Marketing, 3rd party scripts on the web in 2020

‘Third-party scripts’ is the way marketing solutions have been implemented for quite a while now. 2021 could be the year to change you company's strategy.

Marketing, 3rd party scripts on the web in 2020.

‘Third-party scripts’ is the way marketing solutions have been implemented for quite a while now. It refers to any script that you can directly embed into your website from a third-party vendor. They’re not created by you, nor explicitly controlled by you, and are served from an external URL. Almost every website uses third-party scripts to add some functionality. A few of their most common uses are:

  • Embedding videos (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Adding social sharing buttons
  • Adding chat functionality widgets
  • Enabling web analytics and tracking (e.g. Google Analytics)
  • Embedding ads
  • many many more.

These kind of scripts are so popular due to ease of use. The fact is that you can buy a product today, inject a script and be off to the races. In addition most site owners maintain a tag manager. These are implemented into the website to allow marketing teams to deploy scripts, tracking pixels or web beacons independent of application deployments.

The negative side.

Any time some other party's external script is loaded from a external domain on your page, there is an inherent security risks involved. The fact is that:

  • The script has full access to the front end of your site.
  • Can be changed by the third party without warning.
  • Track your users across multiple sites.
  • Impacts website load times en performance.

In the last couple of months browser vendors have started blocking or adding warnings when using third party cookies on the web. Browsers like Safari and Firefox increasingly take an absolutist stance against cross-site tracking. On the other side there is Google and Chrome, whose developers are trying to cut down on tracking without kneecapping revenue for websites. Then there is also the EU government that has been trying for years to make the public aware of tracking on the web but is not able to influence the technology directly. In this type of environment proposals get very complicated very quickly. Resulting in a scenario where only you and your company can decide if it is worth staying on your current strategy or moving to a solution where you are in control of the customer and tracking data.

Digital Marketing can work without third party scripts?.

I think that nobody would want to go back a couple of years in time to contextual advertising. Fortunately there are alternatives out there that make it possible to quickly start a marketing and customer data lake on your own (cloud)servers. This will allow a company to be in full control of its customer data and at the same time make it possible to take full advantage of this data for all its marketing needs. For inside your website or application front-end have a look at the customer experience data layer proposal and polyfill. It will allow you to start a vendor independent browser side solution today.

If you are interested in setting up the next frontier in marketing data layers for your company contact me or ilionx and ask for a demo.