Who are your website visitors?

Have a seen more and more online websites writing about their “Cookie” policies?

This is Marketing blog so, of course, I refer to the HTTP Cookies, and not the food ones.

Why do you think this is?

Well, I worked for a company that was selling online and as part of my business I wanted to know who am I selling to in order to make my ads more targeted. I did not know this information, but I had a good guess. This is of course funny, that I as a person responsible for marketing do not know my demographic, but my company did not concern itself too much with this question, as the campaigns were performing at a expected rate so chances were we where doing something right.

While, this is true, when I asked my colleagues about this question of demographics and the steps we could undertake to get this information, one thing I was told is that cookies are not allowed, as once, back in the day.

Other thing that is also not allowed is storing peoples IP addresses, as this would be a second best thing after the cookies.

Thus, what companies do today is they look at every other peace of information about the visitor (it I remember correctly, there is somewhere between 20 and 60 peaces of information that websites receives about you) and by combining it, try to create a profile of a person who is connecting.  They look at things like: screen resolution + speed of clicking + browsing behavior + general location – e.g., US California + and many others. Thus, when you do reconnect, their systems knows, with a reasonable certainty, that this is you.

So why is it so important to know whether you have visited the page before?

Well, like a real life seller, an online seller will want to know where he stands in respect to closing the deal (e.g., whether he has to introduce you his product or to go for a punchline). Same applies to online selling. Some companies adopt their website to the visiting person. This, in turn increases sales.

On other way for companies to know who exactly the person visiting is, and this is 99,99% accurate, is for person to volunteer his own information, by for means of “signing” and later “logging in” in to a website, using a unique username and a password. Than, a company knows for sure who you are and what sort of information to provide you.

Still, going back to the question of “Why are companies asking people to read their cookie policies?”

For companies it may be a long shot, but in these policies there is a option / open consent to allow cookies to be installed into your computer, which are of course surrounded by a very attractive text for why you should do it (and a half hidden text about the dangers to privacy), which is apparently now is allowed.

I, however, don’t know details about cookies, but each time more companies are also putting them in the lowest part of their webpage (i.e., where you can find: help, site map,… See image bellow). This, I believe, is because it may improve their SEO friendliness, or in Layman’s terms, the ability of people to find their pages in the search engine.

If you try to instal this cookie option on your website, let me know if it actually works.

For more information about cookie law visit http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240166071/Cookie-law-needs-more-than-do-not-track-says-Neelie-Kroes, where I think its well described the current cookie law.

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1 Comment

  1. “Like” Button is Breaking the LAW « Intro Marketing

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