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The Cookie Battle: First-party Cookie vs Third-party Cookie



To the average person, cookies are delicious for your soul. To online advertisers, they’re little tracking devices that can tell who you are and what kinds of things you like to buy. Both sides use cookies in different ways and with varying effectiveness, as we’ll learn in this article on cookie-based marketing strategies and techniques. First, we’ll discuss the differences between first-party cookies and third-party cookies before moving on to their uses in digital marketing. Finally, we’ll wrap things up with some examples of online advertising campaigns that have used cookies to great effect.


Introduction to Cookie Based Marketing


The cookie is a piece of data given to you by an HTTP server, which your browser stores on your computer. It holds information that may be used later to make web browsing more relevant and interesting. Cookies are typically used for storing tracking and target marketing data, authenticating users, personalizing content, and storing user preferences. Most cookies are either session or persistent. Session cookies expire once you’ve closed your browser, while persistent cookies remain stored on your computer until deleted or until they reach their expiry date. For e-commerce companies, it is important to understand what types of cookies work best so that you can create engaging cookie-based marketing campaigns that build customer loyalty and increase conversion rates significantly over time.


Introduction to Retargeting


Retargeting, also known as remarketing or retargeting, is a digital marketing tactic that shows personalized ads to people who have visited your website or interacted with your brand elsewhere online. As a first step to creating a retargeting campaign, you should be familiar with different types of cookies and how they work. The type of cookie you use determines which kind of retargeting is possible for your business. When it comes to cookies and digital marketing in general, marketers need to be sure that all processes are legally compliant; it's worth noting that not all cookies are created equal in terms of privacy compliance. Read on to learn more about first-party cookies vs third-party cookies and what role they play in remarketing campaigns.


The 1st Party vs 3rd Party Cookies


A Cookie By Any Other Name Still Tracks You: Two types of cookies track you online, first party and third party. If you’re already tracking who visits your website and has a cookie on their device from going to your website, then you have a first-party cookie. It's like having someone call you on your landline at home rather than reaching for their mobile device when they're out and about. However, most websites do not use first-party cookies because of browser privacy settings. Third parties use scripts to call or ping a computer that has been previously identified by a first party as being interested in its products or services.


1st Party Cookies (HomeSite, KP)


These cookies are used by your website and do not stay on your user’s device when he or she leaves your site. A 1st party cookie only has access to data on a single website, meaning you can target users only from that website, and across multiple devices. For example, if you run both a website and an app, you could use a 1st party cookie for both since they are controlled by your company—the same applies if you have several websites. And remember that these cookies expire when a user closes his or her browser window or clears their cache (which some mobile users will do more frequently than others). Because these cookies don’t leave tracks across sites, they are considered more privacy-friendly than 3rd party ones.


Evaluation of Real World Data


Cookie-based marketing, particularly retargeting, is a staple of digital marketing. The value of cookie-based marketing can be witnessed by its widespread use across industries and among major brands. At a very basic level, cookie-based retargeting utilizes data collected via cookies to target ads to individuals who previously visited a site or used an app or product but didn’t make a purchase on that first visit. This form of retargeting relies on first-party cookies as opposed to third-party cookies. Here we will look at what each type of cookie represents, how they are implemented, and their pros and cons so marketers can make an informed decision about which form of advertising they want to implement on their sites.


Advantages of the 1st Party Cookie Strategy over the 3rd Party Cookie Strategy


1st Party cookies are a great way to conduct cookie-based marketing, or retargeting campaigns. 1st party cookies aren’t a good idea if you want to show different content or products to a visitor than they saw before on your site (unless you do real-time campaign tracking). However, for creating brand awareness and increased conversion rates (by showing relevant products) for returning visitors there is no other option. 3rd party cookies do have their uses, such as being able to use more advanced analytical tools and some of them may also be useful if you can create campaigns that will work with them; however, they cannot compare in terms of ease of use with 1st party cookies.


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