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For years, cookies have been the backbone of online advertising and data tracking, allowing websites to remember user preferences, track user behavior, and deliver personalized content. However, with the growing concern over data privacy, cookies have become a major source of controversy, prompting web browsers to phase out their use. This shift towards a cookieless future will have far-reaching implications for both users and businesses. In this blog, we will explore what this means and how it will impact the way we browse the web.

What are Cookies, and why are they used?

In layman’s terms, cookies are small files that are stored on a user’s device when they visit a website. They are used to remember user preferences, login information, and other data that can enhance the browsing experience. Cookies are also used to track user behaviour across multiple websites, allowing advertisers to deliver targeted ads and analyse user engagement.

However, cookies have become a source of concern for many users and organisations, as they can be used to track sensitive information such as browsing history, location data, and other personal information. Additionally, cookies have been linked to data breaches and other security issues, leading to increased scrutiny from privacy advocates.


What is the “Cookieless Future”?

To address these concerns, web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari are moving towards a cookieless future.

Google is giving their users more control by eliminating third-party cookies entirely in their browser, Google Chrome. This will have a significant impact on the search engine market, and therefore marketers, as Google has an undeniable monopoly – with a share of over 93%.

Alongside this with another major player, specifically in the mobile/tablet space, Apple. Their release of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, which requires users to opt-in to tracking across apps and websites, has led to a significant drop in the amount of data available for ad targeting. According to data from AppsFlyer, opt-in rates for ATT are around 25%, indicating that many users are choosing to opt-out of tracking.

This means that cookies will no longer be the primary method of tracking user behavior and delivering personalized content.

Instead, new technologies such as machine learning, contextual advertising, and user consented data sharing will be used.


What are the Implications of the “Cookieless Future”?

The cookieless future will have significant implications for both users and businesses. For users, it means that their online behaviour will be less easily tracked, giving them more control over their personal data. However, this may also mean that they receive less personalized content and ads, as websites will no longer have access to their browsing history and preferences.

For businesses, the shift towards a cookieless future means that they will need to find new ways to target users and measure engagement. This may require them to invest in new technologies, such as machine learning and contextual advertising, and develop new strategies for collecting user data. It may also mean that businesses will need to rely more heavily on first-party data, such as email lists and user accounts, to deliver personalized content and ads.

survey by BCG and LinkedIn revealed that almost 40% of marketers have experienced a damaging impact on their activities due to the changes, and 56% anticipate difficulties in the year ahead.

Ultimately, they need to adapt to it – both quickly and effectively, while alternatives are being developed and pursued.

Overall, the cookieless future represents a significant shift in the way we browse the web, and it will require both users and businesses to adapt. While the full implications of this shift are not yet clear, it is clear that data privacy and user consent will play a much more prominent role in the future of online advertising and browsing.


How does is affect Lead Generation?

Traditionally, cookies have been used to track user behaviour and identify potential leads based on their online activities. However, with the shift towards a cookieless future, businesses will need to find new ways to identify and cultivate potential leads.

One way businesses can adapt is by investing in first-party data collection methods. This includes collecting user data through email sign-ups, user accounts, and other forms of consented data sharing. By collecting first-party data, businesses can gain insights into user preferences and behaviours without relying on third-party cookies.

Another way is by using machine learning algorithms to identify potential leads based on contextual data. This includes analysing user behaviour on their own website, as well as analysing user behaviour on other websites using contextual signals such as search queries and site content. By using machine learning algorithms, businesses can identify potential leads based on their interests and behaviours, even without access to their full browsing history.

Ultimately, the cookieless future is likely to make lead generation more challenging for businesses. However, by investing in first-party data collection and using machine learning algorithms, businesses can still identify and cultivate potential leads in a privacy-conscious way.


Prepare for a “Cookieless Future” with Interlink

Preparing for this inevitable shift in the landscape is something we recognised early, building our Discover platform. Discover harnesses advanced AI to gain highly accurate internet data, and reconfigures its lead scoring (how a company rates for the sales readiness of each lead). This makes marketing leads qualified for sales, bettering the chances of conversion. And with 100% GDPR-compliant data, marketers can target genuine potential conversions, then work on Engaging and Converting them.

The cookieless future is almost here. To make sure you’re ready, partner with us – not only do we know how to navigate the elimination of third-party cookies, we’ll leverage the right data too. Find out more about our solutions by getting in touch with Interlink today.