Why is it so important?
Cookies have been central to good digital marketing strategy.
It has been a source for reaching target audiences, engaging them and then converting to business goals.
Now Google is pulling the plug on Cookies
Let's start with a definition:
An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data stored on the user's computer by the web browser while browsing a website.
Businesses will need to understand how they have a relationship with their current and potential customers in the future. Where there was a reliance on tech platforms to provide this, it will now be removed and businesses will need to look at developing first-party data.
Currently, marketers have cookies at the core of their digital plans. Things like personalisation, audience targeting and re-targeting, tracking and measurement rely on third-party cookies. The third-party Cookie’s greatest benefit is its ability to remember information and create non-relevant personalised experiences for consumers. The loss of this could render a brand to become increasingly absent from its targeted audience.
Moving forward data ownership, transparent use of data and consent management will become the foundation of any marketing strategy.
Why should we care?
As third-party Cookies deprecate, the obvious changes that an unprepared business will see in its bottom line and risk exposure will be reflected directly in areas that fall under the responsibility of marketing.
Business needs to care about this current Cookie conversation largely to ensure they are on top of measurement and attribution, in order to maintain or create a competitive advantage and to continue to effectively be able to deliver against their businesses’ expectations – revenue, growth and efficiency of spend.
The changes to the Cookie environment will also significantly impact marketing spend. It is better to understand how these changes can help reduce marketing spend wastage. The excuse that there has been an ‘algorithm change’ no longer flies.
Being able to anticipate the changes will let businesses take control in managing the impact. Cookies have been a tried and tested tool for many years, whereby the new models (Floc, Fledge, iOs14 etc) are not yet. Businesses need to be across these new options and develop an understanding to ensure agility in order to move when things change. The best way to do that is to be educated in the environment, issues and options. The environments (data, loyalty, privacy, targeted marketing, etc) at their core won’t change, but the way in which marketers achieve their goals within the environment will.
Consumers are also becoming savvier regarding this environment. Customers are asking more questions about how their data is being used, where they are being targeted and how different legislation will affect the collection of their personal information. The more questions being asked, the more the regulators get involved and the more change businesses will face.
What should businesses do?
Look internally at your own digital marketing strategies, your path forward, being confident that as your reliance models change, you remain compliant with regulatory changes. Have conversations with agencies and partners now.
Also, look outside your business; so much of what is happening in the regulatory space impacts the way we do things. Don’t be left behind. Understand the various inquiry findings, lean into industry conversations and understand the implications of changes to government regulation that are going to impact our privacy policies.
Most of all educate yourself and your team. If you’re not on top of all of this, your business will be impacted.
Third-party cookies have been such a crutch. Now that they’re going away, businesses that need the push will be forced to understand the value of their first-party data, and structure their data in more usable ways.
Without Cookies, ad space should cost less. Bonus! Of course, there will be costs associated with a new Cookie-free approach that combines your data with data matching services, third-party data sets and targeting methods to accomplish what Cookies used to achieve. Ensure you’ve got the technology in place to interrogate and analyse the data, and that you’re working with people who know the right questions to ask to draw insights from it.
It’s imperative to get on the front foot now. Learn how to provide appropriate transparency into your practices and pivot your business to be prepared for regulatory changes as soon as they come.
Source: AMI & ADMA