What is impacting the quality of your analytics and conversions data?

July 23, 2021

Today, data-driven marketers and digital teams are competing with the likes of Apple when it comes to capturing the accurate analytics needed to assess channel performance. Without the full picture of user data, making decisions about future media investments is progressively becoming more like gambling. 

For every marketing dollar spent, 21c is wasted because of poor quality data – Forrester

So why is data quality for online media so bad, and getting worse?

New tracking preventions are blocking up to 25% of analytics and conversion data from connecting with your platforms. Driven by changes in consumer privacy preferences, browsers are now in control over what analytics are passed back to your platforms. 

So what sort of tracking preventions are impacting your data quality – and how?

First, the well known challenge: cookie collection.

Between GDPR coming into effect, and Apple/Safari paving the way towards a privacy-first future, marketers are quickly losing access to data from cookies. ITP and ETP changes have had the biggest impact here – with the window to track customer journeys condensing down from years… to a matter of days. With Chrome’s big changes on the horizon, analytics reliant on cookie data are quickly degrading in quality.

Disappearing cookies have the biggest impact on channel attribution data as marketers can no longer accurately track website visitors throughout their journey.

It’s important to note that there are two types of cookies:

  • 1st party cookies: cookies that are owned, stored, and placed by the website that the user visits. They are used by businesses for website analytics, remembering customer preferences and providing a personalised experience. These cookies are fundamental to how the internet works.
  • 3rd party cookies: cookies that are stored and used by an organisation other than the website owner. They are used for tracking users across different websites, audience profiling and personalisation in advertising. They are often also used for prospecting new customers.

Apple (Safari) and other major browsers have already phased out 3rd party cookies – and allow limited use of 1st party cookies. Chrome will be following suit in 2023 – and hold about 70-80% of the browser market share. So this signals the end of using third-party cookies. Analytics reliant on cookie storage are becoming obsolete. 

Next, the grittier problem: AdBlockers

Browsers like Brave and common adblocker extensions are a trickier type of tracking prevention. These types of tracking disruptions are caused by the browser stopping tags and pixels from loading. If they do manage to load, they stop that data from being shared back to your platforms.

The way that marketers set up pixels and tags has created a perfect environment for these tracking preventions to flourish. Because tags are grouped into containers and there are commonalities across the platforms used by marketers, browsers are able to find a common thread and block these analytics efficiently. All in one swoop. 

This issue goes beyond analytic discrepancies – to analytics being blocked entirely. With 40% of web users installing adblockers or switching to new privacy-first browsers, this signals a massive challenge for digital teams. If you/your organisation are targeting younger demographics in particular – those users are more likely to use adblockers.

And finally, the fallout of iOS 14-14.5: App tracking transparency

Apple’s iOS 14 update was a pointed effort to give consumers more control of who gets to use their data – and what’s done with it. With users now given the option to opt-out of in-app tracking, without logged customer data marketers are losing full visibility over conversions.

This has major implications for targeted ads and customer relationship management – but in the context of analytics, the situation is dire. Early data released by Apple shows that 96% of users are choosing to opt-out of in-app tracking in the US.

The way forward

Facebook and Google have shared instructions to help advertisers improve data quality with server-side CAPI solutions. The unfortunate reality though is that these do not resolve all tracking prevention challenges – and require a heap on ongoing I.T overheads. You can read more about that here!

RescueMetrics has been developed to resolve all data loss caused by cookie and tracking prevention disruptions. There’s no added configuration needed to your existing tagging setup or ongoing maintenance required… all without compromising consumer privacy.

Find out how much data you’re missing out on