Option 3: make it first-party with server-side tracking
When an advertiser and a publisher each collect their own data about their audience, they can match that data and use it to target ads. This would mean that user data is no longer collected on the client side (as the third-party cookie will no longer exist) but tracked server-side.
Tracking user behaviour server-side doesn’t mean that privacy regulations don’t apply. You would still need to request clear and specific consent from your website’s visitor before activating a server-side tracking mechanism. Big advertising platforms like Google and Facebook have expressed their support for server-side tracking as an alternative. Besides the ability to continue serving target ads to your audience, server-side tracking also allows you to collect more accurate data from your website.
How to start? The first step is to write a business case in which potential value, risks, benefits, solutions, costs, and revenue are assessed. This will allow you to make an informed decision.
Need to freshen up your server-side tracking knowledge? Watch our Tricks of the Trade episode and you’ll be up-to-date in no time!