In the rapidly evolving analytics world, marketers face unique challenges in tracking and analyzing user behavior due to privacy concerns, regulations, and a growing preference for ad-blockers among tech-savvy consumers. This situation is especially problematic for businesses with longer purchase cycles, as it greatly hinders the ability to make data-driven decisions, a vital part of contemporary marketing strategy.
Ad-Blockers and Data Loss
Many companies grapple with data loss due to high adoption rates of ad-blockers. However, it's important to note that this loss might not be as substantial as feared. For instance, businesses may worry about losing up to 60-70% of their data to ad-blockers. However, the actual data blockage rate typically hovers around 1-2%.
We've measured this figure by looking at many funnels of our customers and comparing percentage of purchases recorded server-side with the ones, for which Able tracked initial lead form completion and visitor source.
Cookie Consent and Technical Factors
The design and visibility of the cookie consent screen may play a significant role in data loss. A consent banner that's too inconspicuous could contribute significantly to missing data.
Businesses should also check for technical issues that can lead to traffic not being tracked correctly, such as redirects caught by anti-bounce filters or cross-domain navigation that isn't tracked correctly.
Despite the challenges, companies can employ a few strategies to improve their analytics. Two promising solutions that are likely to enhance data capture include:
- Redirecting Paid Traffic to Call-to-Action Pages: If businesses can direct all paid traffic to Call-to-Action (CTA) pages with a lead form, they can associate lead details with the traffic source even without cookies or server-side fingerprinting. Subsequent conversions can then be processed server-side and attributed to the source.
- Integration with Ad Platforms' APIs: Integrating with ad platforms' APIs, though not a foolproof method, allows businesses to report a significant proportion of conversions by customers who have no tracking data in ad platforms. This strategy may produce a good picture of what works and what doesn't, relative to other campaigns. Able provides fully-featured conversions APIs integrations, designed to complement browser-side tracking.
Many companies find success in tracking conversions to purchases from the back-end in most funnels and associating them with website visitors through an email or other personal identifiers collected during the client-side lead form submission. While this might not be 100% accurate due to occasional incongruities, it doesn't significantly impact reporting and produces results that reliably support data-driven decision making. Read more about Able CDP's approach to server-side tracking.
Ad Saturation and High Competition
Another significant factor impacting Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) is ad saturation, resulting from high competition for audiences and large VC budgets during the 2016-2021 funding era. It's entirely possible that low reported RoAS might partially reflect this competition rather than be caused by poor analytics alone. This would highly depend on whether the target audience is targeted by growth-oriented well-funded competitors.
Navigating the complex landscape of digital analytics requires a blend of technical know-how and strategic thinking. While data loss due to privacy measures and ad-blockers poses significant challenges, it's essential to understand the nuances of these issues and employ innovative solutions to maximize data capture and make informed, data-driven decisions.