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And that’s the way the cookie crumbles! 

With the data landscape changing at an immense speed, the news that third-party cookies will be no more by 2022 is BIG NEWS! But let’s not despair. The data bots we use for tracking, measuring and personalisation may not be the be-all-and-end-all for digital marketing.

So, what are cookies? 

Cookies are analytical data stored on your computer, phone or tablet through a web browser to enhance digital experiences for consumers and aid marketers in measuring activity.  Cookies and other tracking assets enable personalisation through adverts and pop-ups by collecting information about consumer behaviour. They come in all different shapes and sizes and enable brands, domains and browsers to tailor what information is presented to a particular consumer based on their data history.

  • Zero-party data – is data that a consumer has proactively shared with the brands, collected through purchasing, or signing up to communications
  • First-party cookies – are created by the brand or website whenever a user visits the site.
  • Second-party cookies – are transferred from one brand (the brand or website that collected the data as first-party cookie) and transfers it to another company via a data transfer
  • Third-party cookies – refer to the data that is collected by a third party (not the brand or webpage). These cookies are typically used for advertising purposes. For example, when you search on a web browser for a red jumper and then the next time you read a blog online, there is an ad for red jumpers? That is based on third-party cookie tracking.

However, giving advertisers, agencies and brands the opportunity to track consumer behaviour has raised concerns. With consumers demanding more privacy and power over their personal data since the introduction of GDPR; laws, regulations and big tech organisations are addressing the way third-party cookies should be used. Or indeed, if they should be used at all.

What are the main drivers pushing changes for third-party cookie tracking?
  • Consumer privacy
  • Browser changes
  • Ad blocking
  • Laws and regulations
Consumer Privacy:

80% of consumers state that they are more likely to spend with a brand that they believe uses their data responsibly. And 70% of consumers say more personal forms of brand engagement such as DM and email makes them feel more valued than third-party cookie personalisation.

Companies that process personal data must comply with GDPR regulations. This means consumers must give consent for their cookies to be used, and by the sound of it, the majority are already looking to brands that use more personal channels of communication.

Browser Changes:

Many big tech companies such as Google, Safari and Firefox are now taking
ownership of their own cookie tracking.

Safari are blocking all third-party cookie tracking.

Google has always allowed users to block third-party cookies. By 2022 all Chrome browsers will block third-party cookie tracking.

Firefox sells itself as a secure browser and as of 2019, blocked all third-party cookies.

Ad blocking:

To date, 30% of internet users already use an ad blocking service. With the rise in consumer privacy awareness, this number will only rise as we move towards a cookie free 2022.

So, what does this means for the future of cookies?

Over the years marketers and advertisers have relied on cookies for website tracking, improved consumer journeys and data collection for ad targeting. The removal of third-party cookies will become a roadblock for many marketers and advertisers, but, it is also an opportunity to build consumer trust and transparency. Businesses should now look to acquire first and zero-party data allowing them to directly identify personalisation preferences and progressive profiling directly from the consumer.

How can you do this in your organisation?

Reach your audiences and gain permission to communicate through multiple channels. To do this, marketers need to understand consent and opt-in options. This builds trust and engagement, ensuring a more open and transparent relationship with a consumer. Use forms to collect data and give consumers the options to choose the channel that best fits them. If they go to unsubscribe, give alternatives for less frequent communication rather than an all or nothing option. And ensure your privacy policies are up to date and accessible for all consumers. For this, explore the use of Trust or Preference Centres (an online portal covering your brands privacy policy, mission statement and a way to communicate trust through first-party data collection).

Overall, marketers need to shift to a privacy-first policy; apply open, transparent, and trusted messaging on how the brand will collect, share and process data moving forward. With the reduction in performance data from online and social media, marketers need to create new strategies to report on customer engagement via browsers, and with a plethora of online metrics suites, this is a walk in the park.

In conclusion – ensure privacy, trust and transparency is now at the forefront of your marketing plans.

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For information check out our data and marketing services or get in touch today!

This checklist will take you through how to create your own successful direct mail campaign!

Download Checklist Now

Covering the following:

  • Why you should choose direct mail?
  • How to choose your target audience
  • How to avoid mailing you existing customer base
  • How to set a call to action (CTA)
  • How to decide on the format of a direct mail pack
  • How to determine the campaign look and message
  • Hoe to decide which partners to use
  • How to determine what other marketing activities to run
  • How to tell if your campaign has worked
  • What results you can expect

Benchmarks will vary dependent on sector, but with significant experience in planning campaigns within your sector, REaD Group will be able to provide forecasted response rates, expected average donation values, and ROI predictions for your campaign activity. This allows a level of budgetary forecasting that can be reported to the business ahead of the campaign going live.

Download Checklist Now

Want to find out how REaD Group can help your charity implemented a
highly effective direct mail campaign?
Then get in touch with the team on PHONE or EMAIL.

Here are the 8 questions you should ask when choosing a data provider! 

Businesses need data to survive. And that has never been more true than it is today.

The first party data you collect and hold is an extremely valuable asset – as long as you are applying the right insight! But when it comes to acquiring new prospects and customers, why limit the scale and profitability of your campaigns? If you choose your data partner wisely, third party data can help you to find more of your best customers, drive more informed decisions and deliver ROI.

 54% of business leaders asked believe third-party data is valuable for enhancing the data that they hold in their organization.

The devil is in the due diligence

So, it’s clear that third party data can help businesses to gain even more value from their marketing activity. But how do you find quality data?

As with any important purchase it is imperative to do thorough research. When it comes to buying marketing data you should apply strict due diligence before you select a supplier – or repent at leisure.

Here are some of the qualifying questions you should always ask when you are choosing your data provider:

Source and provenance

How is the data collected and what is the source? You should also ask for confirmation of the collection methods and audit trails to ensure the principles of the regulation have been meet and the data is being processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.


Your supplier should be able to provide you with the permission statement used at the point of collection.

 Validation and Due Diligence processes

Ask for confirmation of the validation process. A provider with nothing to hide should be able to provide on request an outline of their due diligence process and the steps they take to ensure their data fully satisfies legislative requirements.


When was the last engagement?


Is the data accurate and up to date? Has it been screened against a reliable suppression file to remove deceased and Gone Away contacts to meet GDPR data quality requirements?


Check out their creds and ask peers for a recommendation or ask to speak to an existing customer of the supplier for a candid view.


Ask for some examples of the results and case studies – especially if you are using the data for acquisition campaigns.

Do they offer a trial?

If you are new to buying data or using a new supplier – ask if you can run a trial campaign to test the quality of the data.

If a supplier can’t answer these key questions…approach with caution. It is important to remember that at the heart of GDPR is transparency, accountability and the fundamental rights to process data.  It is the minimum you should expect from a reputable data provider.

About REaD Group

REaD Group have been supportive of the GDPR from its inception and we are proud to say that our due diligence is the best and most thorough in the UK.

All contributors must pass our strict Data Compliance Due Diligence Audit and GDPR rules before REaD Group will accept the data. The audits for existing and prospective data contributors also include the following verifications and checks for compliance:

  • Contributor’s legality, location and contact details
  • Contributor’s Professional membership, accreditations and certifications (ICO, DMA, ISO) registration
  • How contributors deal with enquiries, complaints, data subject access requests etc.
  • Full Permission statement audit including audit of all permission statements, FPN and privacy policies served at point of data collection which are provided in our unique Online Permission Library
  • Details of how the permissioned data was originally captured and channel collection methods
  • Asking suppliers to confirm information security practices and that data is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data

REaD Group’s compliance team also carry out 6 monthly audits on the data provided, requiring contributors to provide full details of when and how the data subject’s permission for their data to be passed onto a third party was obtained to ensure collection methods remain compliant and align to the principles of the regulation.

Not all data providers are created equal so choose wisely!

If you’d like to know more about quality marketing data contact us today!

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new iteration of our market-leading online, self-service data management platform, REaDOnline, including a transformational redesign.

REaDOnline enables brands and businesses of any size – from SME to enterprise – to efficiently and effectively manage and maximise the value of their customer and prospect data. Via REaDOnline, organisations can access the most comprehensive and trusted data available in the UK to validate, clean, update and enhance their data.

To further improve the platform, REaD Group has made a number of enhancements, including a completely redesigned interface, with a fresh and clean look and feel to deliver an enhanced user experience; and improved performance to make the platform more responsive and deliver improved processing capability.

For users, the reporting has been redesigned to provide a clearer top-level summary, while more options on how the results are presented – as stats or visually – have been added. The accompanying job results email will also have a new look. REaDOnline users will also enjoy an improved account area, including access to users, job history, costs and licenses.

“The launch of the new iteration of the REaDOnline platform raises the bar for self-service data management,” commented REaD Group’s CEO Jon Cano-Lopez. “By combining market-leading data with great tech and a user-friendly interface with guided data processing routines, new REaDOnline enables businesses of any size to optimise the quality of their data and ensure they are compliant with data legislation with ease.”

The new platform is now live with user guide and other support materials available to help existing and new users. To find out more about REaDOnline, click here or get in touch with the REaD Group team