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Are you addicted to your cookie jar?

Niyati Svrivastava
23 Mar 2022

The value paradox facing both customers and marketers in a cookieless world

Marketing is facing a huge change in 2022 as third-party cookies are removed without a clear alternative, and customers and regulators assert a renewed interest in data privacy. Where does this take the personalization and enhanced customer experience (CX) conversation? How do you deliver the much needed personalized experiences across whatever customer touchpoints exist with heightened demand for privacy, tighter data controls, and the right to have information erased? It is a problem akin to one that the food industry faced: how do we deliver a healthier alternative without impacting great taste? It’s time to look beyond, using innovative solutions and a lot of experimenting, privacy-safe collaboration, and industry data alliances for the art of the possible.

Data disruption mapped to customer sentiment

The question is whether the story is actually going to flip, can marketers benefit from the death of third-party cookies? The answers may lie in the progression of data disruption mapped to customer needs. As indicated in the 2021 Consumer Trends Index Report, 73% of respondents said they were okay with receiving recommendations from brands based on past purchases. The report showed that 54% of consumers were also okay with receiving an email reminder about an abandoned cart. However, 66% said they do not like adverts that follow them across devices. Furthermore, 69% of respondents said adverts relating to something they talked about near a smart device are creepy. And lastly, 72% said they do not want advertisements based on their location data from companies they don’t know.

This indicates that customers are still okay with loyalty-based marketing communications. Solutions that help marketers to strengthen first party data, match and analyze first party data from any source, and expand overlaps for greater accuracy and scale while being agnostic of cloud and identity provider will empower data enrichment and identity resolution.

From reliance on cookies to building first party relationships

Listening to the customers is an important first step in taking the strategic direction on thriving in a cookieless world. There’s a big difference between targeting a golden audience segment with a silver bullet of an offer versus going through a consumer’s browsing history dump to analyze next best actions. Marketers will benefit from understanding drivers for customer loyalty and brand differentiation. As some struggle to investigate how to reduce their reliance on cookies, many are starting to build first party relationships and incentivize direct engagement.

Building trust in a first party world

Marketers will have to focus on change needed to deliver experiences that build customer trust. When the marketers’ world moves away from third party cookies, they will have to move somewhere. That somewhere is the first party world. The ball will be in the brand marketers’ and publishers’ court. Everybody else is an intermediary – from the big agency holding companies to supply-side tech platforms to data management platforms – all intermediaries without a relationship to an end consumer will turn to data owners.  How does this then impact the experience revolution? It’s pushing companies to move way beyond a narrow CX focus and reimagine how their business operates and interacts with customers, creating unrivalled new experiences at enterprise scale. Marketers will have to create extendable and scalable schema with no reliance on third party cookies or identifiers. Identity creation and dataset mapping to the schema will help build linked identities for the target segment. The profiles have to be enriched with a constant feedback loop plugged into the customer data platform.

Firmly established data ownership

Harnessing the capabilities of the whole organization to become customer-obsessed will help drive relevancy and new growth. There is ever present, underutilized, relevant and rich data lying across organizations’ operations that can help them understand customers’ changing preferences and early warning signs of flight. We do have to take a stronger look at the state of the existing first party data – and firmly establish a data ownership that is clean, dynamic, and capable of connecting to a network of emerging premium data partners for powerful and insightful audience planning and activation.  Because in the end, it is all about the value that is being created for the customer in a society with rising customer expectations. Are you ready to take the next step?


Niyati Svrivastava Digital Content and Marketing Practice Lead UK & CE
Suzan Bachas Digital Marketing Lead Financial Services BNL