What the Cookieless Future Delay Means for Digital Marketers
The recent delay in deprecating third-party cookies does not diminish the importance of privacy. What it does mean, though, is that digital marketers must still continue to pursue viable alternatives to third-party cookies as an urgent priority and must start to understand how to appropriately analyze consumer intelligence to the benefit of the brand, the marketer, and the consumer.
So...what does this mean for marketers? How can they prepare and stay ahead of the upcoming industry changes? Let’s discuss.
A Look Into First-Party Data
First-party data, in contrast to third-party data, is information gained through a company’s own resources, as opposed to being bought through a separate data-collecting entity. This could be through something as simple as a survey to something as advanced as an artificial intelligence solution that uses custom profiles to predict what kind of prompt is best suited for each and every individual who has already interacted with the brand. It is widely seen as a more ethical and voluntary means of understanding the varied and rich landscape of a consumer audience.
When marketing is direct and consumer-choice-oriented and gives the targeted audience a sense that there is an opportunity for open and honest dialogue between them and their brand of choice, all parties involved benefit from this clear communication. Consumers do not feel forced to give their info or uneasy about the possibility that their every click is being tracked. Instead they get a strong sense that their experience is tailored to their unique preferences and that they are being heard. In return, companies receive a detailed and specific read for whoever is purchasing their products, using their services, or interacting with their brand.
The time is now for marketers to replace past action plans in their marketing strategy and begin implementing alternative methods. The cookieless delay has allowed marketers more time for research and preparation. Marketers should take this time to regroup and focus their attention entirely on the consumer.
Here’s Why Marketers Must Leverage Personalization
Now that we know a little more about first party data, let’s dive into the crucial strategy that marketers must implement in order to ensure future success. First on the list is personalization; personalization is all about pleasing the consumer by providing them with a tailored experience and gaining insights by creating a profile of their preferences. Marketers main priority should always be delivering content that will resonate with their intended audience, and make them feel that their unique needs are being met. In fact, personalization may be the prime driver of marketing success over the next five years.
Consumers want to feel heard, seen, and valued—particularly during a pandemic era in which their sentiments are shifting rapidly and cultural events are affecting buying behavior. Consumers are supporting brands that align with their core values and goals; leveraging first-party data is a way for brand marketers to ensure that they’re doing just that. The removal of third-party cookies and accentuation on first-party data efforts is forcing marketers to adapt to a shifting landscape, once again.
The digital marketing realm is always evolving and adapting. The past two years have taught us that change is not always a bad thing. Moving forward, marketers must prepare for a future where they have no choice but to utilize first-party data. With all of the consumer insight roadblocks ahead, this solution is the most viable alternative when third-party cookies diminish. Marketers who wish to rise above their competition and stay afloat will have to tackle this major industry curveball by pivoting their strategy and focusing on learning who their consumers are and what their expectations are from the brand.
Manish Mohan is senior director of digital strategy at digital marketing agency NetElixir.