-party data to first-party data. No longer will you be relying on external providers for your data tracking, you’ll instead be able to use Google’s new system to generate your own intelligence. This can be optimised with dynamic marketing that encourages people to use your site and provide you with data. By creating a website or social media account that attracts genuine interest – be it through quality videos, well-timed email campaigns, or a wonderfully usable website – you’ll be able to pull customers onto your website. This is symptomatic of the decline of push marketing as we enter a more dynamic era.
Ways to gain insight into your customers
But how can you gather the behavioural information you need from your customers? For a start, you could optimise your website and content with organic SEO. This will help push your content up Google’s search rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find. Alternatively, you could implement a loyalty program. This rewards program will allow you to stay connected with your customers and gather behavioural data as you gain insights from their purchase history throughout the loyalty program.
Google’s data tracking changes represent a significant change – but also an opportunity – for businesses. And by pivoting towards a first-party data tracking strategy, alongside pull marketing, you should be all set to cope with these changes and thrive in the future.