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Crash Course: Cookies and how they help in marketing

You have clicked away the notifications countless times – the banner, which usually appears at the bottom of a web page and tells you that cookies are used on that platform. Often you don’t even read the message anymore, you just click it away.

There are many types of cookies, but the most interesting and controversial ones are third party cookies. Third party cookies collect a lot of useful information from users for advertisers, including:

  • Dwell time
  • Number of page visits
  • Movement of the user via links

The totality of this information provides a good picture of the user’s interests, as it is possible to track not only what the user is interested in within a domain, but across several domains. Third party cookies thus allow the creation of extensive user profiles so that advertisers can deliver exactly the right advertisements.

To give a rough idea of how much websites rely on third party cookie data, Digiday selected some of the biggest U.K. publishers and checked how many third-party cookies they use on their website:

But what are cookies anyway and how do they help in digital marketing? 

What are cookies? What are they used for?

Cookies are basically small text files that are stored on your device as soon as you visit a website. They record information about your visit to the site – they ensure that your shopping basket is saved on Amazon, even if you have closed the tab in the meantime. Or that you stay logged in to Facebook and don’t have to re-enter your data every time you visit.

Therefore Cookies are like little info notepads for websites and are stored as files locally on the computer. These notepads remain stored for different lengths of time – they have an expiry date. Some cookies are deleted after a few hours, days or weeks. But there are also cookies that have no expiry date at all and are stored until the user deletes them.

How do Cookies help in Digital Marketing?

Cookies provide the necessary context in order to determine which content is particularly appealing to your target group. They are therefore particularly valuable for marketers. Even if visitors do not interact directly with your site (by filling out a form), cookies still provide data that is useful for collecting performance metrics. If a visitor fills out a form and does not delete the cookies that were collected before registration, the individual visitor history of search behaviour before and after registration is fully available. These cookies therefore help you learn more about the interests of your target groups. This in turn enables you to better tailor your initiatives to the needs of your customers. Especially when it comes to targeting your prospects and visitors on third party websites, tracking through cookies is highly relevant. It enables you to show the most engaged and warm audience the highest frequency of ads of specific retargeting ads, often used in programmatic advertising on the third party sites directly.

So how does Programmatic Advertising actually work?

How do I use Cookies legally?

Cookies are indispensable for web analysis and marketing efforts. They collect information that allows you to get to know your users better and help you to draw conclusions about user behaviour. This valuable data opens up many different possibilities for you. For example, you can make the right optimizations to your website, adapt the structure of your website and your products to user needs, increase user loyalty, expand your target group and deliver personalized content. With these measures, you can increase your conversions.

However, caution is advised when using tracking cookies. In order to protect your users’ personal data in accordance with the DSGVO, you require your users’ consent to the use of tracking methods. Therefore, if you set this type of cookie to collect, process and store corresponding analytics data, you need the consent of your users.

There must be an opt-out function on your website so that users have the opportunity to decide whether they allow tracking tools. However, it is advisable to use a Consent Manager, as you will then receive the active consent of your users for tracking and you can be sure that you act completely in accordance with data protection laws.

Cookie Take-away

Cookies do not always taste good – the recipe must be right!

In summary, cookies are useful and important. They facilitate and simplify browsing through the web. But you should not blindly accept all cookies. You have to know which cookies are useful and which ones reveal too much data. As a user, you should also take care of your own privacy. Be aware of which data you want to disclose about yourself in order to have a better user experience. On the part of the website operators and marketers, data protection should be observed. You should use Cookies cleanly and offer a corresponding transparency. Data protection does not exclude web analysis and personalisation. You just have to link the topics together in a smart and transparent way.

If you want to know more about website optimization and conversion, contact us here

Marketing Trends 2020

Marketing is an ever-changing field that never ceases to evolve. The industry keeps bringing new trends, and the year 2020 is no exception. As we enter the new decade, we researched the creative marketing trends that will shape the industry this year. The article shares three key trends that marketers can use in their practices and, as a result, improve the image of the product: experimental, sustainability, and transparency.  

Experimental 

2020 is a time to be bold and experiment with new marketing channels. Without a doubt, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook dominated the past decade, but it might be changing very soon. According to the CEO of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, LinkedIn and TikTok will potentially be the next Facebook or Instagram: “LinkedIn and TikTok are two platforms that are incredible for people starting out with no audience because of the amazing organic reach”. Gary explains that there’s no other platform that gives the brands organic growth for free as LinkedIn does. LinkedIn remains an empty platform and is seen more like a digital resume for recruiters, but media influencers continue to encourage people to try LinkedIn for their brands.  

TikTok is another platform that hasn’t been considered as an essential tool for marketing. For years, the TikTok brand name has been attacked because of the risk of safety and data protection policy. While TikTok is working on rebuilding the brand image, many known brands such as Chipotle, NBA, and The Washington Post are using TikTok for their creative marketing campaigns and expanding their consumer range. Compared to other known platforms, TikTok has a wider demographic of young consumers, also known as Generation Z. 

100% organic 

Last year, everyone around the globe witnessed the largest climate protest in history. 185 countries participated and gathered millions of people protesting to cut emissions and stabilize the climate. The Swedish school activist, Greta Thunberg, started to spread the message of immediate sustainability and inspired thousands of people to do the same. Many brands and industries such as Starbucks and Zara have also joined the movement by setting sustainability as the main goal of 2020. 

This year, the demand for ‘100% organic’, ‘free-from’, ‘made from recycled materials’ agenda will only grow bigger. People want to know more about the products they use and some brands have already started their new year goal by implementing sustainability in their products and use it for their marketing strategy. For example, this year, L’Oréal has decided to make products with less environmental impact and promote sustainability to their customers.

Sustainability will mostly impact the food products and the customers will be more likely to support the ‘100% organic’ food than fast-food chains. People want to be more considerate of what they consume, and many brands will need to rebuild the image of their product and promote a sustainable lifestyle. 

Transparency

Building trust with your audience is a major factor in any marketing strategy. In 2018, after the Cambridge Analytics incident, people were collectively reminded about data analytics and how brands use personal information to market their products. The scandal has raised the question of transparency between the customers and brands. 

Going back to Gen Z, the study shows that this generation will search for truth. The core value of any brand will become authenticity and transparency. McKinsey & Company shares that companies will need to focus on three major factors to build trust with the emerging population: “consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern”.

Since the implementation of GDPR, it has become even more important to be open and have a genuine interaction with the customers. At Blackmilk, our top priority is transparency and we believe that it should come first and foremost in every marketing plan. Explore our marketing solutions here or contact us directly and we’ll be more than happy to help you!

We hope these trends will help you succeed this year and bring more creativity and ideas to explore in the future. Happy new 2020!