The Future of Cookies

If you have worked in the digital marketing industry, odds are, you have had your hands in the tracking cookie jar.  Whether you have had to implement tracking for a client or explain how cookies work to the new media intern, cookies have continued to be an integral part of your day to day responsibilities.  Let’s not forget to mention that cookies have also continued to play a vital role in providing conversion data.  Given the rise of privacy-related concerns as well as the increasing need to legitimize data based on identifying unique users across multiple devices, the question remains what exactly does the future hold for tracking cookies?

Many tech savvy web users are now voluntarily blocking cookies, because they do not want their user behavior to be tracked.  Other web users are unintentionally blocking third party cookies since the default web browser on their mobile and tablet devices automatically block these cookies.  Safari for mobile and Aviator for OS X Mac users are two examples of web browsers that by default currently prevent users from being cookied by a third party.  These browsers are highly secure and do not profile users based on past history.  Regardless of how the cookies are being blocked, there is likely a chance that your digital marketing campaign is missing a fraction of conversion data since users in the scenarios mentioned are not being tracked.

Digital software and tracking companies are recognizing this trend.  There is an ever-increasing buzz around cookieless tracking in the digital world.  One recent announcement from just this week provides details of the new Sizmek Device Intelligence capabilities which will be using AdTruth’s proprietary device tracking technology that allows one user to be tracked across multiple devices.  The announcement yields that the combination of Sizmek and Adtruth capabilities will provide between 10-25% more accurate tracking than using only third party tracking cookies.

With the continuing advancement of cookieless tracking technologies and the increasing difficulty to accurately track using third party cookies, I suspect that more announcements similar to the one from Sizmek will be on the way.  So, what should you expect as an online advertiser?  Although current cookieless tracking options are still in their infancy, you should expect a growing number of clients to become interested in being provided with more accurate conversion data as well as data that provides metrics for unique user behavior across multiple devices.  Don’t be the last one with your hand in the tracking cookie jar when it is empty and there are no more cookies anywhere in sight!

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