How Intent Tactics Will Fare in a Changing Landscape – Part 2: The death of third-party cookies

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BY BEN LUCK, CHIEF DATA SCIENTIST

This blog is the second in a three-part series on the shifting nature of intent-based marketing (you can read part 1 here.) In this series, we’ll explore which intent tactics are falling to the wayside and which will continue to be effective.

 

No one quite knows when, but we all know it’s coming: The day when third-party cookies will be a thing of the past. If your business has been dependent on these convenient little trackers to identify potential leads, it may be about time for a strategy rethink — sooner rather than later.

It’s easy to understand why these cookies were so popular in the B2B marketing space for so long. Third-party cookies can track users across multiple relevant websites, creating a relatively thorough profile for potential leads. But what happens to a company when its favorite lead-gen toy is suddenly unavailable?

Why third-party cookies are going away

One word can sum up the reason why third-party cookies are falling to the wayside: privacy. New regulations and practices empower individual users to have more autonomy over who has access to their data and its use. This limits the effectiveness of cookies and points to a future when they may fall out of fashion altogether.

The push to end the third-party cookie is coming from multiple places — including some of the biggest names in tech. At the beginning of 2020, Google announced that it would be phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome by the first quarter of 2022. Google’s move puts Chrome behind Firefox and Safari, which have already blocked the practice.

The giants of Silicon Valley aren’t the only ones putting third-party cookies on the chopping block. Governments around the world are increasingly responding to calls for improved consumer data protections with new regulations. The state of California, for example, recently passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which requires companies to offer an “opt-out” option for cookies, kneecapping their reach. It’s expected that several other states will follow suit in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the European Union passed what’s called Europe’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). This not only requires companies to seek use consent to place third-party cookies but puts cookies into a category where they can be regulated further down the line. All of these changes make it unlikely that third-party cookies will remain a premier lead generation tool for much longer.

So, what’s next?

For B2B marketers who have become a little too dependent on third-party cookies, the months and years ahead may seem intimidating. Luckily, there are other options. For example, first-party intent signals offer precise answers and do away with the need for assumptions entirely — leading to accurate leads that are more likely to connect.

While most vendors have shored up their first-party lead generation efforts in recent years, few are creating insights without the use of third-party cookies entirely. The leader in this space? Contentgine. While other traditional players have cookies at the very heart of their business and tech stack, Contentgine has designed their workflow with a post-cookie world in mind.

At Contentgine, we take a unique approach, gathering first-party intent insights based on downloads from our extensive content library — more than 400,000 assets and still growing. As a result, users garner Content Cultivated Leads based on engagement with both their content and the content of their competitors. At no point in our process do we use cookies. That means that as the regulatory landscape continues to transform, we’ll remain entirely unaffected. 

The death of the third-party cookie will undoubtedly bring upheaval to some B2B enterprises. Savvy marketers, however, can sidestep the issue entirely by getting more of their intent signals from content syndication. Contentgine can help. For more information about how we create the best first-party leads in the business, go to https://contentgine.com/