The Cookie Crumbles: Google Announces Privacy Controls

Richard Jones Collect First-Party Data, Media & Publishing, Zero-Party Data

Google has shared proposals to boost consumer privacy by providing internet users with controls that can automatically delete cookie data.

While Facebook has been the lightning rod for front page stories regarding privacy breaches and dodgy data-sharing deals, internet giant Google has had problems of its own. Hefty fines totalling billions for breaches of EU advertising rules, coupled with data leaks that signalled the end of its social network Google+ have contributed to deteriorating consumer trust and the new era of privacy we now live in.

On Tuesday Google announced a range of privacy changes, and the increased restrictions on the use of cookies follow even more stringent recent changes by Safari and Firefox. The market share of Chrome makes this move both interesting and impactful for marketers. The two announcements that caught our attention were:

– Asking sites to identify what a cookie is to be used for (i.e. login or tracking)
– Making it harder for 3rd parties to track you without cookies (fingerprinting)

In the ‘coming months’ Google will begin requiring developers to use a cookie attribute that specifies what precisely a cookie is for. “This change will enable users to clear all such cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings,” Google says. “It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies so that users can make informed choices about their data.”

Therefore Google’s privacy pivot will arm browsers with the ability to see the third-party cookies tracking them across the internet, and then give them the tools to stop them. A win for consumers concerned about privacy, but a headache for advertisers who rely on third-party cookies as well as reinforcing the walled garden that is Google’s largely anti-competitive advertising dominance.

This ‘cookie limbo’ which the martech and adtech industry now finds itself in, is making everyone understand that brands need to dramatically and immediately increase their capabilities to capture and use first-party data in new ways, to power the relevancy of marketing messages and ads. The ‘cookie’ is well and truly crumbling….

For those marketers these changes needn’t be the end of times. Advertising can be powered from data that a consumer has proactively shared with a brand to deliver it. Not the form of creepy marketing and cookie tracking that has seen consumer trust rapidly erode.

The Solution: Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is the next step in rebuilding trust and engendering lasting and meaningful connections with consumers. Business analysts Forrester define it as a form of data intentionally and proactively shared with you by the consumer and never collected through snooping, cookie tracking or inferred through variables like device matching.

“Zero-party data is that which a consumer intentionally and explicitly shares with your company, and it is gold.” – Fatemah Khatibloo, Principal Analyst, Forrester

It is data your customer has willingly shared with you, like purchase desires and preferences to improve personalization and help build up a more complete picture of who they are. Helping marketers to build direct relationships with consumers, and in turn, better personalize their marketing efforts, services, offers and product recommendations with no guesswork. And marketers don’t need to sell their soul to Google to acquire it, they can deliver it through interactive experiences that collect preference insights, accrue opt-ins and deliver an altogether better experience with a tangible value exchange for the consumer.

4 Types Of Consumer Data

Offer A Value Exchange Instead Of Cookie Tracking

Consumers need to be entertained, engaged and receive something in return for their preference data. And by leveraging the right mechanics, and offering a value exchange, your customers will tell you what products they desire, what they look for in a service, and what motivates them to purchase.

“We need to use the data we collect efficiently, effectively and well, making sure we are trading something of value for the customer.” – Fatemah Khatibloo, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Whether an instant win promo, or product recommending quiz in a social story to name but a few, these experience types that can live on the largest screen, or the smallest ad placement incorporate incentive mechanics such as coupons, content, or prizes that quickly and easily collect zero-party data. Arming you with the information you need to make the right connections with your customers.



The Rise Of The Zero-Party Data Economy

Download our latest white paper to learn how collect preference data directly from consumers