Why the Cookie-less Future Might Just Open More Doors For Creativity.
For nearly 20 years, advertisers have relied on third-party data to target, track and measure digital campaign performance. There’s been a hyper focus on where the data leads us, and now, with Google reaffirming the loss of cookies (albeit delayed), and Apple’s opt in iOS 14 permission setting, the world of digital targeting and performance is requiring a new path forward.
For now, we have the luxury of having Chrome’s targeting scale and measurement stay intact. But one thing for certain, we should not delay our preparation and investment in new solutions and identity mapping. For brands and agencies, this can be viewed as an interesting opportunity challenging us to be more creative with the way we collect and utilize data, prospect new customers, and how we measure success.
With the reliance on one-to-one cookie targeting dissolving, there are new challenges for brands who want to target potential and current consumers, especially if they do not have an existing first-party data stream. So what’s next? The answer is not so simple and will continue evolve over time. To start, brands will have to be more thoughtful, creative and truly immersed in consumer engagement experiences, as well as experiment with new targeting signals and identity solutions. Brand voice will play a key role in reaching and retaining customers.
Marketers will also have to get inventive and identify new ways to capture first-party data. Whether it is creating immersive campaigns focused on data collection or providing incentives for those willing to share information, loyalty programs will play a larger and more vital role in brand marketing going forward.
Performance measurement will experience significant shakeup as well. Expectations need to be set ahead of time. Inherently, performance will decrease without the data we’ve come to depend on, so we need to modify our success metrics and develop new ways to quantify our goals. The loss of view through data will represent significant decreases in attribution.
Here are a few key recommendations to consider to adapt to this new cookie-less future:
- Do the homework to understand all possible first-party data streams, and what your needs are from an Identity Graph
- Start discussions with publishers now about their cookie-less roadmap
- Perform a full audit of your current digital buy to understand the impact to data sources
- Test alternative targeting placements (such as contextual or grouped) to compare performance against existing cookie-based solutions
- Examine click tracking against view through tracking in all reporting
- Identify new testing partners that have unique targeting sources important to your business
- Optimize first-party data streams and consider campaigns geared to collect more data
- Work to create real value for customers in exchange for data sharing or loyalty programs
The road ahead is still being paved, and we can take advantage of a longer timeline, but one thing’s for sure, the loss of third-party data is an exciting creative and media opportunity, not to mention a safer and more privacy compliant landscape for customers. It will make space for new and innovative ways to reach audiences that relies less on forced data inputs and more on engagement, discovery and connections.