If you gate content - you should own the gate (cookie)

June 22, 2023

"To gate or not to gate?" is an age old question that marketers have been grappling with since Taylor Swift was in middle school (as of this writing she's 33 years old). We won't take sides in that philosophical question in this article. If you are a marketer that gates content using forms, we have a strong recommendation for you - use forms (and cookies) from your MAP (Marketing Automation Platform like Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua). 

The Almighty Cookie

If a war of cookies ever takes place in B2B marketing, the chief contenders for the top spot will be Google (with the GA cookie) and MAPs with their cookies (e.g. Hubspot cookie, Marketo's Munchkin cookie, etc.). 

The MAP cookie is the most potent cookie in B2B marketing. It has the highest nutritional value. This is the cookie that allows you to know who your buyer is. While the GA cookie can help you better understand top-of-the-funnel metrics for anonymous visitors and do ad (re)targeting, the MAP cookie lets you identify visitors and their behaviors on your website so you can nurture them intelligently and show marketing's influence on revenue.

There is only one way to use a MAP cookie - by using forms provided by your MAP. When a web visitor fills out a MAP form on your website, the MAP cookies that user and can then help you understand the actions and behaviors of that visitor over an extended period of time. 

There are 6 advantages of leveraging the MAP cookie -

1. User experience

Imagine going to a website and filling out a form to register for a webinar. Imagine going back to the same website a week later to watch a gated video or download a whitepaper, and having to fill out another form. That's frustrating! When frustrated, people usually don't fill out forms or worse, use fake names & consumer email addresses to bypass forms. The big advantage of using the MAP forms and cookies is that your visitors won't have to fill out a form again on your website. The cookie remembers them and gives them breezy access (think Taylor Swift walking into the Grammys). This a big win-win. It allows visitors access to all the content they want to browse without repeatedly filling out forms, and at the same time gives marketers complete visibility into visitor actions and behaviors.

The MAP cookie is also the magical bridge between email marketing and your website. When you blast out an email using a MAP, the recipients are already cookied and get direct access to the content on your website without a need to fill out a form.

MAP cookies help you reduce friction between buyers and you.

2. Marketer experience

Forms can get complicated. Which fields to use? Which disclaimers to add? Which form to use? Which branding to use on a form? Those are just some of the issues marketers have to deal with. Each martech tool that offers forms comes with its own set of gotchas and training. Using MAP forms reduces the training and learning effort that marketers have to expend to master multiple tools that provide similar features. It also saves marketers from having to map data fields from different tools to one central data structure.

own the relationship

3. Compliance & data privacy

Every database that stores PII data needs to comply with rules and regulations. Using forms from multiple providers exposes you to more risks and compliance headaches. Using forms from your MAP will ensure all PII data is stored in one system.

4. Lead scoring 

Lead scoring is complicated and most organizations struggle with it. MAP forms and cookies attach buyer behaviors to their contact records seamlessly and this makes it easier for marketers to refine and optimize their lead scoring model vs spending time getting signals into their MAP.

5. No integration needed

All major MAPs come with forms built in. Using native forms saves time and money that needs to be spent on integrating non-native forms with your MAP.

6. Future proof

The future of 3rd-party cookies is uncertain. All writings point to the demise of 3rd-party cookies in the next year or two. While no concrete alternatives have emerged, the industry agrees on one thing - brands should own more first-party data for a strategic and competitive advantage. The MAP cookie is the key to owning and collecting first-party engagement data. 


Webinars are a great way to build your email list. When you use the MAP form and cookie, you lay the bridge between yourself and your audience. When those registrants don't attend the live event but come back to your website organically or via another channel to consume any content, the Almighty MAP cookie will instantly recognize them and help you nurture them.

Expert marketers use MAP forms to gate on-demand content as well as upcoming webinars. For event-related tasks like registration emails you can set up a link to push registrant data into a live webinar platform like On24 or Zoom instead of using the webinar platform's forms and loosing that precious, direct link between you and your buyers. 

If there's one thing you take away from this article -

Own the relationship. Own the cookie.

Parmonic integrates tightly with MAPs like Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua. Our integration makes it a breeze to use MAP forms and cookies out of the box, and within minutes so marketers can reap all the benefits of their MAP cookie and own relationships with buyers.