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Preparing for online advertising in a cookie-less world.

Introduction

According to Modor Intelligence, “The Online Advertising Market was valued at USD 304.0 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 982.82 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 21.6% over the forecast period 2020 – 2025”.

These huge numbers could, amongst other factors, be attributed to the growth and efficacy of online advertising, which relies heavily on third-party cookies, to thrive.

First Party cookies allow for storage of customer data and analytics, directly by the website being visited, (such as language settings), to make for a better browsing experience; while Third-party cookies as the name implies is created by another domain other than the website being visited to enable cross-website tracking, retargeting, attribution and ad serving.

Cookies have driven advertising effectiveness and efficiency exponentially, making sure that every dollar put into marketing is well spent and yields a significant ROI.

Why Are Cookies Going Away?

Simply put, third-party cookies are a huge threat to data privacy.

In the last few years, there has been a growing attention to data privacy and security, with stringent rules on consent for data storage and usage by regulatory bodies such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the (CCPA) California’s Consumer Privacy Act and the indigenous NDPR (Nigerian Data Protection Regulation) issued in 2019.

The reason for this is not far-fetched, data breaches caused by cyberattacks are increasing in size, and sophistication as well as cost. Consumers, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly aware of their data privacy rights and the fact that brands collect their personal information online and offline, all thanks to privacy advocates(or not). In a survey conducted by Terragon in 2020, 85% of the respondents indicated that they were aware that their personal information was collected through their online activities.

This has led to more people using ad blockers, which ultimately threatens both the success of online advertising and the economic model of publishers who depend on ad revenue.

In response to these privacy concerns and regulatory pressures, browser developers have moved to end support of third-party cookies. Already, Apple’s Safari and Firefox’s Mozilla have blocked third-party cookies from their browsers. Google has also announced that by 2022 it would have completely ended support of third-party cookies from its Chrome browser which is used by nearly 64% of browsers, globally.

What does this mean for online advertisers?

The death of third-party cookies means that Brands (Advertisers) and their ad agencies (who help them execute on their marketing plans) will no longer be able to “track” customers and serve personalized ads to them in the same way.

This poses an enormous threat to the performance and returns on their already constrained marketing spend.

Way Forward – own and consolidate first-party data with a Customer Data Platform (CDP).

The Terragon CDP has been uniquely built to aggregate your customers’ data from various sources – online (web) and offline (phone), and enrich it from a rich data lake of over 108m profiles to create a unified profile of your customers.

Beyond offering visualisation of who your customers are, the CDP allows Brands to gain actionable insights on their customers and reach them “intelligently” via a unique omni-channel approach ie on the web and on their phones.

For instance, the CDP can place customers with smartphones in a particular bucket, allowing you target them (rather than feature phone users) with services related to app usage.

All these are done within the CDP under the strictest forms of data privacy measures to ensure compliance. Data is fully anonymised and encrypted.

This solution fully supports Brands’ marketing efforts by guaranteeing steady returns on marketing spend, reduces churn and enhances lifetime value of customers.

Intelligent reach with Terragon CDP +Facebook Conversions API

The Facebook Conversions API, which is available on the Terragon CDP is “designed to help businesses maintain data privacy while delivering personalized experiences to their customers without relying on browser-based tools like cookies.”

With an estimated $102.66 billion spent on social media advertising in 2020 (about 84.17% ($86billion) was spent on Facebook), the conversions API ensures that Advertisers are still able to track their consumer’s journey to conversion, even without cookies.

Benefits of the Facebook Conversion API

  • Full funnel visibility: offers businesses the ability to track a wider variety of data that is currently captured by Pixel. This gives businesses full-funnel visibility.

    What this means:
    To track ads across platforms, Advertisers typically employ the use of pixel (for web) and the Facebook mobile SDK (for mobile). However, this results in tracking in “silos” or sometimes loss of customer footprint (as cookies have already been disallowed on certain platforms e.x. Safari (Apple) browsers. But with the Conversions API, you can aggregate the signals from both platforms rather than separate and have a holistic view of your customers’ conversions journey, which then feeds back to the CDP, enriching your Customer Data.

  • Accurate data sharing: data sharing through Conversions API is more accurate than other methods; businesses don’t have to worry about data getting lost because of a browser crash or an ad blocker.
    What this means:
    Browser-based data sharing is subject to network availability. If the customer has an ad blocker enabled or deletes browser and cookie history, events or conversions would not be sent properly to Facebook.
    We are familiar with cases of customers completing transactions on a website but it does not reflect on the Website owner’s end.
    The Conversions API eliminates these instances of browser limitations as events are sent directly to Facebook bypassing the browser.

  • Enhanced Data control: Conversions API gives businesses more control over what they share. That means businesses that implement the Conversions API in lieu of Pixel decide what to share and when to share it. By contrast, Pixel sends all events in real-time.

    What this means:
    Data sharing (using cookies and pixels) are triggered by customer actions, who do not have much control over what information is being sent to Facebook. But with the Conversions API, Advertisers choose what and when to send back to Facebook.

    This form of Data control also helps to optimise ads. For instance, you run a campaign and find that a certain percentage are better leads than others, rather than send all leads for retargeting as previously was the case, you have the option of analysing the data received, finding your most valuable customers who are most likely to give a better chance of converting and sending these back for retargeting, thereby saving costs and improving performance on Ad spend.

Through the Terragon CDP integration, Brands will be able to send information about customer events happening on their website, CRM, and other information databases directly to the Facebook server-side API.

This means that if the customer is identified and targeted based on specific criteria by the Terragon CDP and visits a website but does not take a desired action, this is conveyed back to the CDP and the customer can be retargeted on Facebook via a lead magnet in a Facebook Ad; and when they eventually convert, this is transmitted back to the Brand’s CDP; allowing data flows to be captured realtime and added to the unified, holistic customer view.

With this solution, the Terragon CDP and Facebook can create stronger, laser-focused campaigns that can drive conversions more effectively.

At Terragon we’ve made it easy for our existing clients to access and use Facebook’s ConversionAPI. The onboarding process can be completed in a matter of days by our expert team, and you can be ready to run and monitor campaigns within a week.

It’s important to note that Terragon is the only CDP Company in Africa equipped with theFacebook Conversions API! You can find us on this Facebook list.

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