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Most data professionals believe that not a crumb of data will be left when third-party cookies disappear in 2023. Consumers, who don’t like being tracked, are delighted. But it remains for companies to find better ways to collect data from current and potential customers, with their full knowledge and consent.

Companies can start by incentivizing customers to voluntarily provide their own data in exchange for offers, exclusive content and personalized recommendations. With these efforts, personalized forms will be the new cross-property tracking. People-based identifiers will be the new programmatic advertising. In short, when it comes to cookies, the first party will be the new third party.

These changes also benefit advertisers. With third-party cookies, advertisers believed that more targeting equaled more relevant ads, and better business results. However, a recent study revealed that when Chase showed ads on 400,000 websites, it did no better than showing ads on just 5,000 websites.

Scenarios like this promise to give customers greater control over their experience, and marketers the ability to create more effective campaigns. These are well-crafted first-party cookies, and reaching them requires up-to-date techniques.

You need to be aware of new marketing trends and best practices to win in this cookie era, a new era built around legitimate, two-way customer relationships.

Audience segmentation suffers

Today, companies rely on personalization, reaching known customers and prospecting to target audiences and activate their data across channels. These audience targeting use cases will not go away when third-party cookie data is no longer available, but in the meantime, marketers are grappling with how to address these use cases.

With the demise of third-party cookies, companies face the challenge of tracking unrecognized or first-time visitors to their websites. Currently, companies use third-party cookies and mobile advertising identifiers (MAIDs) to collect audience data through onboarders, data providers and cross-domain tracking. When these approaches go away, one question on marketers’ minds is how to target ads effectively.

To reach known customers, many companies today turn to demand-side platforms (DSPs), or automated buying platforms, where advertisers and agencies can go to buy digital ad inventory. Instead, companies will have to grapple with new ways to approach DSPs that support people-based IDs. Most DSPs don’t currently support them, and for those that do, scale remains a concern.

The future of prospecting looks promising thanks to known audience lookalikes, emerging partner ID solutions, and contextual targeting that is trending upward. But until then, companies must contend with redefining “target audiences” to find new customers. With programmatic targeting of unknown audiences trending downward, companies must find new approaches to prospecting that don’t rely on third-party cookies or MAIDs.

More and more marketers are turning their resources toward the practice of developing customer journeys and keeping them after all the effort has gone into nurturing them. But to get to that stage, companies must retool their customer acquisition stack to remove the exclusive reliance on third-party cookies and move it from tactical to strategic.

Minimizing the impact

Getting ahead of the disruption requires a proactive approach, not a reactive one. Companies have built their advertising strategies around third-party tracking cookies, so to minimize the impact of their demise, now is a good time to re-strategize from the ground up.

Collect omnichannel data

While third-party cookies collect data from web and mobile, data from source cookies will be data collected from all customer touchpoints, from the call center, to chatbots, to the point of sale. By unifying source data from multiple channels, you can begin to identify the “ant paths” to success that convert leads into consenting customers.

Use personalization and real-time intelligence.

Getting customers to enter their personal information throughout each step of the customer journey ensures you get the data you need before their next click. Once you know your omnichannel data insights, you need to use them to inform customer experiences, which is possible with Adobe Experience Platform solutions such as event data, flow segmentation, offer decisioning, and personalization.

Orchestrating the customer journey

Using first-party data puts marketers in a good position to develop and optimize the customer journey. These journeys have three stages: getting customers to repeat, increasing their lifetime value, and correcting journeys to fight churn. At each stage, it is crucial for marketers to promote their offerings across multiple channels in a personalized way.

Become a first-party advertising expert.

First-party advertising targets customers based on their own consent and interest. It replaces reliance on third-party cookies with reliance on first-party identifiers. Customer consent is coupled with behavioral and media data, which can be scaled to personalize at the individual level. First-party driven advertising enables more reliable and reputable data to be used to:

Prospect between publishers and advertisers based on a combination of lookalike modeling and data collected from a partner.
Broaden audiences by bringing identity partner data assets into play.
Complement that data to identify which components have contributed to converting prospects into customers.

Ultimately, minimizing impact means building a first-party infrastructure. When you shift reliance from third-party cookies to durable first-party IDs, such as email or phone number, you can develop customer journey maps with both online and offline data, which helps determine how prospects become authenticated customers.

Five marketing tactics and their trend

One of the most difficult things this year is deciding how to move forward with a degree of uncertainty. In this environment, it’s critical to be able to stay nimble, prioritize scale and adapt to any changes in legislation regarding what will or won’t be possible without third-party cookies.

Below, we take a look at five common marketing tactics and how we see them evolving amid the cookie shift.

  1. Personalize content with first-party cookiesIn the near future, data will be used through authenticated first-party cookies and first-party application identifiers to enrich the customer experience. These insights can be generated through artificial intelligence and machine learning, which will also be used to classify browsers into audiences through real-time customer data profiling. Companies will be able to directly access behavioral data, attributes, segment memberships, etc. In this way, the future of personalization will provide richer profiles, far beyond the binary of trait and segment qualification used today.2. Reaching out to known customersCompanies can expect a rapid change in the industry that will require flexible activation on additional IDs. There will be an expansion in walled gardens, from the number of platforms (such as Twitter and LinkedIn) to ID types (such as mobile numbers), with real-time customer data profiles (CDPs). Companies can also take advantage of the growth of DSPs and the resurgence of direct purchasing. Marketers who succeed in reaching known customers will activate partner- and person-based IDs in an open and agnostic way.

    3. Finding potential customers

    In redefining the “target audience,” companies will need to match high-value customer profiles with authenticated publisher audiences, target customers directly (or use them as a seed for lookalike modeling and expansion), integrate with identity partners, and reach customers with relevant messages based on page content. These steps will ensure success regardless of how the industry transforms.

    4. Measure the value of customer data.

    A new priority should be a shift to “cost per authentication” metrics. Unifying around this metric can help companies prepare for a future without third-party cookies. It is defined by a focus on personalizing the exact timing for capturing first-party data, with the goal of:

    5. Personalize the experience based on each user’s click behavior.
    Discovering the precise sequence in the customer journey that maximizes the source data provided with consent
    Understand when customers leave your site without providing personal information
    Prioritize customer trust

    Companies will get nowhere without the trust of their customers. This is especially true in a future without third-party cookies, where building trust with customers by respecting and protecting their privacy is critical.

    Learn how your cookies can work for you

    Inform and educate your teams about third-party versus first-party cookies, and make sure you’re prepared for when data deletion starts to impact your business. Conducting a cookie audit will require everyone to understand what a future without third-party cookies will look like. If teams are informed earlier, changes are less likely to affect your organization’s customer experience.

    Source: Adobe BlogĀ