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Personalized experience in a Cookieless world with Salesforce Marketing Data

Hey, have you heard the news that third-party cookies are going to be phased out, becoming a thing of the past. Firefox and Safari will not store them anymore – in fact, they already block third-party cookies by default, Google Chrome will follow this by the end of 2024 blocking third-party cookies forever.

If your marketing plan is reliant on third-party cookies for targeting, you’re going to have a difficult time at the end of 2024. So, it’s better to be prepared from the start.

In this blog you’ll find out what to expect, what you can do, and tips on how to best manage your tech stack accordingly.

The impact of ending third-party cookies

Let’s start with online advertisers. The ability to target anonymous website visitors based on their behavior will nearly be eliminated – Two primary examples are:

1. Retargeting

Consider changing your strategy if you’re retargeting past web visitors and showing them ads.

In the future, browsers will block both tracking pixels and third-party cookies, so retargeting will no longer work.

2. Behavioral targeting

A more sophisticated form of retargeting that’s also becoming more difficult. With behavioral targeting you could create social media ad campaigns to target people who had browsed an item without completing the purchase. This method has been used successfully by most e-commerce companies for years, delivering targeted ads to users who browsed the site but didn’t buy.

The revival of contextual ads

Rather than showing ads based on visitor activity, marketers will likely opt for contextual advertising.

A transition from anonymous retargeting to identity-based marketing

From a larger perspective, we will find that marketing transitions from first-party data to third-party data. You must see the opportunities in the cookieless world now.

Even though first-party cookies will not disappear anytime soon, they don’t allow us to create audiences for advertising. In order to accomplish this, we must turn our unidentified visitors into identified prospects. Visitors who submit web forms are no longer considered devices with cookies but rather real people with names, histories, preferences, and characteristics.

Identified profiles are used as a foundation for marketing rather than anonymous cookies. Your prospects can easily be segmented, targeted, and delivered messages via email, and other channels with marketing automation tools like Pardot/Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. It is even possible to retarget those users via search engine marketing and social media using Marketing Cloud Advertising Studio.

A unique aspect of identity-based marketing is its clarity because here the data is yours, you are responsible for it but still, it lets the prospect have a preference and decide how to use it, then you will be able to satisfy that request rather than relying on an external platform to handle that. As a marketer, you should foremost convince those anonymous profiles to identify themselves & give their permission.

Pardot First-Party Tracking

The tracking of web activity by marketing automation systems is heavily dependent on third-party cookies but we have great news for Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement users! Its first-party tracking suggests that web tracking is transferred from the go.pardot.com domain to your specified tracker domain.

There are two main advantages to this:

  1. Enhances confidence & clarity as tracking shifts from an external site to the first-party site the visitor is engaging with. 
  2. Get rid of outdated tracking methods to future-proof your tracking and reporting.

For those who are worried about data loss or duplicate visitor counts, Pardot’s first-party tracking is the best choice. It might require some implementation work, but It’s worth it. Consider these things before you transition in order to avoid data loss and duplication of visitors.

The Pardot first-party tracking process can be broken down into three steps

1. Activate first-party tracking from Pardot Settings > First-Party Tracking. 

It is recommended that you check all three checkboxes at the time of implementation in order to avoid any possibility of data loss.

Following success in all three steps, You can turn off third-party cookies and tracking.

2. Using “Domain Management”, you can update individual tracker domains for each default campaign you are running by clicking “Edit”.

3. In the third step, You need to update your new tracking code on your website. Place the tracking code generator in your website’s HTML source code Under “Domain Management”. Delete older versions of the tracking code to avoid creating duplicate visitor tracking.

Boost your marketing with “Customer Data Platform”

With “Customer Data Platform”, any marketer can run identity-based marketing like never before. Any identified individual can be included in the CDP for segmentation and omnichannel targeting, regardless of the channel of interaction.

Now that we’ve reached the end

It is easy to become overwhelmed as we have covered a lot of info on tracking and cookies. Take practical steps to ensure your coverage regardless of this. 

To get you started with relying less on third-party cookies, you might want to check the following list:

  1. Check your browser for cookies to determine which third-party cookies are being used by your website. In your browser’s list of cookies, If you can notice domains other than the ones you are currently on then they are the third-party cookies.
  1. If these third-party cookies no longer serve a valuable purpose in your marketing funnel then you can remove the tracking codes.
  1. Consider alternative advertising strategies if you heavily rely on third-party cookies in your ads. Contextual advertising may work for you, If you would prefer to track and retarget visitors then identity-based marketing is the best choice for you.
  1. In order to make an informed decision, you can always check whether your analytics and reports are based on third-party tracking before adopting new methods. In this case, you need to update them as well in order to prevent discrepancies and loss of data from occurring.
  1. If you wish to enable first-party tracking on your platform, you will need to manually update the platform’s preferences. As described in the Pardot case, first party tracking may need to be enabled manually.

References:

Abhilasha Dabral

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