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The cookie apocalypse and content

Content is key in the era of the cookie apocalypse.

With the launch of its recent iOS update, Apple took a first blow at Facebook (and others) and their capability to gather data on its users even when they are not using their app (for example, Facebook was able to track Apple users on millions of websites because the website owners had installed Facebook’s tracking scripts).

In (very) simple terms, what Apple did with its system update was to start asking iPhone and iPad owners if they wanted to be tracked by Facebook (and others) so that they would be able to see “personalized ads.”

I am speaking in the past tense because recent data has shown that less than 4% of users opted in to be tracked… which is WAY below what many in the marketing industry had estimated to be at around 40%.

We will use Facebook as an example, but it applies to all others that used this approach. This means that for Facebook, it now has much less data on iPhone users that opted out and will not be able to show as relevant advertising than they could in the past. This is a huge blow to their entire business model.

Now iPhone and iPad users do not account for the large majority of users on the internet, but nonetheless, it signals a clear trend about what people find acceptable in terms of tracking: not much.

And this is also true for brands that will now need more and more to gather data themselves (first-party data) instead of relying on external scripts they can install on their websites and apps so that a third party can gather that data for them (I am simplifying all this way too much, but for the sake of this article, I did not want to geek out too much on the technological aspect of all this).

This is what many call the cookie apocalypse.

A recent inc.com article explains this in a bit more details, but I wanted to take you one step further.

How is all this linked to content?

Gathering data requires behaviour. You can collect data on users and visitors if they actually spend time and do things on your websites and apps.

If you only have some product pages and have a very conversion-focused website, people will come, look at the product, make a decision (in your favour or not) and leave.

This is not good in the era of first-party data. You are not learning a lot about your users.

How can you learn more about your users?

By offering them content. By providing value that makes them spend more time with you, that makes them come back because they found answers to their questions and fulfilled their needs in their last visit, etc.

We at Toast are working hard at creating and producing content that will make sure your brand is providing value to its clients and consumers, that will in return generate data that we can help you collect so that you can better segment and reach out to them to generate a positive action.

Content is one of the keys to high quality first-party data.

Content allows you to position your brand as being useful in the eyes of your visitors, followers, subscribers, clients, consumers.

Content allows you to detect intent.

Content allows you to better segment.

And that’s why we have developed content strategy approaches that do just that: deploy content that serves both the brand AND the user.

Have you updated your content program to reflect this new reality? How ready is your content library to provide this value to facilitate first-party data collection? We’re here to help.