Why B2B Marketers Must Plan for a Cookie-less Future

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“Cookie not diet because Cookie is lifestyle. Also because cookie not very good diet”

 — Cookie Monster

It is not very often that we can take our marketing advice from Cookie Monster, my favourite Sesame Street character. Unfortunately, marketers became very hooked on a cookie-led diet of marketing.

First, What Are Cookies?

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Cookies are files that store pieces of data to identify website visitors. Marketers crave this information as it allows them to curate data about an unknown web visitor.

The benefit posed to website users is that it will improve the experience on those websites.

If I know you tend to frequent information about healthcare products, I can assume that you are in fact from a healthcare provider and thus the website can offer up additional content that will be more relevant to you.

The cookie allows the marketer to understand usage and behaviour, and in exchange, the visitor should get a better experience.

But there are also varying types of cookies — which plays nicely with the culinary cookie analogy.

First-party cookies, for example, are cookies that you accept when you’re on a website for that website’s use only — you have probably accepted one on the ON24 website.

Third-party cookies, by contrast, are cookies gathered for use in multiple purposes and across websites. These cookies allow companies to track your behaviour across the web-based on advertising.

Okay, What Is Happening With B2B Marketers Cookies?

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As much as people love cookies — both the treat and the tech — marketers need to prepare for a cookieless future.

That’s because big players in the technology industry are starting to move away from cookies and towards a more privacy-centric internet experience.

For example, Google announced in 2020 that it intends to remove third-party cookies in Google Chrome by 2022.

The concern over cookies has grown in recent months after Google announced that they wouldn’t be building a Cookie-replacement, but phasing out the way to track individuals across websites.

In sum: third-party cookies are going in the trash. All of the innovations out of this come in the name of consumer privacy and the demands of a future on digital media that is privacy-compliant.

How do marketers prepare?

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Easy: do everything and nothing at all.

If you’re a marketer that has programs fuelled by third-party data you’ve most certainly set up plans for the cookie crumbling.

However, if like most B2B marketers, you don’t have a marketing plan that is over-rotated against requiring this data — then you shouldn’t have any alarms going off.

Still, there are things that need to be considered.

Data privacy and compliance continue to be a trend for marketers. In recent years we’ve had our hands full with various regulations, including GDPR.

But, more importantly, first-party cookies remain and understanding your website visitors’ behaviour is critical. Just like understanding and acting on other first-party data signals that marketers are capturing.

So, there’s no need to throw out all your cookie recipes right now. Just keep Cookie Monster’s thoughts in mind and make sure your marketing mix is well balanced with a healthy mix of data sources.