Cookies: Tom Thumb reloaded

Par Pablo Martín, Directeur du Business Consulting, Prodware

We don’t necessarily know it, but today we all live in a children’s story. More specifically in Tom Thumb.

As we know, the hero of this story has the idea of ​​placing small white pebbles at the edge of the paths he takes, to avoid being lost in the forest, and to reach his parents’ house.

In our own way, we are all Tom Thumbs.

We sow a profusion of tiny markers during our walks in the digital world: cookies. Except that these scattered “white stones” are of no use in finding our way.

They allow websites and brands to know us better, and to better help us choose products and services according to our tastes and habits.

How to live this rewriting of the tale of Perrault? Will the Digital Ogre devour us all, or will we manage to civilize it a bit? What is the scenario of this Tom Thumb reloaded?

Would you take a cookie again?

There are two kinds of cookies: proprietary cookies (first party cookies) and theare “third-party cookies” (third party cookies). You don’t need to be a geologist or a storyteller to understand what these markers are.

For a website to be effective, it needs to know when users are visiting it and what they are doing there. It is the role of proprietary cookies to help understand and measure the evolution of visitors to the site.

These are text files placed directly by the site itself on the user’s device. The data they contain also helps to improve the user-friendliness of the site.

The physical equivalent of a first-party cookie is the seller seeing you enter a store, and remembering what you last bought and viewed.

Cookies are obviously a little more sophisticated, as if the salesperson meticulously notes in a notebook everything you do in the store, from when you enter to when you leave.

These cookies, and the information they make it possible to glean, are only held by the site you are visiting, and relate only to your visits to this site.

Other cookies – third-party cookies – are more difficult to identify.

Much more intrusive, they are placed on devices during the browsing session by external websites (third parties) other than the one the Internet user is visiting.

They can be used to record details of pages visited, e-commerce transactions, products that have been purchased on those pages…

They therefore pose a greater privacy problem because they aggregate information from multiple sites.

Furthermore, the user does not know where his data is going, because it is not stored in one place.

Continuing the example of the store and the seller, imagine that each time you go out on the street you are followed by several individuals without your knowledge, each with their own notebook.

You don’t know who they are, but they note every detail of what you do on the street and the stores you visit. You also don’t know where the information they collect goes and, because they cross heterogeneous information, they are richer and therefore more difficult to digest.

This is what third-party cookies are, and why they are so problematic.

Very intrusive and not very transparent, they cause rejection due to the (legitimate) feeling of being surrounded by multiple observers who are far too present and far too curious, and who also value the data extracted without the consent of the main parties concerned: those or those who produce them.

This unauthorized or desired intrusion into the privacy of behavior largely explains their scheduled disappearance for 2024.

Marketers and advertisers whose data drives action have about a year to explore alternatives and prepare for the changes that the disappearance of third-party cookies will bring.

Customer Data Platform (CDP): for those who find cookies indigestible

CDPs, which offer this alternative to third-party cookies, refer to the technology that allows companies to manage all their customer data in an advanced way in order to improve their knowledge of them.

It’s a tool designed specifically for marketers who want to use customer (or prospect) data — the kind of data you get from knowing your customers inside out — to improve your business. digital marketing strategy.

In other words, a CDP is a business tool for business users, not a new database for technology and systems specialists.

A CDP provides a way to store, process and access data, without having to share it with third parties. This is important because a CDP still relies on data internal to the organization, and does not need to use cookies that track behavior on other websites.

A CDP is therefore a platform that allows businesses to create a unified customer base where they can collect and analyze data from every customer interaction.

Companies can thus retain their customers, because they know them better and can adapt their marketing campaigns accordingly.

This means that it is possible to better identify who the customers are, where they buy most of their products, when they buy them and much more, without tracking them down by more or less fair means.

It all sounds very complicated and technical, and in a way it is!

But it will perhaps reassure the Tom Thumbs that we are to know that the little white pebbles sown more or less consciously by our wanderings on the Internet could better serve us better, and not only to profile us in an excessively intrusive way.

With the disappearance of third-party cookies, it’s a bit as if the digital Ogre saw itself stealing a tiny bit of its seven-league boots…

Leave a Comment