If you use the internet, you probably notice that most websites have a pop-up banner prompting you to accept or reject cookies.
If you use the internet, you probably notice that most websites have a pop-up banner prompting you to accept or reject cookies. Most of the time, we hit accept so we can continue our reason for being there. Whether you love or hate it as an end-user, cookies play an essential role in digital marketing. But what does it mean when we accept cookies? Let’s look at website cookies, how they work, and how your nonprofit can use them strategically and appropriately.
A website cookie (aka HTTP cookie) is a small text file or piece of data collected and stored on your computer after visiting a website. The file, which contains a unique ID, allows websites to identify a person when they return to the site.
First-party cookies: These cookies are created and stored on a single domain–the website you are visiting. In other words, they do not get shared with third-party websites or marketing partners. Theoretically, these cookies improve and even personalize an individual’s website experience. An example of a first-party cookie is when you visit a site, and it remembers your personal data, such as a username or password.
Third-party cookies: These cookies are created on one domain but shared across all third-party domains with access to the tracking code. By storing and managing cookies, ad tech companies can deliver and track ad campaigns across various websites. Theoretically, these cookies track user activity and serve ads to consumers based on their browsing activity. An example of a third-party cookie is when you view a product on one website and get an advertisement for the same (or similar) product on a different website.
Users may hate them, and marketers may love them, but one thing is sure– the death of third-party cookies is inevitable. Many businesses have begun focusing more on consumer privacy, and by 2023 marketers will no longer have the opportunity to track and target consumers online using third-party cookies. While the end of third-party cookies creates more privacy for users, it creates a problem for marketers who rely on this data to develop campaigns.
Before Google cookies go away and take the last bit of third-party consumer data, marketers must be proactive and explore new strategies to reach their audience. Although Google proposed its Privacy Sandbox initiative to help marketers reach their target audiences without using as much personal data, it is crucial not to rely solely on it. One recommendation is to focus heavily on first-party cookie data. Analyze who interacts with your website and how they interact with it to determine their reason for being there. Identifying these behavioral marketing insights can help you enhance search engine optimization and website experience for users.