This is a question my clients are asking me a lot at the moment.
I would imagine that by now you’ve heard about the new EU e-privacy directive which enforces websites to seek consent from visitors before allowing cookies to tag a visit. (If you’re not sure what cookies are or what they do, I recommend you read this article from the iab which tells you everything you need to know. It’s aimed at consumers, but as a business you should understand what your visitors need to know anyway).
The short answer is that it’s not a quick fix, you can’t just turn a few things off and bung in a few extra bits of info.
As a website owner you’ll need to sit down and map out a structured step by step solution that does two things:
Firstly, you need to educate the consumer. Outlined in the directive is the initiative to develop a simple language that can be adopted across multiple sites that communicates to the user what cookies do.
Secondly you need to couple your mapped process with technical solutions that will enable your site to comply with the new rules. This should work without disrupting the user experience too much and without turning your site into a mess.
To do this you need to fully understand what the directive means to you as a company individually. This means a review of your current site architecture in line with an audit of the cookies you have in place at the moment.
Map this against how you should be communicating with users and make sure that at each point where you need to seek positive consent, as a business you clearly provide the relevant information they need to make an informed decision.
Cookies will help you understand a consumer’s online habits and preferences so it’s a key insight. Get this wrong and it could be of massive detriment to the way that the internet is understood in marketing and you will lose that insight.
So : Be clear. Be honest. Be quick – the deadline for implementation will be upon us soon.
If you’re still unsure, watch this video: http://youtu.be/arWJA0jVPAc