The opportunity to get a deeper understanding of existing customers can inform advertising and marketing decisions and satisfy privacy advocates at the same time – and at the heart of all that is data.
According to WARC's Marketing Toolkit 2021, "the third-party cookie is on the verge of obsolescence, as a consequence of regulatory pressures and the unilateral actions of companies including Apple and Google. This hands even more power to ecosystems like Amazon and Alibaba. With digital advertising dominated by a small number of media platforms, marketers face the daunting task of figuring out a way of managing their activity across those garden walls".
And those walled garden environments are likely to be a key beneficiary of the decision by browser developers to stop supporting third party cookies. Similarly, there is likely to be an increase in contextual marketing based on features such as search term rather than necessarily targeting an individual.
These changes are going to inevitably make first party cookies more important than ever, both to identify lookalike audiences from advertisers and to get deeper understanding of existing customers. Customer Data Platforms will become increasingly important for the latter and are a vital tool in the modern marketer's arsenal.
While efforts (such as Google's Privacy Sandbox) to create open data sharing standards will emerge, in the short-term, marketers will feel the pressure to ramp up the size, breadth and quality of their own proprietary data ecosystems, with varying degrees of success so far:
• 83% of marketers agree that "big tech firms should be subject to “greater regulation” to help level the playing field" (WARC).
• Only 34% of marketers agree that "My brand / typical client has a plan in place to reach consumers in a post-cookie environment" (WARC).
• Over half (59%) of client-side marketers agree that their brand has a strategy to actively gather first-party data (WARC).
While big changes are now imminent, advertisers should not look for solutions that simply circumvent the use of third-party cookies. The opportunity to get a deeper understanding of existing customers can inform advertising and marketing decisions and satisfy privacy advocates at the same time – and at the heart of all that is data.
Our next blog will look at customers willingness to share the data in order for brands to obtain a deeper understanding of their existing customers.