One of the many benefits of digital marketing is the ability to track and measure. Tracking has always allowed marketers to optimize the consumer experience and better understand behaviors to deliver more relevant messages. There are changes coming to how we track and measure online behavior, and you may have already heard about the “cookie-less future” and “updates to third-party cookies.”
First, let’s explain what a cookie is, what will change and how those changes will help automotive dealer in the US.
What is a cookie?
Technically, cookies refer to files or bundles stored on a user’s computer that hold data. They are two types of cookies
- First-party cookies are unique to a specific website, and user data can only be collected and activated on that one specific website.
- Third-party cookies are added to a device by other parties in agreement with the website they are visiting. Third-party cookies allow marketers to follow users around the internet to learn about their behaviors, and, in many cases, retarget them and build custom audiences.
As a marketer, the more we know about behaviors online, the more relevant ads we can present.
What is changing with third-party cookies and how it affects dealership marketing?
As consumers have expressed increased concern over personal privacy and data, and as new regulatory laws have been passed, companies have had to adjust. Apple sparked the beginning of the end when it started blocking third-party ad tracking to protect its users. Google followed suit, it is currently set to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024.The new changes to stop supporting third-party cookies are designed to benefit the consumer.
These changes will have a major impact, though audience size may decrease, audience quality will increase. Placing third-party tags all around the web, to make a bunch of guesses about human behavior, is a poor way to build an audience. This practice can waste time and money and is not very effective.
In reviewing many automotive data companies, there seems to be a lot of guesswork when building marketing audiences that are being resold. This system doesn’t help the car shopper or the marketer and can waste a lot of money — quickly.
And as you’re building out your audience strategy, there are some important questions to ask your potential conquest/big data partner. Make sure your potential partner can answer these questions with facts, stats and deep knowledge.
- How are you collecting or buying data?
- How are you activating on an audience?
- How are you identifying in-market car shoppers?
- How often are your consumer insights updating?