The Crumbling Cookie: How Will It Affect Measurement?

April 20, 2020
Chris Neuner

That’s because the one-size-fits-all approach associated with traditional, cookie-based tracking—often deriving metrics from generic and uncontextualized data —isn’t a sufficient healthcare marketing analytics solution.

What happens to measurement?

When Google eliminates third-party cookies in 2022, around 70 percent of desktop/laptop users and 41 percent of your mobile audience won’t be trackable through traditional methods.

And those are optimistic percentages—assuming the majority of your Safari and Firefox users will alter the out-of-the-box browser settings that block cookies by default (they won’t).

The death of the cookie will have three significant ramifications for the accuracy of campaign measurement and healthcare marketing analytics:

1. You’ll have access to fewer datasets.

The pool of audience data will likely shrink dramatically -- leaving fewer opportunities to glean meaningful insights about your audience’s behaviors and purchase intent. 

In a post-cookie world your trigger campaigns may suffer as well. With fewer linked datasets to indicate purchase intent, your most valuable event triggers—which might notify the sales department, launch an email to a potential client, inform your retargeting creative, or initiate a sample shipment—won’t ever fire. 

2. You won’t be able to look at the big picture.

Losing data access also means losing sight of the context of your strategy. Your ability to judge which data is relevant will be impacted by a severely limited field of vision.

In the “good old days” you could see the website engagement of your cookied users. You knew when someone was looking at a benefit guide for your new drug. You also knew when they read the materials in an email three days prior to that. And you knew that they saw a display unit three times the day after without resulting in a click. 

Marketers struggle already putting these digital jigsaw puzzles together, but how do we do this when the cookie crumbles? 

3. Your existing audience data won’t age well.

Your existing audience profiles can’t evolve to maintain relevance without current data. Guesstimates on what your audience wants and how to reach them will decrease in accuracy over time.

If your sole means of tracking user interactions on your website and creating audience segments is based on tracking cookies, you’ve got less than 24 months to figure out alternative measurement solutions.  

As the industry-at-large wrestles with post-cookie life, there are a few things you can do now to shore up your approach to gathering healthcare marketing analytics. 

First, ask yourself these three questions:

Can I pinpoint the insights that I need quickly from large datasets?

If you’re regularly digging through a cookie-derived “data dump” in search of meaningful guidance, you’re not only losing productivity, you’re missing pertinent insights. 

Solution: Use a platform that sorts through the volume of your data to deliver audience insights quickly.

Am I able to detect changes in data relevant to KPIs and react quickly?

Understanding how well your campaign is doing is useless unless you can react to new performance data y when it counts. If your data are not easily accessible and up-to-date, then your media buying strategy will be based on yesterday’s guesswork. 

Solution: Find an enterprise-grade service that handles media buying, data optimization, and campaign monitoring for you from a single dashboard.

Can I view performance results based on data specific to the healthcare industry audience that I am targeting?

There’s a big difference between the “good enough” generic data that tracking cookies may provide and the contextually-focused data that will drive the results you’re after. 

It would be best if you didn’t have to compromise on ROI or data quality to get the rich data needed to reach your healthcare industry audience.

An exclusively cookie-based marketing strategy will not only limit your measurement and attribution capabilities, but it will also restrict your ability to execute an approach based on context, the critical factor determining campaign success.

A New Way to Measure Audience Behaviors and Media Performance.

There’s no way around it: you can’t afford to lose access to valuable audience data. You also might not want to attempt to develop an audience identity graph from scratch—not if your time and budget are considerations. 

Thankfully, there are solutions that you can implement right now.

Use a platform that specializes in healthcare-specific contextual marketing. 

Context is everything in a world without cookies. 

An enterprise-grade contextual marketing platform transforms first-party data by placing it within a universe of online and offline insights, making it more relevant, descriptive, and timely.

With the right contextual marketing platform, you’ll have access to more than great molecular and aggregate audience insights; you’ll also have a 360-degree view of multiple audiences globally.

A healthcare-specific contextual marketing platform will provide you with privacy-standards compliant consumer data that provides insights on your audience from platform to platform and device to device, without having to rely on cookies or a specific tag.

PulsePoint, offers:

  • Ability to reach 91% of the U.S. online population in compliance with HIPAA, DAA, NAI, and pharma brand MLR standards.
  • People based HCP marketing solution with an opted-in database of 1.3m registered HCPs, refreshed every 24 hours.
  • Sophisticated and intuitive contextualization technology, providing targeting without dependence on cookies
  • All of the benefits of traditional media platforms with health customization and added healthcare analytics solutions. 

Coupled with proprietary ML technology that identifies nuances in behavior to deliver highly accurate granular insights, PulsePoint offers healthcare marketers a comprehensive toolkit to measure ad performance and audience behaviors effortlessly.

Worried about the cookie’s long farewell? Don’t be. 

Start your team’s independence from cookies today with the only healthcare analytics solution you’ll ever need to scale. Sign up for a demo below.
Long before Google announced that it would end support for third-party cookies in 2022, health marketers have dealt with the challenge of relying on cookies as the core of their campaign measurement strategy. 

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