By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on OnlyInfluencers on 6/11/21
Privacy. Consumers want it (or at least say they do) and in many cases they feel that companies know too much about them and their activities. Admittedly, you can create surveys that will demonstrate how much consumers value their privacy and others that show how much consumers enjoy marketing that is actually relevant to them. So the results can be contradictory. Regardless, there is an inexorable march toward a more privacy centric world in the months and years ahead. In many ways, this will be challenging for marketing strategies and campaigns in virtually every channel. However, as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
This is certainly true for email marketers. While the upcoming developments in digital privacy will impact how email marketers target audiences and track performance, it also offers some intriguing opportunities to grow the channel and drive results.
While emerging initiatives around digital privacy continue to evolve, many of those changes revolve around a few key areas.
The End of the Third-Party Cookie
The third-party cookie has been painted with a big neon target for years. We’ve seen various browser plugins or software options that seek to limit the ability for third-party cookies to be accepted and stored on a user’s device (desktop, laptop, etc.) or that regularly go through and delete these types of cookies. So, it’s no surprise that the official demise of the third-party cookie may finally be on the horizon. Firefox began blocking third-party cookies by default in 2019 (although users can turn off the feature). Safari browsers fully blocked these types of cookies back in 2020. Chrome browsers are currently scheduled to phase out support of third-party cookies 2022. At that point, the vast majority of internet users will likely be using a browser that blocks these cookies by default (although there may be settings that allow users to turn off this feature).
Digital marketers have been adapting to this change for the past year or two, but it will still be a major development when third-party cookies become effectively useless for the majority of website users. This is where email marketing comes in. While marketers may have found ways to leverage third-party cookie data in various types of email campaigns, it isn’t a required part of email’s core functionality. So, while channels like display or video may have to find alternative ways to accommodate various types of performance tracking and targeting, email will continue with little or no impact.
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