The Cookie Era

Good marketers know that it’s not enough to just launch a new piece of content or ad campaign and hope customers rush through their door. They know you can’t just play the waiting game; you need to use whatever tools you can to track the effectiveness of your message and understand who is reacting to your marketing tactics. 

Traditionally, marketers have used cookies to monitor and assess which prospects are looking at their ads, content and more. First and third-party cookies were stored on users' devices and made it easy to track a user’s behavior across many sessions until they revealed themselves by filling out a form.

First-party cookies are those that your website drops in the visitors browser and third-party cookies are those that external providers drop on your site to help you understand where a user came from and who they are (ie. Facebook cookies). 

Now with the rise of privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA, a new era has set in for marketers where they no longer have full line-of-sight into the web visitor data that used to power their marketing because visitors have to consent to cookie tracking and often clear their cookies. To add to this challenge, Apple and Google are eliminating third-party cookie tracking in their browsers, making it much more difficult to identify prospects. Marketers need a new way to gather the data they need to make informed marketing decisions while adhering to these new laws and browser changes.

Rise of the Fingerprint, a Post-Cookie World

A new methodology has risen to help marketers in this moment of darkness: device fingerprinting. Fingerprinting involves collecting as many non-PII data points as you can about a visitor’s session on your site, including things like their  browser type, browser settings, IP address, language settings, plugins, fonts, time zone, screen resolution and more. 

These breadcrumbs are compiled together to create a unique anonymous profile for the device visiting your page. Each device's fingerprint becomes a treasure map, allowing you to safely identify them across sessions so you can gain valuable marketing insights from their behavior.

Once a fingerprint is created it can be used to track a device’s activities across the many sessions it might take for a visitor to reveal themselves by filling out a form.  Device fingerprinting has much more longevity and stability relative to cookies and is the ideal choice for web and mobile site tracking.

In fact fingerprinting has proven to have a 90-99% accuracy rate no matter the browser setting or a customer’s use of VPN. That’s pretty powerful for any marketer looking to understand their visitor’s behavior.

Is Fingerprinting legal?

The short answer is: yes! However there are some rules to follow to comply with privacy regulations.Within the EU, fingerprinting requires user consent and can be done through a simple pop up to allow a user to be tracked. For CCPA in California it’s required to provide an option to allow users to opt-out of being tracked or sharing data.

As the tides of privacy regulations rise, with GDPR and CCPA setting new standards, device fingerprinting emerges as the savvy marketer's tool of choice in a cookie-less world.

How can Mesh Analytics help?

Mesh gives you the power of fingerprinting when you  add our easy-to-install script to your website! In just a snap, Mesh allows you to track unique visitors across sessions, no matter the browser or device settings that they use, and see the influence of your content and ads on bottom line revenue for your business.

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