As the cookie-less future approaches, there will be a definitive shift in marketing strategies and customer data collation. With GDPR and other privacy laws becoming increasingly tighter regarding user privacy concerns, many big technology brands have already faced compliances and penalties heat. Leaders like Google and Apple have had to modify marketing strategies to ensure compliance, even after being fined heavily. The conventional cookie-based approach to personalized advertising can no longer work with the new privacy laws.
To adapt to this change and succeed through it, advertisers have to meet new customer expectations and follow regulatory constraints. Knowing that customer data collation will not be done through third-party cookies anymore, will drive companies to innovate on newer ways to connect with their customer community.
What are the new forms of customer connection in absence of cookies?
After the demise of third-party cookies, there will be two key ways brands can connect with their customers: first-party relationships and cohort-based marketing.
Cohort-based Marketing –
This approach was pioneered by Google and ad tech companies and was based on focused communication to a set of people having similar interests and intent, instead of focusing on a single user. Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is one example of this trend. But, this technology came to an end in January 2022 because of some continuing customer privacy concerns. As a consequence, the company chose a new direction called “Google Topics” (a.k.a. Topics API).
The Topics API aims to create a privacy-focused, interest-based advertising model. Topics are decided on the frequently visited sites of a user and those sites are categorized. Based on these, a user is shown similar recommendations. The Topics API is still getting mixed reviews due to the lack of suggestion accuracy. This accuracy level will take some more time till the categories increase.
First-party Relationships –
This approach is also known as First-person Cookie. A first-person cookie is direct and doesn’t depend on third-party cookie data from others. Take an example where a customer lands on the web page and accepts mail subscriptions or browser notifications. Then the company can target the prospect with relevant ads, for example, upcoming seasonal sales or discounts. In essence, personalization becomes much more effortless with first-party cookies providing the data of what a customer prefers.
How to thrive without third-party or traditional cookies –
Creating a proper marketing strategy with a monthly plan helps in effective execution. Using the below-mentioned methods can help win the marketing game sans third-party cookies –
- Incorporating Advanced Email Marketing Analytics
Optimizing email marketing will always remain one of the top ways to get higher returns. Email marketingsoftware that supports A/B testing on links, subject lines, and other elements is crucial. It helps to check which of these options performs better. This approach allows individual user tracking with the help of email. The brand needs to also know if a subscriber has engaged with the sales team, or taken any action on the invite or Call to Action.
- Harnessing the Power of Push Notifications
No doubt, email marketing has exceptional ROI but it is not the only digital option available for personal interaction. Push notifications hold the potential to urge a prospect to become a customer, perhaps with repeat purchases over a period of time. Research by Airship in 2021 mentioned that opt-in rates for mobile app push notifications range from 29% to a whopping more than 70%!
The focus needs to be on creating engaging content and online/offline networking events to gain high opt-in rates, and enable further conversations by the quality of content and relevance of the Call to Action. Prospects willingly opt in to know about services and products if they like the content and experiences received.
Next, scrutinizing the security systems will be essential even if a company has robust systems. This will safeguard highly sensitive data like financial data or personal information.
The future demands adopting new ways of personalized marketing
“Cookies were considered to be powerful because they opened the gates of personalization for digital marketers. As we bid adieu to third-party cookies as a prominent strategy, how one can achieve data-driven personalization?”
The answer lies in a resilient, practical content strategy that sits on an agile and reliable customer data platform. As brands learn to survive with new strategies in place of third-party cookies, marketing teams need to learn to improvise, adapt, and survive in the cookie-less future and still drive the necessary results.