Due to the problems they present for the privacy of users, it seems increasingly evident that the days of cookies are numbered. This is being seen with crystal clarity in Europe, where efforts to protect privacy on the Internet are being carried out more decisively.
Despite the reluctance of companies like Facebook –now renamed 'Meta'–, which are characterized by a predatory attitude towards their users' private data, large online platforms like Google and Microsoft are showing themselves to be much more open to accepting a necessary transition in which cookies will no longer be the main tool to offer targeted advertising during online browsing.
This is a change that will not happen overnight or uniformly around the world, but it seems inevitable, and it will presumably happen in the European Union before anywhere else. That is why Europe's marketing companies must be the first to prepare for a future without cookies, something that however they do not seem to be achieving for now.
Respect for privacy will become the norm
These changes respond to a context where concern about violations of privacy on the Internet is increasing considerably among the population. The continuous leaks that have been taking place on all kinds of online platforms, exposing the data of their users on the dark web and in other digital fields, have highlighted not only the fragility of our information on the internet, but also the great amount of private data that we give up without even realizing it when surfing the net.
Change of trend
This growing concern for our privacy on the internet has also resulted in the widespread adoption of various measures to protect our data. The increasingly frequent use of a VPN for Chrome , the uninstallation of invasive applications on smartphones, and the reluctance to use platforms that abuse our personal data , are proof of a change in trend that is already making its effects felt in companies like Meta itself, whose number of users first shrank in early 2022, leading to one of the biggest stock market crashes in history.
It seems clear then that any marketing company must adapt as soon as possible to a new reality in which Internet users will become much more suspicious when giving up their private data, and will find themselves much more protected by the legal framework than when exercising your right to protect this data. That is why it is necessary to redesign marketing strategies to incorporate alternative tools that allow mitigating the consequences of this paradigm shift.
The future does not pass only through the FLoC
One of the proposals that is gaining strength to replace cookies is the FLoC algorithm , which is becoming Google's main bet to solve the privacy problem. While cookies do an exhaustive individual tracking of the behavior of each user on the Internet – associating their personal data with each web page they visit, each application they use and, essentially, each click they make – what the FLoC proposes is the creation of generic profiles in an algorithmic way that allow the behavior of different users to be associated with different anonymous profiles , thus keeping the private information of individual users safe.
The user profiles created by the FLoC algorithm would be dynamic and continuously updated , being diverse and precise enough to function effectively, but at the same time preserving the anonymity of the users assigned to each profile and their specific behavior when browsing the Internet. .
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It is a great solution to be able to offer targeted advertising on all types of web pages and digital platforms , but it should be remembered that cookies are not only used for this, since, for example, they are also essential to be able to keep a detailed record of behavior of users on a web page. In this case, the FLoC can do little to help marketing companies, which will have to opt for alternative strategies to compensate for the loss of cookies .
Voluntary user participation, key to metrics
Combining the domain of FLoC with the use of strategies to stimulate the user communities of the companies with which we work will become essential if we want to continue keeping an efficient record of the behavior of their web platforms and their social networks .
Making an effort to encourage engagement and voluntary and continuous participation of regular customers –and even potential customers– of a company can allow us to obtain very relevant information about collective preferences when using its different platforms, their interest in certain products , and their reactions to each ad campaign.
In this sense, a more human, closer and predominantly bidirectional approach to our audience may be the real key that allows us to optimize our marketing campaigns and redirect them towards success.
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