There has been a lot of chatter within marketing circles about Google phasing out its support of third-party-cookies. As of now, this is set to go into effect in late 2023, and it’s a hot topic we previously covered as we outlined how to prepare for this major change.
These are the areas that will more/less be impacted by the change:
Of course, it’s natural to instinctively feel that this change (like any other change) is not good. I mean—isn’t it getting a little tiresome to keep having to go back to the user acquisition drawing board each time new restrictions and limitations come into play?
Fortunately, there are a few bright sides to this scenario. In a nutshell, the cookieless world presents opportunities for your marketing team to really think outside the box, and make the most out of what you have:
Read on for more on each of those points!
With third-party cookies ending in 2023, marketing teams are starting to place greater focus on zero- and first-party data. Even though this deprecation does not mean cookie banners are going away, it does mean that companies should begin to think outside the box. And that’s cool, because we as a collective have time on our side!
Now is the perfect time for you and your team to get ahead of that deadline, and experiment with maximizing personalization without relying on cookies. You can look into ways to pivot your marketing strategy to focus on zero-, first-party and marketing-consented data, while making privacy and trust your competitive advantage.
If you start working on those next steps now, not only will you be able to fine-tune your action plan in peace—you will also have the ability to monitor and reflect on what is and isn’t working and iterate your data collection and user acquisition campaign strategy ahead of the late 2023 deadline.
Also, as you’re working on revamping your data infrastructure, be sure to ensure you have robust hard conversion tracking (such as phone calls) as well as soft conversion tracking (email list sign ups, news or blog shares) set up. Both conversions can help your team better understand what is and is not working with your ads.
As you know, first-party data refers to the information that your brand is able to collect (and provide) from your own sources. This refers to the info about your customers that’s extracted from both online and offline sources, such as your website, app, CRM, social media, or surveys. What’s great about first-party data is that it isn’t hard to collect, and is (by nature) GDPR compliant. Sweet!
Zero-party data is also GDPR compliant, as it is intentionally and proactively shared directly by the consumer, which you can use to determine what your customers intend to do or buy in the future. Many DTC brands already have a treasure trove of zero-party data at their disposal, as part of their onboarding process, to understand customer needs down to the personal level.
So why am I even bringing this up? I’m doing it because you need to use this time to intensify your focus on acquiring more zero- and first-party data from your customers, and building greater consumer trust through more transparent communications that provide a value exchange.
As stated in a video by OneTrust solutions engineer Arshdeep Sood, “Imagine that a customer signs up for your newsletter,” she said. “You promise not to spam them or share their email address and you tell them that they can unsubscribe at any time. That builds brand confidence.”
This level of trust becomes further amplified if you take the data, and integrate it with a predictive marketing solution that can yield the best results for your growth and retention campaigns based on LTV data.
A user acquisition strategy that is LTV-optimized is essentially one that is future-proofed. Changes, limitations, restrictions, deprecations—none of that could shake the foundation of growth campaigns that are LTV-optimized with the backing of predictive marketing.
That is because historical data acts as the starting point, and is used to gather relevant insights to target the best of the best customers. This form of optimization strengthens acquisition campaigns to unlock greater returns. It can also be used to identify favorable CAC:LTV ratios, and to identify high-potential campaigns.
As we stated in our free LTV optimization guide, LTV data isn’t just about driving acquisition. It can also be used to help focus and optimize retention campaigns. You can utilize it to build custom audiences and lookalike models, to optimize towards highly valuable customers.
It is crucial for your team to make the most of the time left till the depreciation of third-party cookies goes into effect. Get a head start on reassessing your processes, acquisition/retention strategies, data collection methods, technology partners, and more while there is still ample time left. It will only get chaotic if you wait till the last minute, and we all know that haste makes waste. As you and your team embark in making these updates, be sure to continuously educate yourselves on all the ins and outs, and conduct plenty of tests to find the best combos that generate the best results for your brand.