You may have heard the sky is falling.
According to recent headlines, the deprecation of third-party cookies and other changes to anonymous identifiers are “killing the marketing star” and “rewriting the bargain at the center of the internet.”
Hyperbole aside, the death of the cookie is a massive change to business as usual for many brands. But when business as usual means substandard customer experiences, change is also a huge opportunity.
Many advertisers are understandably anxious — unsure how they’ll survive in a cookieless world. But others are preparing to thrive by swapping third-party cookies for authenticated first-party data.
To reach the promised land of superior CX — and all the revenue growth and brand loyalty it entails — you have to understand why the journey is necessary and what it takes to get there.
Customer Experience is King
Why? Because personalization is the cornerstone of exceptional CX — and CX is now the ultimate brand differentiator.
The majority of marketers have long agreed that they compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, and it’s only become more important over time. Today, 75% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more to buy from companies that provide good CX — and 50% say they’ll jump ship for your competitor after a single bad experience.
While most brands say they’re prioritizing CX more than they were a year ago, too many still rely on a relic that no longer resonates with consumers: anonymous data from unknown sources.
3rd-Party Cookies Came Up Short
Between a lack of transparency and unsavory targeting tactics, it was only a matter of time before the tide turned against third-party cookies. But even if public perception and government regulations hadn’t shined a light on how consumers’ personal information was collected and shared, the value of cookies would have remained questionable.
As one industry leader put it, “Everyone knows [third-party data] sucks.”
The accuracy of third-party cookies was always doubtful, but their availability made them the easy choice. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance doesn’t translate to better CX. And in an experience economy where CX leaders deliver significantly more value to their shareholders than laggards, the gap between competitors was only becoming more apparent.
Experts agree: First-party data is the solution. That’s why nearly 62% of marketers say they’re turning to first-party data to prepare for third-party cookie deprecation. The question now is: How do advertisers recalibrate their approach for business-critical use cases?
Understand Your Options
As you can see in parts 1, 2 and 3 of our Ad Tech Earthquake blog series, how you gather and use customer data will have to change in the post-cookie future. But that doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch. Some prospecting and conversion use cases will remain untouched — and others can be rescued by modifying the types of data and technology you use.
With that said, the days of cookie-based audiences are numbered. If you rely on third-party cookies to target consumers across paid media, conduct offsite retargeting or personalize website visits, you’ll need to find a new way forward.
Now’s the time to get ready. Analyze your current operating model, identify what needs to change and invest in the tools and tactics you need to flourish in a cookieless world.
Anyone who claims they know exactly what the future will look following the death of the cookie is either being naive or dishonest, but one thing is certain: Third-party cookie deprecation is a chance for advertisers to exchange the unknown and unreliable for the trustworthy and accurate. That spells good news for brands that want to increase incremental revenue and build stronger customer relationships.
Download The Enterprise Advertiser’s Guide to CX in a Cookieless World to understand how third-party cookie deprecation may impact your business use cases and what you can do to set yourself up for success.