The Key to Cookieless Marketing Has Been in Our Hands the Whole Time
William Fair and Earl Isaac took years to iterate and tune their mathematical models to create the FICO score. It took even longer to get wide adoption and have it used by organizations like Fannie Mae. So there’s no surprise that the thing – web cookies – that tracks and stores your browsing behavior is changing and that we’ve not landed on a widely accepted standard. The cookieless future has been… a long time coming. While it may seem like brand marketers and advertisers have been preparing for this moment for months (pre-pandemic, even!), the big moment is still looming. And, brand marketers still have a lot to learn about the road ahead.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about “future-proofing” marketing efforts; it’s even less about preparing clients for alternate solutions. What it is about is utilizing the data that brands and companies have long had in hand to safely and best understand what matters most: the customer.
Let’s take a look at three proactive and viable steps that marketers can take to maximize their marketing efforts and campaign performance as we shift into a cookieless future.
Improve First-Party Data Collection on Owned Platforms.
First-party data is one of the most valuable tools a marketer can use – and it’s completely independent of cookies. With access to data from third-party cookies dwindling, brand marketers must find opportunities to harness the power of first-party data. So, what exactly do I mean by first-party data on owned platforms?
I’m referring to any ethically sourced data you collect (with consent) directly from your target audience, and I believe all of it can be valuable. It includes your list of customers that bought from you and have signed for your newsletter. In today’s marketing landscape, the information that companies can collect from customers on owned platforms are of increasingly high value. As first-party data can provide the most relevant information for consumer insights, an added benefit is the control it offers to consumers whose responses are being collected. Now more than ever, marketers must ensure their companies implement and improve data collection capabilities on owned platforms. By integrating comprehensive data management tools, marketers will be in a better position to continue to actively target and build out robust consumer experiences.
Further, mounting privacy concerns mean closing the gap that will occur in the absence of cookies is imperative. Supporting initiatives like Unified ID, which allows companies to focus on a privacy-first approach, will pave the way among the open internet for the application of interoperable solutions to preserve first-parta data. Marketers can, and should, be optimistic about the opportunity to pivot and utilize new and existing alternatives.
Also Read : Are You Afraid of the Data?
Focus on Behavioral Analysis.
Honing in on consumer behaviors and opinions are key elements to brand success, so it makes sense to incorporate behavioral analysis within a marketing strategy. How does a brand marketer tap into the pulse of the consumers? Through Research Technology (ResTech) – which enables market research, brand lift, and media measurement. It allows marketers to identify shifting consumer sentiments and accurately capture how their target demographics are feeling at any given moment. And ResTech delivers a specific type of first-party data that has untapped potential for many marketers: surveys. Not only does survey data allow marketers to actively observe how consumers interact with their brands, but these observations can also be leveraged to understand influencing indicators. Ultimately, this will prove crucial to increasing marketing and campaign efficiency.
As we look toward the end of third-party cookies, owning the opportunity to build out consumer behavioral data sets can be an effective way to align with target markets. This will enable brands to identify strengths, problem areas, and opportunities to develop an impactful strategy.
Adding ResTech to a MarTech stack gives marketers the software and tools that help them target, deliver, and analyze their insights initiatives. Targeted survey analysis empowers marketers to understand what makes their target consumers tick — a practice that is quite literally invaluable at a time when opinions seem unpredictable and are changing rapidly.
Remember to Embrace Authenticity.
The demise of third-party cookies is actually a good thing for marketers. It is a reminder for all of us that authenticity is paramount, and the consumer should always be top of mind when building out and executing on a marketing strategy. The elimination of third-party cookies opens up a valuable opportunity for marketers to re-establish trust with their target consumers. Consumers are tired of targeted ads that are not relevant to their needs, as they are much more likely to engage with brands that get their messaging right. Marketers must leverage their first-party data and other actionable consumer insights to create authentic messaging that they know will resonate with their intended audience, because they’ve done their homework. They’ve tapped into those shifting consumer sentiments, they understand what’s most important to their target customer, and they’re adjusting their messaging and tactics, accordingly. Tapping into these nuances will undoubtedly give you a competitive edge.
By nurturing strategies that help with audience identification and retention, and leveraging actionable consumer insights, brands will create, curate, and deliver messaging that better resonates with their target consumers. This, in turn, will lead to those higher conversion rates all marketers always strive to attain. The key to cookieless marketing has been in our hands the whole time; the key is to actively listen to the customer.