If you are a B2B marketer, you may be aware of ongoing changes in privacy regulations – including the implementation of GDPR in 2018, the recent release of TCF V2.0, and Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies by late 2023. These changes bring with them potentially far-reaching consequences for the digital ecosystem, its users, and how we interact with the internet as a whole. For B2B Marketers, these changes mean you must ensure your tech stack and MarTech suppliers use technology that is future-proofed.
Written by Jon is the Founder and Chief Product Officer at Cyance. With over 30 years of experience at the confluence of sales, marketing and tech, Jon drives the innovation within our platform that results in capital efficient growth for our customers.
All of the ongoing changes in privacy regulations can be traced back to 2017, when The Guardian first published an article on the dangers of third-party cookies. The article described how a journalist and data scientist, in the interest of testing how safe our personal data truly is, created a dummy marketing company to secure the third-party data of more than three million users. They were able to de-anonymise many users and access their personal data. In essence, they asserted that ‘anonymous’ browsing data could be easily exposed. This incident has since had a seismic impact on cookies and the world of data privacy.
What are cookies?
A cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and stored on a user’s computer by their web browser. It is used to identify users and track their browsing activity – site owners can use platforms like Google Analytics to glean insights into user behaviour from this data, as well as to create targeted ads and provide a more personalised online experience.
Cookies are a good way to source data and build user profiles, with third-party cookies – cookies created and tracked by websites other than a company’s proprietary website – an important part of digital advertising. But with browsing platforms and companies like Google slowly moving towards eliminating third-party cookies altogether, marketers will have to come up with new ways to gain consumer insights and reach their target audiences.
Why are third-party cookies being phased out?
Privacy has come to the fore in recent years, with users demanding transparency, choice and control over who tracks their online behaviour and how their data is used. As a result, regulators have pushed for more privacy-preserving laws. One of the main concerns raised is how publishers and advertisers have followed data practices or relied on technology, specifically cookies and tracking, in ways that void user trust.
Google has said that in 2023 it will remove third-party cookies and replace them with a set of open standards to enhance privacy. This means two things: some platforms and providers might end up losing a lot of online behavioural and intent data, and marketers may have to change their advertising strategies significantly.
How is Cyance future-proofed?
Our platform has always led the charge towards a world where sales and marketing messages are relevant, well-timed, and offer real value to audiences – we’ve done this by providing our customers with privacy-friendly intent data. Indeed, Cyance is one of the few Intent data and account-intelligence platforms that is entirely GDPR compliant.
And we have continued our mission to be at the forefront of industry changes by working closely with our data partner ecosystem for over two years to build audiences that are not cookie-based, but instead synced with a unified identifier.
We’ve long held the belief that third-party cookies are inherently inefficient for identifying and engaging with users. By comparison, unified identifiers come with a number of significant advantages, including:
- they are future-proof and won’t be phased out by browsers
- they are GDPR compliant and part of the industry transformation that is more customer focused
- they are more accurate
- they have a longer user identification period than cookies, making it easier to build and track audiences over time
- they work in an ‘omnichannel’ manner, which means we will eventually be able to track intent behaviour from newer channels like Smart TVs, wearables and more
We view this as the best way forward in order to guarantee transparency and data privacy while providing high-quality, accurate intent data.
As our journey continues, our platform will also help marketers to combine third-party intent data with first-party data in a compliant manner. This is data collected directly from visitors to your website or landing pages, so you know who from your best-fit list has interacted with or shown interest in your brand or online digital assets.