Big privacy changes are coming to the internet, led by two of the biggest tech giants: Google and Apple. Google announced that they’ll be saying goodbye to third-party cookies by the end of 2023, and Apple introduced their new Mail Privacy Protection feature, all with the intention of meeting customers’ rising expectations regarding the use of their data. With these changes on the way, it’s important to know the value of personal data and the importance of privacy that comes along with it.
What are cookies?
Cookies, specifically third-party cookies, are a way for companies to track your internet browsing history. This tracking helps to build a profile of your likes and interests based on the sites you visit, and in turn, you receive ads based on that information.1 This shift will mean a big change in the way advertising is done, but it shouldn’t be the only way to understand your consumers and drive relevant content.
Let’s get personal
There are a lot of benefits of having access to user data, such as higher quality personalization, more relevant content, and ultimately the ability to help consumers make a more informed decision. But this process of using and harnessing data must be done correctly to ensure you remain a trusted brand. That includes respecting privacy laws and regulations, and being able to choose when and what data is shared.
What does this mean for businesses?
First-party data, which is information given directly to a business, is important in helping you learn about a customer’s wants and needs. Google has explicitly said that “once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”2 This allows these tech giants to stay at the forefront and be the gatekeepers of data.
If you’re a business owner who relies on third-party cookies, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find the right target audience for your product.3 There will be an array of solutions that will begin to pop up. As one promising alternative, Google is introducing its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which they say is a “privacy-first” and “interest-based” advertising technology. This means that users will be placed into “cohorts,” or categories, based on their browsing habits, and from there advertisers will be able to target their ads to these cohorts, rather than to specific individual users.1
Though other browsing platforms have already started the fight against third-party cookie mining, they aren’t exactly in favor of FLoC. Going cookie-less will be a shift in how customer data is collected and used—it will force businesses to adapt where they’re collecting their data. They will have to instead start leveraging email marketing, reviewing their social media insights, or working on a way to get first-party data.4
Our personal solution
At ERGO, we think it’s important to make connections with your customers firsthand and treat their privacy with respect. Being able to give your customers the best experience possible with the data they choose to provide is what makes their online experience worthwhile. With our Personalization Engine, we want to harness the power of consumer data to deliver personalized, 1:1 experiences across the entire email journey.