Education • Smart Start: Stop Relying on Tracking Cookies • 6 MIN READ

Smart Start: Stop Relying on Tracking Cookies

Written by Maria Marchewka

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Smart Start: Stop Relying on Tracking Cookies

In this Smart Start, you’ll learn about tracking cookies, how mobile software updates are affecting email marketers, and how your brand can seamlessly navigate these changes while improving marketing effectiveness.

What are tracking cookies?

Imagine a cookie. You probably see a perfect, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie being pulled apart, the chocolate oozing into gentle strings of delicious sweetness and steam carrying its unmistakable scent upward.

Sorry - we’re not talking about those cookies. If your mouth’s watering now, ours are too.

What we are talking about are the kind of cookies that keep track of online visitors. Tracking cookies are a small text file that’s stored on a person’s web browser.

When you visit a website, the site developer likely created a script (or coded instructions) to create the text file that’s added to your browser. From there, the cookie goes with you and leaves crumbs along the way that advertisers and marketers can use to influence their strategies.

Unlike the delicious cookie we described before, these cookies tend to get a bad reputation because they’re seen as intrusive. And because many people believe there’s a lack of transparency in how these cookies are actually being used, it can leave a bad taste in the mouths of the consumers.

BUT not all tracking cookies are bad.

Let’s say you’re doing some online shopping. You’ve added a few items to your cart, do a bit more browsing, and click from page to page. What keeps all the items you’ve put in your cart stay there while you jump around the site?

Cookies. Not only do they make it easier to shop online, but they also improve the user experience as a whole. Cookies not only keep track of what you’ve put in your cart and even what you’ve previously purchased, but they help the brand use that information to present you with a curated list of products you might like to buy based on your past purchases and interests.

Of course, if cookies seemed as helpful and innocent as we’ve just explained, we wouldn’t be writing this Smart Start. And the reason we came up with this topic in the first place is that we’re seeing a shift in the way cookies are being used.

Cookies in nature aren’t bad. But the way advertisers and marketers have used them in the past has given them a bad reputation.

So … should you use tracking cookies or not? Let’s explore how the tracking cookie is changing, how you could use this technology for your business, and most importantly, what alternatives exist to help you engage and build relationships with your customers.

Educational Resource Smart Start: Stop Relying on Tracking Cookies

Software updates & marketing: What’s the connection?

For many years, advertisers were handing out tracking cookies like Oprah handing out cars. You get a tracking cookie! And you get a tracking cookie! Everyone gets a tracking cookie!

Whether consumers knew it or not, they were being watched.

Every click. Every page. Every time.

Their main goal was to collect valuable information that would then influence their digital marketing strategy. It’d influence the words they used, the imagery they created, the platforms they advertised on.

Even though you can’t see them, cookies have been deemed intrusive because they don’t give the end-user any control over how their information is collected and used.

This leads us to the ongoing adjustments and updates that are in place to give users control over tracking cookies.

When Apple releases its software updates each year, advertisers and marketers alike scramble to absorb the information, measure its adverse impact on their strategies, and then plot their path around these problems accordingly.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a pattern that leads us to believe we’re inching towards a cookie-less landscape. It’ll be a world where the internet’s Big Brother will have less of a hold on our digital experience and the consumer will have more control over how their data’s used.

For years, email marketing has been an integral part of many brands’ marketing efforts. Companies track open rates, clicks, unsubscribes, and more. These key performance indicators (KPIs) were the checks-and-balances system that determined the effectiveness of their efforts.

But now, with new software updates, these KPIs have been upended as consumers now have the ability to provide “fake” email addresses and mask IP addresses that block third parties from tracking email opens and more.

If marketers can expect anything in this industry, it’s change. And with the latest shift in the email marketing landscape, marketers are going to have to adjust without skipping a beat.

How can they adhere to new privacy settings, reach their target audience, and still meet and exceed their marketing initiatives?

We thought you’d never ask.

Next Steps? Press Releases, Earned Media, & Sponsored Content

We’re a technology company that specializes in press release distribution.

And, with nearly two decades of experience and countless iterations of our products and platform, we’ve continually adjusted to grow with the market and provide solutions to the problems companies face.

Now, if you’ve read this far, it’s because you’re looking for a solution to this email privacy problem. You need to find an alternative route that’ll still lead you to your ultimate destination, which is your overarching marketing goals.

Well, not so shockingly enough, we’re suggesting consistent and strategic press release distribution.

Our Media Advantage Program (MAP) helps small and midsize companies of all industries identify newsworthy angles, craft compelling stories, and launch targeted campaigns that attract the attention of their audiences and relevant media publications.

With our enriched distribution network, robust SaaS platform, and the expertise of our team, clients that are part of our MAP turn their press releases into earned media mentions that lead to brand awareness, website traffic, improved search engine optimization (SEO) performance, leads, and ultimately sales.

All of these marketing outcomes can be achieved without tracking cookies.

That’s right. You can keep your hands out of the tracking cookie jar because with consistent and strategic press release distribution, you can zero in on new metrics that are just as, if not more, powerful than open rates, opt-ins, etc.

The metrics you’ll be paying attention to are impressions, clicks, and earned media mentions, to name a few. These insights help you better understand the content that resonates with your target audience and the media so you can double down on your efforts.

But press releases are just one piece of the puzzle.

To up the ante and strengthen their approach, companies can and should leverage sponsored content.

We covered sponsored content in-depth in this Smart Start, but for a quick overview, sponsored content is any form of promotional content that’s paid for by a sponsor (a brand) but created and distributed by another brand or publisher.

When done correctly, sponsored content can strengthen a brand’s authority and credibility and build a level of trust that’s necessary for long-term success in the market.

Press release distribution paired with sponsored content gives companies ample opportunities to stay in front of and connect with their target audience.

There are no hidden cookies, no third parties, no tracking. Just relevant and newsworthy content delivered in a manner that’s easy-to-digest and interesting to read.

Educational Resource Press Releases, Earned Media, & Sponsored Content

Get help with your press release distribution today!

Not sure what you need from a distribution partner or where to start? Newswire’s team of expert PR Strategists can conduct a free, comprehensive needs analysis to determine the right solution. In addition to press release distribution options, Newswire offers additional media and marketing communications support through the Media Advantage Plan.

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Do you think the Media Advantage Plan might be a good option for you? Click “Let’s Get Started” to schedule your free needs analysis to see how Newswire can support your media and marketing efforts!

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