The stage is set for 2024 to be the year of better data for marketers.
2023 was the year of artificial intelligence, managing digital expectations, and assessing the true value of customer data. Departments experimented with generative AI tools and chatbots to test their effectiveness with consumers. Agility played a key role in marketing strategies to satisfy the hyper-personalized digital demands of audiences. And a salty realization finally set in: traditional MarTech can’t deliver on their data promises.
Here’s a look at the top data capture and marketing trends to watch for in 2024.
Third-party cookies make their grand exit
It’s the real beginning of the end of third-party cookies. While Google announced Chrome would phase out support for third-party cookies in early 2020, the process was delayed for years after industry pushback and technical challenges in implementing alternative solutions. Now, after four years, the true cookiepocalype is here.
Beginning in Q1 2024, Google will stop allowing third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users. The slow phase-out is designed to allow small-scale testing before the full impact’s felt by all Chrome users, which is forecast for Q3 2024.
Why it matters: Companies still relying on third-party cookies to track users across websites and understand their habits must figure out a new way to market. And if they don’t, the results will be devastating:
- Ads will be less targeted and less effective.
- Data collection will be harder.
- Reporting will be less accurate.
- Campaigns will require more time and work.
- Online consumer experiences will be less relevant.
Even with a four-year warning, many marketers are scrambling to adapt to a cookieless future. A report by Statista found that at the end of 2022 nearly 75% of marketing and customer experience leaders around the world still relied on third-party cookies, and more than 16% believed the end of cookies would “devastate” them.
But in 2024, third-party cookie deprecation isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, there’s a simple solution: invest in first-party data capture.
First-party data capture takes center stage
With third-party cookies crumbled, first-party data is the only solution for targeted marketing. First-party data is information a company collects directly from consumers and has complete ownership of. When a company uses a true first-party data capture platform, the system is installed within the organization’s controlled environment. This means the data captured is unaffected by browser restrictions or third-party cookie blockers because it’s completely owned and maintained by the organization. And, because data is never forced to leave the company’s four walls, it’s fully compliant.
Why it matters: A true first-party capture platform gives companies complete ownership and control over their consumer data. This means:
- More accurate and higher quality consumer data because it’s captured directly from the source
- Access to all consumer interactions and information without delays
- Live-time insights and analytics fueled by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify new patterns and trends that enable in-the-moment consumer experiences
- A fully compliant solution to meet data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CPRA, APEC, and FTC-driven laws
Consumer privacy and consent steal the limelight
In 2024, the privacy and regulations landscape will continue favoring consumers. A 2023 Privacy and Consumer Trust report from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) found that 68% of consumers around the globe are either somewhat or very concerned about their online privacy. How companies handle personal data has also become a top-of-mind concern for consumers with more than 81% agreeing the way an organization treats personal data is indicative of how it views and respects its customers.
Why it matters: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already after businesses for not complying with data privacy and consent regulations — and it’s likely to pursue more. Companies that fail to comply with regulations will face steep fines and legal ramifications. Jeopardizing consumer privacy and consent will also result in a tarnished business reputation and a decrease in customers.
The curtain closes on traditional web analytics platforms
2024 will see a mass exodus of marketers migrating from traditional web analytics platforms. Google pulled the plug on Universal Analytics in 2023, and its replacement — Google Analytics 4 (GA4) — has been anything but stellar. Metrics are missing, historical data is limited, and it’s not compliant with standard privacy regulations. Marketers are frustrated with traditional analytics platforms because they’re not delivering the relevant, comprehensive consumer data needed to excel in the fast-paced digital marketing environment.
Why it matters: Marketers will turn to digital analytics platforms that do more. Metrics will be available without delay because organizations will own the first-party consumer data. Tagging will be a chore of the past, data will be more accurate, and cross-domain and cross-device tracking will persist across all channels to capture complete pictures of individual consumers (even anonymous ones!). Marketing campaigns and messaging will be more targeted than ever before.
The 2024 nominee for best performance
The sunset of third-party cookies and heightened push for data privacy will enable first-party data to steal the show in 2024. With the compliant insight and analytics needed to gain consumer trust, adhere to evolving regulations, and deliver more personalized experiences, marketing departments that embrace a true first-party data platform will win big.
Privacy meets personalization
Browser restrictions, third-party cookie deprecation, and opt-in consent shouldn't derail your personalization strategy. It's time to embrace a privacy-first mindset that honors the best interests of consumers!