Advertising without Cookies
Advertising without Cookies is the new normal. In April 2021, in an effort to increase user privacy, Apple implemented a new iOS software change that has disrupted advertising for mobile devices – reducing the ability to track where users are on the Web and between apps. Over 90% of Facebook marketing tends to be mobile-based, but the impact goes well beyond Facebook.
The iOS update prompts all Apple devices to opt-out of Apple’s cookie tracking, keeping ads from following you across the Internet. More than 90% of iOS users opted out, so unless a user gives explicit permission to allow an app, it can’t use their data for ads. Third-party cookie tracking soon after dropped from the majority of iOS devices opting-out. This significantly decreased the accuracy of conversion measurement, delaying reporting, shortening attribution windows, smaller retargeting audiences, fewer data breakdown points, and driving up costs.
Being forced to advertising without cookies, Facebook and every other marketing platform has been forced to develop new methods for tracking conversions (and driving up the cost per conversion in the process). Apple will only allow 8 or fewer measurable conversions per user. Web analytics metrics like “returning visitors” will start to become less and less reliable. Targeting metrics such as retargeting and behavioral retargeting at the individual level are being eliminated.
Marketing professionals will have to adopt new tactics to the changing landscape going forward. Some are turning to walled gardens to focus more on first-party cookie data, while others are optimizing more with contextual advertising, content marketing, and channel strategies. Ad experience will no longer be as personal. Essentially, any traffic data from an iOS app clicking thru to a Web page can not be tracked via pixel anymore.
Moving forward, we won’t be able to fairly compare campaign results from previous years. We can still know how many people see ads, and we’ll be able to measure how many people convert, but connecting the data to optimize around has become a huge challenge.
Implementing a quality CRM or CDP with professional marketing has never been more critical to driving online advertising by mapping out sales funnels for products and services. Focus more on delivering a better experience for users. Historical marketing trend data has become invaluable. For the time being, we can still track third-party cookies on Google Chrome, but in the long-term it is expected that third-party cookies will become fully deprecated online in favor of user privacy.