Unlocking the Power of Cookieless Attribution Models

3 Mins read

Attribution data helps you better understand the customer journey and pinpoint which ads made the biggest impact on their decision-making process. Third-party cookies, in particular, are a powerful attribution tool that allows you to engage in cross-site tracking and monitor every touchpoint between your brand and a customer. 

There’s just one problem, though: Third-party cookies are on their way out.

Be that as it may, business owners (and marketers) are nothing if not adaptable, and the news of the impending phase-out of third-party cookies has spurred the creation of cookieless attribution models. 

Below, we’ll discuss how you can tap into the power of cookieless attribution and thrive in a cookie-free world.

What Makes Cookies Disappearing So Important?

Everyone is scrambling in light of the news regarding the “death” of third-party cookies, as they well should be — it’s a big deal. 

For so long, businesses of all industries have used these digital breadcrumbs to track what people do online and figure out which of their ads lead(s) to the most sales, but given the increased concern surrounding tracking and its impact on digital privacy, third-party cookies are being wiped out.

First-party cookies are still in play, but people have to visit your site for you to use them, meaning they are not nearly as versatile as their third-party counterparts.

What is Cookieless Attribution?

Cookieless attribution is a new way of tracking user interactions that involves identifying the source of website traffic and determining the touchpoint(s) that led customers to make a purchase. Cookieless attribution technologies use a combination of first-party data, contextual information, and other insights to provide a holistic look at the customer journey. 

Strategies for Thriving Without Third-Party Cookies

Cookieless attribution represents a major overhaul of traditional attribution models, and in order to obtain accurate insights about your customers without third-party cookies, you’ll need to do the following:

Gather Data Directly From Customers

Without third-party cookies to rely on, you must start collecting information directly from your customers. Doing so can be as simple as asking them to fill out a form on your website or sign up for a newsletter. Make sure you are seizing every opportunity to gather customer data, but also ensure you’re not being pushy.

Make Your Ads More Relevant

As third-party cookies allow you to track and target customers across multiple websites with relevant ads, no matter where their browsing takes them, it’s going to be much harder to retarget customers without them.

You’ll need to target websites that are relevant to your user base. For instance, if you offer landscaping services, then advertising on gardening sites, home maintenance pages, or relevant blogs can help you get back to connecting with prospective customers. 

Prioritize Content

Create interesting and useful content that people want to engage with. It could take the form of how-to guides, informative articles, or even entertaining videos related to what you sell. 

Expanding your content offerings will help you reach a wider audience and generate brand awareness among prospects who may not even know your company exists. The goal is to provide your audience with something of value so you can get your message across. 

Talk to Your Customers

Engage with your customers through social media, emails, or surveys. Ask them what they like, what they don’t, and what they want to see from you. Many brands overlook communication, but there is no one better to tell you how to market to your audience than your customers themselves.

Embrace New Tech

Tech companies are always coming up with new, privacy-friendly ways to track marketing success. Keep your eye on these innovations and see if they can help your business.

Focus on technologies that align with your business model and preferred marketing channels. For instance, if you engage in over-the-top (OTT) marketing, make sure the platform you implement supports the practice. 

Take Chances

The last tip we can provide is to simply try different approaches to see what works best. Cookieless attribution is a new strategy, so everyone is still learning the ropes. Take the time and opportunity to experiment until you find a technique that resonates with your customers. 

In addition, as you try out new strategies, leverage established testing methods like A/B testing. It is a great way of comparing two assets and seeing which one your customers like best. 

Looking Ahead

Third-party cookies haven’t met their end just yet, but the future will be a cookieless-one, making now the perfect time to prepare. Adopting cookieless attribution technologies and strategies will ensure your business can continue to gather insights about the customer journey.

That said, you don’t have to navigate the cookieless world alone. Talk to your marketing team, connect with other business owners, and seek advice from experts. Most importantly, ensure you have the technologies in place to support your cookieless attribution strategy. 

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