• Agnes Team

Measuring campaign effectiveness without cookies

With the death of cookies on the horizon, how can you accurately and effectively measure your campaign performance in 2022? What does this mean for your marketing strategy? Accurate measurement without cookies will be key. Let’s dive in.

  1. Farewell to cookies, hello consent management

Thanks to Google’s phase-out of third-party cookies on Chrome browsers in 2023 (Delayed from this year), don’t make the same mistake many marketing teams will and reduce spend for fear of poor outcomes and reduced ROI. This is a problem that many brands at large will have to deal with this year, as the success of campaigns is intrinsically tied to effective measurement.

“Effective measurement is essential to knowing where and how to invest media budgets to get the greatest return on investment,” says Charlotte Ward, our Founder and Director of Agnes Media.

So, in a world of diminishing cookies – and therefore diminishing data points – we need to find new ways of measuring campaign performance. One potential avenue is acquiring data via customer consent, and then managing users’ choices through a consent management platform.

As Abhishek Jadon, Senior Director of Global Consumer Data and Personalisation for PepsiCo, told Think with Google: “It’s imperative to build trust and transparency to nurture our customer relationships and ensure that our loyalty members understand the clear value they’re receiving in return for consenting to share their data with us.”

  1. Take advantage of server-to-server tracking

Another solution to thriving in a cookie-less world is server-to-server tracking. Essentially, this means that whenever someone visits your website and interacts with it – whether that’s clicking on a link or filling out a form, or just visiting a specific web page – they are designated a unique ID which is stored on a private server. If the same person interacts with the website in future, then the ID can be matched and pushed out to publishers’ servers for marketing.

In layman’s terms, server-to-server tracking lets advertisers send marketing signals to platforms like Facebook and Instagram (and many more) from a private server. This will ultimately help companies store vital data about their potential customers, which can then be used to measure and optimise their marketing campaigns. Not only does server-to-server tracking provide much greater data control for businesses, but it’s also privacy compliant with the latest regulations, and even allows for more accurate mobile tracking.

  1. Generating a positive feedback loop

In 2022 we are also expecting to see the rise of privacy-first solutions like Universal IDs – holistic identifiers that recognise users in the digital marketing funnel. Talk about stepping into the future! How? By sharing relevant data with approved receivers along the supply chain.

Not only can these IDs generate new possibilities for cross-device measurement, but they can also create a positive feedback loop of key data that helps brands transform their active campaigns without relying on third-party cookies. Again, this is all driven by the recent push for greater data-privacy regulations and a shift from background data collection to one based on customer consent.

Brands that recognise consent as being the future of customer data management can then reorganise – and scale up – their tech stack appropriately. After all, you can’t acquire a wealth of high-quality first-party data without building a sustainable foundation from the outset.

“Getting a brand's tech stack in the right place is the best place to start before embarking on finding the best way to map conversions, and that is where the journey really begins,” our Founder Charlotte Ward recommends.

According to Sara Vincent, Senior Director – Strategic Partner Development at Index Exchange, a tech stack based on consent “promises an advertising ecosystem that allows more thoughtful messaging, more accurate measurement, and a dramatically improved ability to respect privacy preferences”.

  1. Explore new solutions – but stay agile

Without cookies and other clear identifiers, you may initially struggle to find alternatives that help you accurately measure campaign performance – all while respecting customers’ privacy and convincing them to provide consent. So how do we strike a balance?

There’s no silver bullet to the loss of cookies, yet there are already strong alternatives that may suit your brand’s needs. Ensure that you’re following best practice from all digital platforms, such as integrating Conversions API from Facebook that helps with server-to-server tracking. Build up your back-end data capturing capabilities to be able to accurately tie conversions to ad spend, i.e. leveraging CRM systems. Moving away from targeted segmentation on paid social platforms and test broader audiences with key specifics in the creatives. The key is to test early and test hard in order to find options that are sustainable, scalable and compliant with your customers’ privacy requirements. Moreover, you need to be adaptable to change.

“There is no crystal-ball answer for effective measurement and attribution, which is why it is something that should be reviewed on an ongoing basis,” Ward says.

“This is definitely made easier for brands who have the right tech stack in place and are following best practice in terms of measurement with effective UTM tracking, alongside statistically significant historical data to refer to. However, SMBs and startups can find proxies for conversion mapping and attribution as well.”

Greater privacy around customer data will only become more important for customers, which is why brands and marketers need to seek out measurement solutions that will be scalable over the long term – not just for 2022, but for years to come. The good news is that privacy and accurate measurement are no longer diametrically opposing forces. On the contrary, getting consent for relevant customer data means you can deliver a better customer experience while expanding your marketing capabilities. Now that’s what we call first-class measurement marketing.

Ready to move past the death of cookies and embrace alternative tools for more accurate measurement? Speak to the friendly team at Agnes Media, on (02) 8593 3290 or email Hello@Agnes.media to start a conversation.