Scroll for more

Navigating the cookieless web

Over the last 20 years we’ve seen the digital landscape evolve significantly to meet the challenges of new privacy and data protection regulations. Directives and regulations such as ePrivacy, GDPR and CCPA have led us to develop and adopt solutions for cookie consent, comprehensive data security, and effective user consent throughout the web. Marketers, now faced with the end of third-party cookies, must adapt again to make the most of the cookieless web era. 

For almost 30 years, third-party cookies have been integral for marketers in the identification and targeting of customers. As Google begin blocking third-party cookies in Google Chrome, marketing tactics like retargeting will become significantly less effective – if at all. For companies using retargeting as a bottom of the funnel tactic, likely in the B2C space, the impact cannot be overstated. But B2B marketers are not immune. Despite longer sales cycles, retargeting has been a useful top of the funnel channel, widely used for brand awareness. 

Dropping third-party cookies effectively means losing a significant source of data that marketers have relied upon for years. While there are alternative solutions, such as Google’s Topics API and Meta’s Conversion API, there is one that will prove more important than all others – first-party data.   

First-party data 

First-party data – the data you collect through user interactions with your website or app – has always been vital to crafting long-lasting and rewarding relationships with customers. Through understanding their customers’ interests and browsing habits, marketers can deliver highly personalised content in a format that they know works. The audience may be smaller, but customers are far more likely to engage with content that matches their interests and needs. 

For companies and marketers, improving the quality and quantity of their first-party data will be paramount in 2024. All companies should have a CRM or client database, but for effective direct marketing, that database needs to be up to date and full of useful data. Marketing strategies will focus on capturing customer data higher up the funnel, introducing a larger emphasis on capturing information-seeking leads. Many will also take the leap into advanced data solutions, such as CDPs (Customer Data Platforms), to collate, integrate, and analyse extensive user data from multiple sources and marketing touch points.  

Regardless of the approach marketers take to improving and using their marketing database in the post-cookie world, there will be a shift in the digital experience. With more companies relying on data capture tactics, more websites will introduce user authentication, gated content, and progressive profiling to build a better picture of their customers. As this becomes the norm throughout the web, we expect users to demand greater value for the exchange of their data.  

Shifting user expectations 

GDPR, CCPA, and ePrivacy each changed the web experience in their own ways. Cookie consent pop-ups, double opt-in, active marketing consent and privacy controls became the norm in website and marketing, and users have grown familiar with their presence online. As the end of third-party cookies is rolled out, user expectations will again change in line with the web experience.  

First-party data has always been vital to businesses, but early internet marketing allowed companies to reach totally new and ideal customers relatively easily. In the modern era, with privacy at the forefront of user demands, first-party data is more valuable – and difficult to obtain – than ever before. Being increasingly informed about privacy and living in a world of near-constant marketing messages, audiences know how valuable their data is. In exchange, they demand more transparency about how it is used, more value from sharing it, and more authentic relationships with the companies they choose to give their data to.  

Succeeding in the post-cookie world: our top 5 tips 

To succeed in the cookieless web, here are our top five tips for B2B marketers: 

  1. Capture more first-party data and do so in an authentic manner: find ways to capture data authentically, ensuring a fair value exchange with your audience. Consider gating valuable content, hosting industry expert webinars, and introducing logins or members-only areas to your websites.  
  1. Craft strong relationships with your users: get the most of your first-party data by offering personalised experiences and tailor-made content, improving your relationship with users. Ensure your users’ data is protected and secure, and only ever used in ways you clearly and transparently informed them of when they consented to data processing.  
  1. Invest in technology: embrace technology such as CRMs and CDPs to effectively manage and utilise your first-party data for segmentation, personalisation, and continued value delivery. Web techniques such as progressive profiling also rely on the right technology stack.  
  1. Explore walled gardens and partnerships: venture into walled gardens like LinkedIn and seek out data partnerships with complementary businesses to expand your reach and enrich your data sources. 
  1. Embrace innovation: stay ahead of the curve by experimenting with emerging technologies like AI and machine learning to drive innovation in your marketing strategies. As Google’s Privacy Sandbox solutions advance, new options will become available or viable to B2B marketers, so it is important to keep abreast of the latest developments. 

As we navigate the cookieless web, remember that while the tools may change, the fundamentals of building meaningful connections with an audience remain constant. By adapting and embracing these changes, we can continue to deliver value to our customers and drive success in the ever-evolving digital landscape. If you have any questions or need further advice on how to navigate the cookieless web confidently and efficiently don’t hesitate to get in touch – at BDB, we can help you kick-start your journey to a more privacy-centric, data-driven future. 

Get in touch

Use the form below to send us your details and message and one of our team will get back to you as soon as we can.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.