GDPR Guide for Marketers

We have created a super GDPR Guide for Marketers;

if you look in the white box to the right of this post, you will see how to download it.

Contents of the GDPR Guide for Marketers

  1. Current issues
  2. Cookie Acceptance Statistics
  3. Clear issues about cookies that few understand and fewer apply (by Marina Brocca)
  4. Legal regulations for Marketers
  5. Good examples of cookie banners
  6. Cookieless analytics: utopia, reality or future? (by Santiago Alonso)
  7. Solution
  8. Google Analytics vs. SEAL Metrics Cookieless
  9. Google FLoC
  10. Comparison between SEAL Metrics and other Privacy-first tools
  11. How it affects marketers
  12. New concept: “Anchor” statistics
  13. Conclusion

And a few more points that I add, so why not? “inspire” our competitors?

Current issues

Since October 31, 2020, the GDPR and ePrivacy regulations compel websites to respect even more the privacy of their users.

The regulation, among other issues, says that “The user must expressly accept analytics” and “Marketing” cookies, therefore they must be “unselected”.

This causes that almost all online businesses, blogs,… have noticed a decrease in their online statistics, but it does not mean a real loss of traffic: it is a loss of “measured” traffic.

From our customer statistics and what we have seen in forum discussions, it is estimated that the percentage of people who do not accept cookies when they visit a website is 20% to 30%.

This percentage will be on the rise due to the great evangelism effort regarding data privacy made by Apple that is showing this advertisement:

In addition, Tim Cook in his Speech to the 2019 Stanford graduates, explained how the “foundation of our freedom as citizens lies in how cautious and careful we are with our privacy”:

Apple is making a big push for user privacy and against its big (indirect) tech competitors. It has started with Facebook.

The latest iOS14 update will allow users to choose what data to share with apps. This has drawn the ire of Facebook because it could affect the profitability of its ads:

This is only the beginning!

Users don’t want to be measured, they don’t want to be “remarketed”, they don’t want to be profiled. Do you? Do you want your children, your nieces and nephews to be profiled? This is precisely why I share with you that this is only the beginning.

It is not a question of whether cookies are going to die or not, it is a question of privacy.

Cookies acceptance statistics

In the following image you can see that 75% of users accept cookies. Although it is approximate since it is estimated that 30% of the population has an adblocker installed, we base this on interviews and information from customers who have shared with us average percentages: users who do not accept cookies range from 20% to 30%.

On the other hand, every month the percentage of users who do not accept cookies increases and we also find extreme cases of digital businesses where 80% do NOT accept cookies, unbelievable!

An even more critical problem is found in the 75% that accept cookies. According to our customer analysis, especially in the e-commerce sector, 50% of users who accept cookies are accepting them after the 2nd-page view. This causes Google Analytics to assign this traffic to Direct since it does not know the user’s referrer.

Accept cookies (75%)Do not accept cookies
Accept cookies on the first page viewed.
Only 37.5% of measured traffic is “real”, but is contaminated by the fake Direct traffic
Accept cookies from the second page viewed.
GA assigns all this traffic as Direct traffic.
All the pages viewed before acceptance are lost.
Percentage that will increase due to evangelism.
Tracking difficulties since iOS14

Here is an image of traffic that we have been able to segment with SEAL Metrics “with cookies”.

Users who have accepted cookies from the 2nd page view after implementing the cookie banner:

Google Analytics is assigning these clicks to Direct traffic.

But although it seems that the cookie consent banner should NOT affect KPIs such as:

  • Bounce Rate.
  • Page views
  • Session time.

The truth is that indirectly, it does affect them.

That non-measurement causes us to see worse data in Google Analytics, as we are not measuring full journeys.

A user who:

  1. accesses from Google Ads
  2. makes 2 page views
  3. accepts cookies
  4. makes 3 more page views

It will only be measured from step 3 (acceptance of cookies), so the access from Google Ads is lost, and the two page views are lost too. Consequently, the duration of the visit is shorter (remember, we only measure from step 3), and the page views are lower.

You may ask, what about the bounce rate? Why is it worse? Because we can find this example:

  1. Accesses from Google Ads
  2. 2 page views
  3. Accepts cookies
  4. Abandons the page

If the journey is like the one we have discussed, it will have a 100% conversion rate.