You may have heard of the term “cookie” or come across it in your online experience. But what does it mean? What does it mean for consumers? And what does it mean for you as a business owner or manager?
Have you ever noticed when booking travel destinations online that the next day or time you are on the internet, ads or messages will appear from other travel sights? This is not a coincidence – this is as a result of cookies tracking your purchasing and surfing behaviours.
Cookies are therefore a key tool that we marketers can use to track customer behaviour and purchasing choices. They can help your business understand your customers so that you can provide them with tailored content specific to their behaviours.
From a marketing perspective then – cookies provide us with a pull-push approach, but the challenge is we need to make sure our campaigns are transparent and therefore we need to utilize cookies in a way that the customer does not consider invasive of their privacy.
I wanted to share with you a few tips that will help you overcome privacy concerns raised by cookies when planning your next online marketing campaign.
- Show transparency
The most important thing to consider when using cookies is that privacy is the biggest concern. Let your customers know when they visit the site that you are using cookies to provide them a tailored experience.
One popular approach is to provide a notification on your website. For example, a website will post a notification like this:
A simple notification like this serves to provide both knowledge and consent. The choice is then on the consumer to continue using the service. Your customers will appreciate that you are being transparent with them, and that they are being given a choice.
- Value-added, permission-granted
Make sure you have a strong value proposition. Based on consumer behaviours in downloading Apps, if you can provide them with the tailor product/service they need, and the value is there for them, they will grant you permission to track them.
- Make it part of a larger strategy
For a cookie to be effective, it should be used as part of a larger marketing automation strategy. Just simply placing cookies on your site only tracks users on your site, and does not give you much “intel” on what your customers are doing and where they are going online. You’ll need to track them across many sites, to gain a richer understanding of who they are and how you can push them targeted content.
With all of the exciting automated marketing technology that is available to us today, we need to always put our customer first and ensure they are not feeling their privacy is being compromised.
Do the benefits of cookies overcome its potential danger to privacy? Do you have other online strategies for understanding your consumer behaviours?