What are cookies and what are they used for?
Cookies are small data files that are stored in the user’s browser when they visit a website.
These files usually contain information that the website uses to track the user’s visit, such as the pages they have accessed, the options they have selected, the elements they have clicked on, etc.
In the context of marketing, cookies are essential for several reasons.
On the one hand, they allow websites to offer a personalized user experience.
For example, a cookie can remember the products a user has previously viewed on an e-commerce site, allowing the site to display related products on future visits.
In addition, cookies are also essential for tracking and analyzing user behavior.
They allow data to be collected on how visitors interact with a website, which pages they visit, how long they spend on each page, etc.
This information can be used to optimize the site and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
In general, cookies can be classified in different ways:
- According to their duration: session cookies are deleted when the user closes the browser, while persistent cookies remain in the user’s browser until they are deleted or until they reach their expiry date.
- According to their origin: first-party cookies are created by the website the user is visiting, while third-party cookies are created by websites other than the one the user is visiting (by advertisers, for example).
- According to the purpose: some cookies are necessary for a website to work properly (technical cookies), others are used to personalize content or advertising (personalization cookies) and others are used to collect data on user behaviour (analytical cookies).
In recent years, user privacy on the Internet has gained prominence.
Cookies and digital advertising
Third-party cookies have been key to digital advertising, as they allow advertisers to track users across different websites.
In addition, cookies make it possible to display relevant ads based on user behavior, the sites they have visited and the content of the sites.
However, the main Internet browsers are gradually removing support for third-party cookies due to privacy concerns.
This is leading the advertising industry to explore new forms of targeted advertising that rely less on cookies.
For example, advances are being made in machine learning and artificial intelligence, or in solutions based on primary identifiers.