Cookieless but not senseless

When third-party cookies finally go, we’ll have to find and combine a mass of consumer understanding with an actual ad, targeting strategy or a digital aggregation strategy. But if we manage to bring the two together, we’ll drive more engagement, said the guests on a panel at the 2021 Web Summit.

Data and service companies are now building audience profiles that are more comprehensive, around consumer behaviour, and go beyond what we normally get with cookies. As they’re also using predictive modelling techniques or start-up-like kinds of metrics that are basically touting the zero-party data. Businesses want to provide for their audience and their customers in a streamlined and targeted way, they need to know that they are hitting all the right notes for what these consumers are looking for. There are many connections that come along with this so that customers can be catered to, from installing phone systems that keep them in constant contact with companies, you may want to check out areas such as the MLC features and benefits, to gaining feedback from advertisements and marketing techniques. Trial and error can help them whittle down to what people are looking for.

One of the reasons cookies worked for so long in digital advertising is that they were a neutral currency, unlike many of the new solutions being proposed, which are proprietary. The big question is whether we’ll see one identity solution prevail or several compete?

In all likelihood, it will be several. Just consider how different the approaches to privacy are in the USA, Europe or China. Local legislation with businesses lagging, consumer-led or government-led… harmonising all this will take some doing. As for the major platforms, they’re not fighting for the common good and are focused on protecting their own interests

Relevance first

These have often jarred, with breaches and abuses denting public confidence and trust. Consumers want privacy, understandably, but want relevance too. Without relevance, the user experience is going to get a lot worse. Cookies have helped targeting and measuring more precisely but there’s probably even more lift in combining different sets of data first-party and consumer data to create and deliver better advertising. It’s not just about the right targeting protocol. By focusing on the basics, serving the right ad to the right person at the right time, we can recover from what we will lose from the deprecation of cookies. That is why the utilization of Dynamic Creative Ads is important as they will be seen by your target audience, and you need to make an impression that will stay in their minds and guide them to your website.

As in most situations, periods of change or conflict, there will be winners and losers. The big companies are going to be the winners. For years, the tech/social giants have collected tons of data from their walled gardens. They’re not going to be impacted in the same way as smaller companies by the loss of cookies or new regulations.

Data partnerships

Until we come up with a common currency or institutionalise a universal access to data, these walled gardens won’t be interoperable and this will lead to significant planning, buying and measuring complexities. Therefore, many marketers are focusing on their first-party data as a starting point. First-party data will definitely help with driving customer loyalty and boosting sales. It’s much less clear how it will help win customers from the competition.

This is why brands should look beyond first-party data. By all means, they should combine all of their different datasets together into one big data lake to have an impact, but this won’t solve all the problems. If they’ve got their own walled garden or a significant database of consumers, they might be able to pool resources with a collaborator or even a competitor in order to gain a more holistic profile of consumer behaviour. With their big data, they may want to look into resources such as splunk consulting to help them with their analytics, and see what requirements they may need for management purposes.

When cookies go, we will see a lot of data partnerships being forged, marketplaces springing up and even new forms of data monetisation. Large data owners like supermarket chains with a significant digital and physical footprint are already turning into media companies, offering advertising inventory to other brands. They were already doing it in store, they’re now using their data. Given the emphasis on first-party data, it’s just a matter of time before every consumer facing brand becomes an advertising company.