Seamlessly navigate the deprecation of third-party cookies with Adobe Real-Time CDP Connections

Seamlessly navigate the deprecation of 3rd party cookies with Adobe Real-Time CDP connections

Understanding the customer experience (CX) is pivotal to the success of every business. Making informed, customer-first decisions improves loyalty, customer retention, and brand advocacy. Businesses can see substantial payoffs for prioritizing great customer experience, including price premiums of up to 16%, according to PwC.

What’s more, 63% of customers are willing to share more information for services and products they value. On the flip side, research shows that one in every three customers is never likely to return if they’ve had a bad experience. However, with the right technology and proper focus on customer experience, the business and customer can mutually benefit by finding a solution that can satisfy both — customer privacy and data needed for better experiences in a cookieless world.

The role of cookies in shaping CX

Since the late 1990s, marketers have been relying on third-party cookies to track online user behavior for targeted advertising at scale. These cookies are used in cross-site tracking to collect data on customers’ online activities, including article views, ad clicks, product views, and much more.

By tracking users between websites, advertisers can serve personalized ads to them. This level of personalization results in a better customer experience, improved lead generation, and better conversion rates.

As the name implies, third-party cookies are cookies set by other websites — not the website a user is currently on. For example, when a user clicks social buttons or ads on a website, cookies from those social networks or brands get stored on their computers.

Social networks such as Facebook and Snapchat and ad platforms like Google Ads can access these stored cookies to see and track user activity across websites. These networks also use cookies to collect user data for behavioral targeting.

While third-party cookies help personalize experiences, there is growing backlash over privacy concerns. Governments and regulators have been pushing brands to notify users of the presence of cookies, the data they collect, and how this data is used. This has led to the passage of regulations like ePR, GDPR, and CCPA to create penalties for brands that fail to comply.

This strict regulatory environment has triggered the cookie apocalypse, which has highly impacted advertisers and marketers who have been relying on them for decades.

The shift toward privacy

Despite the benefits of third-party cookies, they have the potential to be invasive due to the lack of guardrails on how the collection is used. Cookies may create security and privacy concerns, especially when users are being tracked on websites related to health, finance, and other sensitive materials. Consequently, modern users demand greater privacy and control over their data, fueling the birth of data protection and privacy laws, such as GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive. Given the large amount of data cookies can collect, brands and ad networks can have enough information to potentially identify a user without their consent.

Without regulation, cookies would gather an incredible amount of user data including identifiable information like gender identity, medical history, sexual orientation, and even political affiliation. Even more troubling, this information can be linked to real names — which is why there are growing privacy concerns with third-party cookies.

The cookie crumble is inevitable, and businesses need to be prepared. In 2020, Google first announced the phase-out of third-party cookies, promising to provide a private alternative by 2022. Evidently, this transition hasn’t been as smooth as anticipated, forcing the tech giant to delay the phase-out by another two years.

Google’s rivals like Safari, Brave, and Firefox have already phased out third-party cookies — Safari did so in 2017, followed by Firefox in 2019. However, Google is still the largest player in the browser market, commanding about 63% of the market and generating $53 billion from advertising in 2021 alone.

Google is now planning to phase out third-party cookies by 2024. This timeline push has created turmoil in the marketing world, especially within advertising agencies. Most marketers are concerned about the efficacy of their campaigns moving forward.

Google’s phase-out will turn off the data taps leveraged by marketers, and this completely redefines the advertising landscape. Customer experience will be watered down, crippling advertisers’ ability to deliver meaningful and targeted ads while impacting their bottom line.

Luckily, hope is not lost. Marketers are already scouting for alternative solutions, including shifting to first-party cookies and increasing their budgets for contextual advertising. About 23% of marketers plan to invest in email marketing software, while others wait to see new industry solutions that might pop up.

Simplify API management with Adobe

With the anticipated third-party cookie deprecation, the immediate trend will likely be a move to first-party cookies, which aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. First-party cookies are used on a single domain, and they don’t share data with other websites or advertising partners, so advertisers and brands will still be able to capture customer data on their sites.

Meta, Google, Snapchat, and others have developed their own conversions APIs as an alternative. Conversions APIs help decrease reliance on cookies, and they use durable identifiers to enable optimal ad personalization, measurement, and optimization.

However, the implementation of conversions APIs remains a significant challenge. These APIs are server-side tools. They’re complex solutions as they are often difficult to implement and manage without the help of developers.

Utilizing a server-side solution like Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform Connections is the solution to complicated APIs implementation. It creates an easier process of curating customer data into individual categories for convenient marketing.

Adobe has partnered with Google, Snapchat, and Meta (among others) to create extensions within Real-Time CDP Connections. Brands can use these extensions to seamlessly connect to the conversions APIs, eliminating extensive coding and maintenance. This method allows for effective and reliable data sharing without worrying about connectivity problems or browser crashes.

Seamlessly connect to server-side solutions

With Real-Time CDP Connections, we’ve changed the game by providing marketers with easy-to-use and affordable tools to collect, enrich, and send consumer data. Using a server-side approach, Real-Time CDP Connections can quickly and efficiently provide marketers with accurate data to help marketers better understand their consumers and future customers.

As the landscape for data collection has changed with cookie deprecation, it's imperative to streamline all your behavioral data and manage it efficiently to send it to the right destinations as quickly as possible. With Real-Time CDP Connections, companies can implement our Adobe tag (alloy.js). Then, using the Adobe Edge Network rather than your own servers, you can collect and forward your data quickly and efficiently.

Before cookie deprecation, marketers could rely on easy-to-install pixels and tags that track consumer data when they click from the advertisement to the website. However, with ad blockers and special privacy browsers, the associated clicks fail to populate the original data source. Facebook, Google, and Snapchat have focused on conversions APIs, allowing marketers to convert data by tracking a conversion or enhancing insight on a conversion with durable identifiers, and then the data is sent to an endpoint (Facebook, Google, Snapchat, or another platform) through extensions. But these conversions APIs are difficult to install and maintain — especially if you have multiple advertising platforms.

Real-Time CDP Connections can help businesses by forwarding valuable data from ad conversions on essential marketing platforms allowing marketers to determine attribution credit from ads. For example, when an advertisement for your company launches on Facebook and you want to track the data from customers who interact with the ad. If someone clicks on the ad and then signs in on the company site via the email address they use to sign in to Facebook, a conversion event occurs. All the conversion event data is tracked (customer ID, email address, and other metadata) and sent to Facebook in milliseconds by the Adobe Edge Network. Facebook then uses deterministic matching to link the email addresses the customer uses to sign in to the brand’s site and their Facebook account. This optimizes the campaign and gives the attribution credit to Facebook as it was the primary source of the conversion event. The same process for gaining higher accuracy of attribution credit can be applied to ads promoted via Facebook, Google, and more. In turn, Real-Time CDP Connections allows marketers to better understand the success of their ad creatives.

Real-Time CDP Connections focuses not only on providing solutions to data collection but doing so quickly and efficiently. With customer experience at the forefront of marketing, marketers need data in real time and accurate data tracking. With quicker response times, you can get your attribution results fast and plan future advertisements or troubleshoot customer issues efficiently to provide positive customer experiences. Real-Time CDP Connections allows marketers to collect, transform, enrich, and deliver data in seconds. The Adobe Edge Network has been optimized with nine edge servers worldwide that are strategically and geographically placed to ensure quick speed and performance within the data collection and conversion process.

Marketers can deploy the tag management system on a website through Adobe that captures form data and sends it to the Adobe server, but most marketers need more than form data. Real-Time CDP Connections users can add on additional data from a non-Adobe endpoint. Then the data can be simplified, organized, and enriched within the Adobe server using sequential rules and conditions. For example, the second rule or condition cannot happen without the data point meeting the requirements of the first condition.

When handling so much data on a day-to-day basis without proper systems in place, it can be challenging to stay organized — leading to costly slowdowns, inefficiencies, and mistakes. We’ve made it a priority to ensure detailed organization throughout the process allowing for easy access to transfer data on the fly. Real-Time CDP Connections can help you optimize your data without reducing the volume of data you’re taking in while reducing manual labor and increasing efficiency. With the Adobe Edge Network, you can use filters allowing you to organize the data efficiently (including options for coding JavaScript conditions for coders). This allows you to forward data to external locations in a way that is unique to your company so you can ensure that you’re collecting and storing the data that is right for you and your business.

Your business has the ability to harness the streamlined data turning data points into connections and transfer those connections to destinations by using the power of using a server-side solution to transfer data in this cookieless world, giving you valuable insights used for informed business decisions.

Find out how this solution can benefit your business. ‎Request a demo today.