The Impact of Privacy First

Privacy-first browsing environments block cookies and certain scripts and restrict persistent identifiers such as browser, user, and device IDs. This means marketing integrations can’t send data to your account.

When enrichment and analytics tools, ad platforms, and CRMs can’t send data to your account, they can’t add much value to your business’ marketing efforts. Whatever time and money you invest in them will be effectively wasted.

“How will privacy first affect my business?”

The Impact of Privacy First

Privacy-first browsers block over 72,000 cookies, pixels, scripts, and trackers. This affects over 750 martech companies, many of whom are household names.

Blocked Cookies, Pixels, Scripts, and Trackers

In the video, we can see this in action. We’re browsing a Fortune 100 website using a privacy-first browser called Brave. This browser blocks cookies and certain scripts and restricts persistent identifiers such as browser, user, and device IDs.

As you can see, the following marketing partners can’t send data to this customer’s account: Bazaarvoice, Dun & Bradstreet, ImmuniWeb, Xandr, SundaySky, Google Tag Manager, Ensighten, Oracle/Eloqua, Teads, Dstillery, LiveRamp, Outbrain, Quantserve, Nielsen, Marin Software, Yahoo, Krux Digital, Clicktale, Alibaba, Invoca, and Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google ads.

When integrations like this can’t send data to a company’s account, they can’t add much value to its marketing efforts. Whatever time and money you invest in them will be effectively wasted. In fact, as you’ll see below, at this very moment, they’re probably already 20-25% less effective than you think.

“What’s the impact of this?”

The following graph illustrates two things: (x) the year a browser stopped (or will stop) supporting third-party cookies by default and (y) the percent of web users affected by this change. (“By default” means a browser no longer supports third-party cookies “out of the box.” While a user could, theoretically, enable them manually, the vast majority won’t.)

As you can see, businesses haven’t been able to track or advertise to a steadily increasing number of web users since 2016. We saw a big jump in 2017, and we’ll see an even larger spike in 2022. By 2025, just about every web user will be untrackable and unreachable.

20-25% of web users block third-party cookies. By 2022, it'll be 75%.

Note that, while we generally talk about privacy first in forward-looking terms, Safari and Firefox haven’t supported third-party cookies since 2017. This means the investments you make in your CRM, DSP, marketing automation tools, programmatic ads, &c. — they’re only, at most, 75-80% effective. 20-25% of your time and money are effectively wasted, and that’s true every hour of every day.

As alarming as this is, by 2022, the current state of affairs will look attractive by comparison. By then, only Microsoft browsers and Opera may continue to support third-party cookies by default. With a collective usage share of < 7% today and < 3% in 2025, that'll leave 93-97% of web users unreached and untracked.

Safari and Firefox have a combined usage share of 20-25%. This means that right now, at this very moment, most of your marketing apps, partnerships, and integrations aren’t able to reach or track one out of every 4-5 web users.

And this has been true for three years.

When Google phases out support for third-party cookies in Chrome, your marketing apps, partnerships, and integrations won’t be able to reach or track three out of every four web users. By 2025, this will be true for virtually every web user.

Let’s Put Some Numbers to This

This state of affairs creates a staggering amount of waste.

Right now, at this very moment:

20-25% of interested leads and their data will never reach your CRM.

20-25% of events -- pageviews, clicks, downloads, &c. -- will never reach your analytics system.

20-25% of your digital ads will go unseen.

20-25% of your user IDs will be incorrectly separated or incorrectly mixed together.

If you spend $10,000/mo on a marketing app, partnership, or integration, you're wasting $2-2,500 each month.

That’s $24-30,000 per year.

By 2022, all these figures will jump to 75%.

If you spend $10,000/mo on a marketing app, partnership, or integration, you’re suddenly wasting $7,500 each month. That’s $90,000 per year.

“What can we do about this?”

Next Steps

Insure your company against privacy-first. Keep your customer relationships and marketing partnerships strong, even in browsing environments that limit cookies, scripts, and persistent identifiers.

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