Apple Updates Safari to Block All Third-party Cookies: Here's Where to Start Revamping Your Cookie Strategy

March 26, 2020 Michael Fong

On March 24th, Apple released their latest operating system update, which includes a tightening up of their Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature. This new ITP update blocks all third-party cookies in the Safari browser across all Apple devices. This update should not come as a surprise, as Safari and other browsers have been tightening up their position around third-party cookies recently.

While the update allows end users to browse the web more safely, it will also have a serious impact on marketing and targeting platforms. Undoubtedly, many businesses will suffer losses to their lead generation and overall marketing-influenced revenue, as technologies that depend on third-party cookies will no longer work correctly. 

Perhaps the most prominent way companies will be impacted is in their ability to retarget previous site visitors with ads dependent on third-party cookies. Cross-site advertising will come to a screeching halt on Safari (and all browsers before long), as online advertisers will no longer be able to know where customers have been previously and how to target based on previous actions and expressed interests. 

Where do you start? And how can ObservePoint help?

In order to best position yourself with Apple's new ITP release, you’ll need to optimize your cookie strategy for first-party cookies and consider moving to server-side analytics—both of which ObservePoint can help you accomplish. 

Optimizing for first-party cookies will require you to obtain a complete understanding of all the current cookies on your site. Obtaining this list will allow you to more fully comprehend your current cookie strategy and help guide you through the decision-making process ahead.

A great way to gain this understanding is through an automated cookie audit.

Automated Cookie Audit

Running an automated cookie audit will allow you to scan your entire website and get a complete breakdown of all the MarTech (and associated cookies) present, which will help you identify the analytics data that your implementation is currently collecting and give you insight into the data that is most important to you. This knowledge will help you choose a cookie strategy that best fits your business needs.

Here at ObservePoint, we provide you with software to run cookie audits automatically, which can help you obtain a better understanding of the cookies deployed on your site and save you from wasting time and energy on manually evaluating your cookies.

ObservePoint Cookie Audit Sample

Once you have a clear understanding of your analytics implementation and the associated cookies, you can start exploring potential solutions to the new ITP updates and choose a course of action that works for you. 

With that being said, ObservePoint can also help out as you move toward a holistic data strategy that focuses on first-party cookies set server-side—and doesn’t involve third-party cookies.

Go server-side with a performance measurement solution

Strala by ObservePoint’s performance measurement solution allows you to collect web data through first-party cookies set server-side, an approach that is compliant with Safari’s new ITP update and is being adopted by leading marketing technology platforms. Combined with other online and offline first-party data sets, this strategy can help you maintain the data foundation you need to understand the performance of all your marketing initiatives and continue delivering amazing experiences to your customers.

Additionally, utilizing an effective performance measurement solution will allow you to move your analytics strategy well beyond the confines of the web, as you will be able to collect customer data on mobile app actions, sales activities, in-product experiences, and even offline customer interactions. This broad measurement ability allows you to know exactly where you’re getting the greatest ROI across all your investments in customer-facing touchpoints and helps you extract yourself from the restrictive silo of web- and cookie-based data alone. 

Overall, using ObservePoint’s cookie audits will help you know where you stand, so you can move forward with confidence in your analytics strategy. Then you can use Strala by ObservePoint to refocus your performance measurement strategy on key first-party data tracked in an ITP-compliant manner, so you can continue obtaining the insights you need to move your business forward.

To see how ObservePoint can help you navigate Apple's new updates and more, schedule a demo


About the Author

Michael Fong

Mike is the Sr. Manager of Product Go To Market at ObservePoint and assists in aligning the Product, Marketing, and Revenue teams on product strategy, value propositions, and promotion. Previously a Senior Consultant and Solutions Engineer on ObservePoint’s EMEA team in London, Mike has been integral in ensuring ObservePoint users are obtaining the highest quality of data from their marketing technologies. With over 10 years of experience in the analytics world, Mike is an expert when it comes to data analytics, SQL, problem solving, and spreading good vibes.

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