Say Goodbye to Third-Party Cookies: Market Research is Here

Data is at the center of the success and overall growth of almost every company in every industry. Data drives decision-making, so access to accurate and comprehensive information at the right time is critical. Seeking out credible data takes organizations down one of many paths, the most common being conducting market research and relying on web traffic data.

The internet and passively collected browsing behaviors have given many companies a low-cost way to track and observe customer behavior online. This tells them about people’s preferences, opinions, and actions. Third-party cookies have been an incredibly important tool to collect incredible volumes of consumer behavior data.

But we’re beginning to see a shift away from this. With governments across the world cracking down, companies like Google and Apple are changing their stance on third-party cookies. And with that, ill-prepared companies — such as those that have primarily relied on third-party cookies to collect data — are now scrambling for a solution to their data needs.

The Primary Challenge of Third-Party Cookies

Let’s start here. Due in large part to recently implemented regulations — such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 — the use of third-party cookies and identifiers is under fire. It’s no longer an easy way to collect consumer behavior data. Instead, it might be viewed as an outdated way to collect data.


Today, companies must have the right permissions to collect and use data generated from online interactions. Sometimes permission is provided, but many times it isn’t. And with consumers more in-tune with their privacy than ever before, tracking data such as third-party cookies will continue to be under a microscope.

Enterprise-Grade Market Research is the Solution

Third-party data is on the way out with first-party data — which is information a company collects directly from its customers and owns — pushing its way to the front of the line. In addition to stricter regulations surrounding third-party data collection, here are some other reasons why market research is a trusted and credible solution.

1. Market research is collected with your customer’s permission.
There’s nothing sneaky about market research. There’s no tracking users on your website without their permission. Everything is 100% permission-based, which results in:

  • Access to higher quality, more in-depth and actionable data.
  • Assurance that consumer insights and decision data are gathered ethically and within regulatory guidelines.
  • Deeper, more detailed qualitative understanding of consumer opinions and needs.

2. Market research can lead to a more positive brand experience.
Let’s put it this way: if a consumer feels that you’re collecting and using their information without consent, it has the potential to harm your brand’s reputation. At the very least, you’ll put revenue and customer retention at risk.

Permission-based market research is more transparent and trustworthy, which builds a positive brand experience.

Remember this: Trust isn’t given, it’s earned. However, since trust is implied in most consumer situations, it’s up to the brand to lose that trust. Don’t lose that trust.

3. Consumers have the power.
When brands utilize web tracking and third-party cookies to gather customer intelligence, consumers don’t always know data is being collected. Even if they have a general suspicion, there’s a lot of gray area. Brands have a unique opportunity to make consumers feel powerful by being upfront and engaging customers in how data is used.

Market research makes the relationship between brands and consumers transparent while also bringing the consumer into the insights process.

Today’s consumers also benefit from innovative ways for customers to share their voice with brands. This can be done easily through a variety of digital methods that consumers can complete from any device anywhere in the world.

Trust is a Must

The brands that will succeed in gathering the right kind of consumer intelligence are the ones that get smarter about permissioned insight data and avoid risks associated with third-party cookies.

Many years of being in the dark have led consumers to become wiser about what data they share and how they share it. They know that their data has value, and they’re willing to share that value with brands that they trust.

The Bottom Line

Gone are the days of consumers turning a blind eye to how their data is collected and used. The use of third-party cookies is trending out, and permission-based market research is taking its place.

In a cookieless world, first-party and zero-party data is king. Fortunately, this data is easily attainable through conventional market research methods. There’s no gray area with this approach. It’s proven effective and rooted in trust.

As President of Sago, formerly Schlesinger Group, Isaac Rogers focuses on driving change and new growth within the corporation. In addition to cultivating innovation capabilities within Sago, Isaac supports business unit leaders by driving corporate initiatives that align with both the needs of our customers and our global operations teams. Isaac joined the leadership group in 2020 as the Chief Strategy Officer, where he was responsible for the identification and development of new model growth strategies, including M&A and strategic partnerships.

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