Many marketers know that cookies are an important part of their marketing strategies because it has been like this for most on Internet’s life time. However, it has been difficult to avoid the recent changes in laws concerning online integrity, including GDPR and the e-Privacy initiative which have had a major impact on how cookies can be used. With that, we find ourselves in today’s “Cookie Situation” where cookies are under high pressure in terms of how they can be used, where they can be used and for whom they can be used.
Cookies are a standard technique that many marketers have relied on for more than 25 years. Retargeting campaigns rely on cookies, as well as abandoned shopping carts, and several parts of digital measurability, which many see as an USP and an important part of digital marketing. Additionally, many media buyers base their algorithms on data related to cookies and some large media players have even build their own system solely based on cookies.
Apple has chosen to position themselves as the protector of integrity and have therefore decided to block 3rd party cookies in Safari and on iOS devices. Google has follow with their ”sandbox initiative”. This makes it problematic for marketers in Sweden where iOS represents about half of all internet traffic, meaning that cookie based marketing strategies will not work on about 50% of Sweden’s internet users.
Of course it is important to protect online privacy and personal information, this goes without saying. However, limiting cookies will also have negative consequences for all internet users. Most likely, internet will become less personalized and the content will be more generic. In a time where users expect what they want, what they don’t even know they want, and at the right time, the effect of limiting cookies can be even greater than expected, since it is cookies that meets these user’s demands today, although at the cost of integrity.
With that, the question is, how will the future look like without cookies? What can substitute cookies so that marketers can base their marketing strategies on and still reach out to customers in an effective manner that give the user the experience that they are expecting?
We know that there are alternative solutions and we are working on them now. If you base your marketing on your customer data and connect it to market data, geographical data, contextual data, this match can secure your marketing in all of your channels. Within this, the insights are key, which are built on your own customer data and describe your most important relationship, that with your customer. By doing this you can become less dependent on cookies already today.