Though the cookie-free future may appear dismal, it does not necessitate advertising abandoning tracking the efficacy of their initiatives. Using modern technology and tried-and-true strategies, you may still gain a comprehensive view of your advertising operations as well as helpful insights.
Create a First-party Data Strategy
Third-party cookies cause the most worry. Thus they are the first to be removed. You can, however, continue to rely on your data. The key to success here is to plan ahead of time for a first-party data strategy. Revise your company objectives and target audience to get started. Investigate how potential customers connect with your brand across several platforms and touchpoints.
Following these steps, you should have a substantial dataset and an idea of what metrics you can follow without the need for third-party cookies. However, you will need to fill the holes that will undoubtedly arise. Consider how you may mix first-party data to gain fresh insights.
Finally, identify your success indicators – what metrics you need to assess to see if you’re on track to meet your company objectives. Aside from that, remember to incorporate a set of reporting tools and measurement platforms into your data strategy. CRMs, BI tools, and so forth are examples.
Build Your ID Graph
The ID graph, also known as the identity graph, is a tool whose relevance cannot be overstated. These databases enable brands to associate various kinds of data with particular individual consumers across many channels and devices. The issue is that brands frequently rely on third-party ID graphs, which were previously largely unavailable. With the demise of third-party cookies, the situation may deteriorate even further.
The answer is to establish your ID graph and have access to the entire dataset. Consider that to obtain correct information about each consumer, you must depend solely on authorised profiles. As a result, you should offer incentives to your website users to join up. It will take some effort, but you will have a cookieless monitoring tool to measure performance across several channels in exchange.
Switch to Improved Tracking Methods
Marketers primarily employ two tracking methods: client-side (C2S) tracking and server-side (S2S) tracking.
The client-side tracking approach is based on tracking events on the user’s page. Though this strategy is simple to implement, it presents more and more issues in the cookie-free era. The good news is that by utilising more advanced solutions, such as Office direct tracking, you may get the benefits of client-side monitoring while avoiding its limitations. Our direct tracking functionality enables marketers to use precise C2S monitoring even without third-party cookies and contributes to faster user journeys.
Server-side tracking occurs outside of the browser. Instead, the tracking platform retains a user’s information on the server and provides it with a unique ID. Such a strategy enables organisations to increase client privacy and safety while also reducing web page loading time, ad blockers’ effect, and so on.
Use Partners’ First-party Data
As digital marketing moves away from cookies, advertisers must reject programmatic advertising favouring other tactics such as contextually targeted advertising. Another alternative is to resume direct contact with publications. As a result, affiliate marketing has a good chance of succeeding in the cookie-free world.
Brands kill two birds with one stone by relying on a well-selected pool of permanent publishers. They may target more accurately and reach the most attractive audience thanks to their partners’ first-party data. Furthermore, publishers can more precisely track the efficacy of their marketing campaigns and deliver accurate data to advertisers.
This method, however, is incompatible with rapid expansion and managing thousands of partners. Businesses with a consistent and limited pool of high-performing affiliates, on the other hand, stand to profit the most.
Run Incrementality Tests
Incrementality is a method of measuring marketing performance that considers occurrences that would not have occurred without a particular encounter. Simply said, incrementality determines how many business outcomes may have happened without a specific marketing action.
Previously, brands employed incrementality to more correctly assign attribution for conversion and identify how their marketing activities affect business outcomes. Going cookieless, on the other hand, makes the gradual strategy much more beneficial.
Consider executing specific incrementality tests to supplement your performance tracking. For example, you may run a marketing campaign that offers promotional coupons for a particular product. After a certain period, you must count the number of sales made with coupons. Consider adopting a promo code tracking service to improve and automate the process.
The next step is to compare the number of coupon purchases to the number of sales of the same product without coupons. The difference between these two groups — incrementality lift — will demonstrate the influence of your marketing strategy on your business performance.
Rely on the Brand Metrics
Digital marketers may apply the tried-and-true method of measuring the impact of a marketing effort on brand perception. We’re talking about things like ad recall, brand awareness, and consideration. Evaluating them can provide information into how your advertising or marketing activities affected brand interest, purchasing intent, and so on.
Fortunately, there are several methods for evaluating brand metrics. Thus, branded keywords, changes in traffic to your website, or the number of backlinks may be used to gauge organic search demand and growth.
Another strategy is to use social listening platforms, such as Agorapulse or Mention, to see how your target audience reacts to your brand or a specific marketing campaign. This strategy allows you to investigate the number of brand mentions and the quality of the feedback.
Employ Probabilistic Attribution
This tracking strategy is very beneficial for companies that primarily rely on mobile ad campaigns. Apple’s iOS14 prevents advertising networks from collecting data via IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). Because they are not unique without this identity, click ID, IP, and User-Agent are worthless for performance tracking. This difficulty is mitigated in part by probabilistic attribution.
The probabilistic attribution approach entails attributing conversions to the campaign that is most likely to produce them. Office’s probabilistic attribution enables marketers to associate conversions with specific marketing campaigns without utilising Click ID.
Office’s mobile attribution capability works with all mobile attribution platforms by utilising available tracking and post backlinks. Explore our post Preparing for iOS14: Affise Enables Probabilistic Attribution to learn more about this feature.
Accurate consumer data and performance tracking are critical for advertisers to make data-driven decisions. Unfortunately, depending on cookies is no longer an option. Let’s summarise the most important things you can do to prepare for a cookie-free future:
- Switch to first-party data and prepare the strategy in advance;
- Collect your customer data and create your ID graph;
- Employ advanced tracking solutions;
- Collaborate with first-party data providers;
- Rely on incrementality tests;
- Stick to brand metrics;
- Try probabilistic attribution tools.
Most techniques are easier to adopt when new technology and dependable SaaS are available. Consider Affise – our technology supports probabilistic attribution, SKAdNetwork integration, server-side tracking and may function as a data hub. Cookieless is the way to go, and preparing for it before it becomes official seems like a great plan!