Amid the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, it’s easy to forget another impending shift that is changing advertising and marketing forever: the demise of the cookie. Now that cookies have fallen out of favor, brands have an opportunity to foster more direct relationships with their customers, especially within today’s dominant walled garden platforms. The key? Privacy-friendly, identifiable connections to real people.
For years, cookies were the connective links that helped marketers understand more about the people exposed to their advertising. The old days of spray-and-pray cookie-based banner ads are gone, but reaching audiences in the new cookie-less environment requires yet another shift away from the audience targeting we’ve known.
With cookies out of the picture, marketers need new ways to identify consumers, provide better experiences and measure marketing performance. To get there, they need to reinvest in first- and second-party data to supplement insights that were once derived through third-party cookies. This means turning toward the publishers and content producers who have the footprints and direct consumer relationships necessary to sustain effective marketing.
It is no surprise that those best suited to weather the cookie apocalypse are platforms and content producers who already have high volumes of identified and authenticated traffic. Today, Amazon, Facebook and Google are the top three recipients of digital ad revenue. These walled gardens have established trust from users who are willing to exchange identifiable information, such as emails or phone numbers, for the content they get there. In some cases, these trusted sources partner with other sites to provide identified links to people.
Without positive brand experiences, people are reluctant to provide their data. A new Forrester report, for instance, shows 60% of consumers are unwilling to share personal information to receive more relevant advertising from companies. Instead, they value good brand interactions. A PwC study found 65% of customers say a positive experience with a brand is more influential than great advertising.
Through positive brand experiences, the walled gardens have cracked the code to generating identifiable user data. As others continue to build up their own walls to compete with these walled gardens, advertisers need to work with responsible and neutral identity resolution partners who can connect the dots behind those walls.
One major telecommunications provider Neustar works with has already done this using a privacy-friendly identity sync framework. This brand was able to attribute greater value to their Facebook media with 99% offline and 50% online match fidelity. In this way, they balanced both scale and accuracy while cutting through walled garden complexity. As a result, they not only were able to be more efficient in their media allocation, they can use those insights to optimize in-market creative.
By emphasizing engaging brand experiences that create identifiable consumer connections, other brands can compete in the cookieless world of walled gardens, too.
—Devon DeBlasio, Product Marketing Director, Neustar