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Cookie-Less Tracking, GA4, and Marketing in the Digital Privacy Age

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Cookie-less Tracking

Google Ads and Cookie-Less Tracking

  Digital Marketing is undergoing a change in thinking and has developed methods of Cookie-less Tracking. This change was due to increasing awareness of the value of consumer data as well as the power of personal information.

Google is releasing a Cookie-Less Chrome Browser to satisfy market pressures to respect digital privacy. Alongside this release is the new Google Analytics, GA4. 

  If you haven’t been able to follow along with the timelines, Google acquired the company DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. In June 2018, Google announced plans to rebrand its ads platforms, and DoubleClick was merged into the new Google Marketing Platform. DoubleClick Bid Manager became Display and Video 360, DoubleClick Search became Search Ads 360, and DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) became Google Ad Manager 360.

How will this affect digital marketing agencies? – 

 

  Advertisers may develop a new kind of relationship with customers with a few tweaks to their short-term approach and a longer-term plan that considers the reality that people are realizing the worth of their internet data. It can be based on open value exchange and trust.

What to Expect with Cookie-Less Tracking

  Do you currently own or manage a Google Analytics or Google AdWords account? If so, then by now you surely have seen the suggestions and recommendations to go ahead and transition over to the new Google Analytics 4. You may be wondering why the switch? Or what does this mean for you? We’ll explore the change to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), focusing primarily on the switch to cookie-less measurement. 

The ‘Cookieless Future’ And What It Means for Marketers

Ref: Forbes.com

  Google’s new Analytics is guaranteed to improve a lot for users, both on the consumer and business sides of the equation. A vital component of the switch is prioritizing privacy; therefore, they are adding a setting that allows you to turn off third party cookies. The reliance on first party cookies will allow Google to stay compliant with changing privacy laws, which are following the increasing consumer awareness of privacy violations and the monetary value of personal data. 

Other big companies like Apple are also moving away from cookies, signaling a trend that’s likely to shape the future of tech and marketing.

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How Will Tracking Evolve Without Cookies

Cookie-less Tracking Data

Google is going to use advances in machine learning to help fill in the gaps. This helps them create blended data, which is the combination of data from multiple major sources. 

Additionally, Google can simulate user data using the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). They use FLoC to group users together by perceived interests, based on common user history, Through the Google blog they have claimed that advertisers can expect to maintain 95% of conversions per dollar spent compared to cookie-based advertising. Of course, this can vary by clustering algorithm and the target audience.

Cookie-less Future Implications

This move by Google is intriguing, and solves the privacy concern, but at the cost of the precision a lot of people across industries have come to rely on it. First, Google will be defining the parameters of interest groups, and marketing will have to adapt to those definitions. Similarly, FLoC and other similar solutions imbue Google and other engines with a lot more power. Furthermore, we will have less hope of understanding how their system works, making it harder for us to capitalize on. Finally, we’re seeing a new trend with iOS14 and Facebook Ads, which is continuing here. We can’t track users across websites or between devices. This further reduces our precision and efficiency. 

In short, FLoC is an impressive counter to cookies that enhances privacy while still delivering the data we need, generally. But it isn’t perfect, and in that sense, it presents challenges and learning opportunities. 

Marketing Without Cookies with GA4

So, now we’re all asking what we can do on our end. It’s hard to approach, especially while the digital marketing space is facing new and uncertain regulations. 

GA4 is designed to deal with this issue by tracking User IDs instead of cookies. This maintains anonymity but allows GA4 to track them on your site. You can help Google Analytics by using a tag management system like Google Tag Manager. GTM creates a random ClientID on page upload, which can be used to track their behavior on-page. Of course, maintaining your existing Universal Analytics account and properties with GA4 helps you have the best understanding of your data. 

New Marketing with NuStream

The fast-paced world of digital media may be entering a new chapter amid increasing privacy concerns. This is daunting, but that challenge comes with opportunity for new, better successes. At NuStream, our experts keep current, delivering the best results for your company. 

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