Why CMOs should care about the demise of third-party cookies, explained by ENGINE’s Matt Rhodes (head of strategy) and Adam Fulford (chief customer officer)
Gartner’s latest hype cycle for digital marketing shows a crisis of confidence across the industry. Whilst expectations of real time marketing have hit their peak, personalisation engines are at an all-time low of disillusion. Investments in data and personalisation technology have yet to realise results for many. For many client’s performance remains dependent on technologies such as third-party cookies at a time when they will cease to exist.
The demise of third-party cookies will see a range of changes for brands and their ability to target advertising at customers and potential customers. Driven by concerns over privacy, Google’s changes to Chrome, the world’s most popular browser also reinforce the power of the platform. Giving them even greater control over our advertising and how it can be targeted. This is part of an ongoing shift in the power balance between brand, publisher and platform.
Much of the discussion is about impact on media buying and ad tech solutions. We believe it ushers in a more fundamental role of the brand and attitude to digital advertising and customer engagement. It should be a clarion call for CMOs, an opportunity to create a fundamentally better experience for customers, wrestling control back from platforms at the same time.
The battle for power has yet to be won.
Third-party cookies promised relevance at scale, but the reality was frequently simply re-targeting at scale. A race to the bottom for creative excellence and customer experience in exchange for marginal performance gain.
Whilst the power is shifting, a move to platform-based targeting, based on rich audience profiles built on connected needs is likely to be a better springboard for creativity and rich customer experiences. It heralds the age of dynamic creative, the opportunity to show that by making the creative relevant to the context, we can deliver more effective results than endless targeting.
For CMOs everywhere it’s time to connect creative and context once more. To take advantage of investments in data and technology. To finally deliver the promise of personalisation at scale.
Delivering returns on relevance.
We’re working actively with our clients in the battle for relevance and performance, our approach is based on three key areas:
1. Take control of data:
Forging first-party data connections with customers has never been more important. Brands should be focusing their efforts first on how they capture this data, and second on how they then use this data to deliver value to customers and prospects. Does this shift the sales journey for your brand from PPC or display as the last click to building a relationship and driving conversions through your first-party data?
2. Take control of the experience:
Working with platform based behavioural audiences offers the ability to deliver pragmatic relevance at scale for many. It’s an opportunity for a more segmented approach that can build relevance on the journey to a more atomic approach to relevance as the technology and skills in a client allow. Connecting creative and media agencies in a coordinated approach to relevance has never been more relevant.
3. Take back the power:
Build this platform well and clients will not only deliver performance gains but understand their customers, both current and potential, better than anyone else. We’re seeing high volume and frequency clients considering how to sell insights and audiences to partners of their own. This presents an opportunity for brands to play more than one role in this triumvirate.