This is part of a three-part blog series that covers all that you need to know about cookies and the third-party cookie ban titled “Cookies 101: Bulletproofing for the 3rd party cookie ban”. In this second part of the series, we have our very own Director, Consulting & Client Solutions; Quinn; to share how Meiro CDP solves the third-party cookie problem. She covers key factors for a solution to the third party cookie ban, how browsers are shortening the lifetime of third-party cookies, how first-party cookies & first-party data is the way forward for marketing, how Meiro CDP solve the third party cookie problem, and other solutions out there for this third-party cookie problem.
You can watch the video or read the transcription below.
See the other 2 blog post to this series:
- How does the web cookies work & The future of third party cookies
- Case study: How a CPG brand solved the third-party cookie problem
Our other relevant cookie-related blog posts
A quick recap of what is a cookie
Just a quick recap, from the first part: The third party cookies as you know, follow you through one website to the next and this practice is basically going to be blocked by most of the browsers. The majority of the browsers are already blocking it. The year 2023 is when Google will finally put the nail on the coffin.
And right now, is the opportunity for businesses to really look into how they can continue to work within the new framework of users privacy to be at the forefront of everyone’s concern, but at the same time, still retain the ability to do marketing targeting and serve the relevant content to the users. And this is something we often discuss with our clients.
Are third-party cookie problems different in Europe, Asia & Middle East?
Oh, sorry I didn’t introduce myself – I am Quinn, the Director of Consulting & Client Services in Singapore for Meiro CDP. You might guess that data problems are my daily bread and butter. Our team does operate in APAC, Europe, and started a few projects in the Middle East – and these circumstances are shaping our product Customer Data Platform to be a sustainable solution for marketing and managing customer interactions basically anywhere. And part of this is also dealing with third-party cookies changes.
How to solve the third-party cookie ban? Customer-centric approach.
How can your business adapt in the future? I’d like to start from a more general point of view: the ability to track precisely at a user level is gradually going to be reduced. This has a massive impact on any brand, specifically on marketing and marketing strategy. Any brand focuses on 2 groups – current customers and prospective ones. With the first group, the right strategy is to put your customer into the center to build a solid relationship and loyalty. This approach is called customer-centric, which requires integrating data from different sources about your customers, products, and results of your (marketing) activities to be able to understand your customer.
This is where the Customer Data Platform comes in, to really unify all this data about your customers and business. You will get behavior, transactional and demographic data from every channel that you are managing (CRM, mobile app, website, customer care, etc.). The data is the key to understanding the context around how your customers are interacting and making decisions. CDP tracks the data given by the customers, the first-party data.
Browsers are not blocking 3rd party cookies completely
When I mentioned that the browsers are going to block third-party cookies, maybe calling it a “third-party cookie ban” is a little bit of a misnomer. It’s not so much about blocking, as the browsers are going to shorten the validity of these cookies. So in 2023, when Google is going to throw in the towel all third-party cookies are still going to be on the website. However, the expiry is going to be anywhere between three days and seven days to one month, depending on the browser. This very short duration will make one user a completely new person within a week. Imagine how messy the tracking will become.
First-party cookie & first-part data is the way forward
The trick with the first-party cookies is the longer validity. If you track first-party cookies on your website, you can prolong the validity by up to two years. It is incomparable to Google’s own cookie, Google Client ID, or another third-party cookie, which lasts, in general, a few days to a few months.
It’s even a bit stricter with Safari (see the Safari cookie restrictions here). We can see that Facebook pixel or third-party cookies have the expiry of just a few days to a couple of months in Safari. With first-party cookies, we are not going to know what the consumers dis before they come to our website, we are not going to know what they do after they go leave our website. And this then we don’t have any business knowing what they do, because that’s their privacy. And we need to honor that right. But what the consumers do on your website is something that is a valid and legit use case that you should be able to use.
How Meiro solves the ID problem caused by the third-party cookies ban
Essentially, it’s done by using our own SDK, which is implemented on the website. This SDK collects all the behavior data of the consumer coming to the website. The important thing is that this particular data – as we call it: the events – is sent to a server of the website owner. Meiro also stores and protects this data. All that is done by the brand itself.
Best in Class Identity resolution to know your customers
Meiro CDP also manages the process that’s called Identity resolution. Identity resolution is the precise matching of the relevant consumer data into one overview called Single Customer Profile. We match the data not only from the website but from other data sources the brand has, such as CRM for example. There is no third-party data involved, the brand is building 360 view of the customers to understand their needs and deliver them better offers.
When we compare 2 years of first-party cookies and the duration of third-party cookies – during the same time the consumers will already have been associated with hundreds of different Google Client ID (Google cookies) because they expire much faster. The consistent cookies from Meiro CDP are going to be able to keep a consistent profile (with a unique ID) and allow us to send the relevant IDs to any activation platform.
First-party cookies & Marketing activation
First-party in general will allow you to be able to send the data to other platforms and tools to be activated for internal purposes or marketing activation. Whether you’ll need to activate the data in Google ads or Facebook, with Meiro CDP, you’ll have the relevant ID to do so. See all the data sources & data destinations Meiro CDP can connect with.
Are there any other solutions to the third-party cookies problem?
Let me list here other solutions in the market, so you’d understand what options you have to solve this issue.
#1 third party cookie ban solution: Google’s Privacy Sandbox
Google’s Privacy Sandbox, which includes the federated learning of cohorts (FLoC). It is the ability to target and to serve ads, not based on individual consumers, but based on groups of people who are deemed to have similar interests. The Privacy Sandbox includes FLoC, as well as a few other APIs that has different functions. I must stress here, this solution is very new and basic
ally in its infancy and a lot can be changed during 2022. For example, not all browsers are required to comply. Look at the (most used browser in our team) Brave – a privacy-focused browser built on the infrastructure of Chrome – and yet, declined to implement this solution.
The approach of Google is absolutely right and kudos to them for trying to come up with a solution without targeting individual users on a personal level, but we will see if this is the best solution for future digital marketing.
Update: Google recently abandoned this idea of FLoC for a new concept called Topic API. Google is loyal to the plan to replace third-party cookies but proposing a new system for interest-based advertising. Topic API will assign users five interests per week based on their web activity.
- Topics API pinpoints five of your interests based on your web activity for one week
- Google will not include any sensitive information and will let you in Google Chrome to view, delete, or turn off this feature
#2 third party cookie ban solution: Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 (UID 2.0)
You probably have heard The Trade Desk Unified ID. This identity framework enables the same cross-site targeting as the third-party cookies but is a little stricter. The methodology is a little different here, it world by using a single-on to hash an email address with the consent into this unique ID that is used for tracking.
#3 third party cookie ban solution: Secure web addressability Network (SWAN)
The final one that we are going to talk about is SWAN, which stands for Secure wet addressability network. It’s not a technology, per se, but it’s more of a network in a common agreement. Imagine that you have a network of publishers and advertisers who agree to have the same, framework for how users are going to give consent for advertising and storing the data. So when a user such as yourself goes to one of these websites that belongs to this network, when you give certain consent, or when you withdraw your consent, it will be shared with the rest of the network.
Different approach to the same privacy conundrum. If you think about it as a marketer – you manage a website that should provide a very privacy-conscious solution to manage users’ data, and at the same time, provide a customized and personalized experience for these users. To be able to deliver that it is necessary to focus on first-party data – that is the way forward.
Let’s summarize my part from this series: third-party cookies are on the way out, it’s going to be severely limited by the browsers. And now is definitely the time to start with your first-party data repository. And on top of that, you will have to integrate your customer data with a very resilient solution to do a single customer view, meaning using the CDP in order to continue to provide a personalized experience to your consumers.