The industry is at a tipping point due to new regulatory changes. Marketers are facing continuous digital disruption and the challenges of ever-changing regulations.

Marketers have a lot to think about when it comes to personalizing marketing communications and connecting with real people in a cookie-less future. 

According to a recent Forrester survey of brand and agency leaders:

  • More than 70% of study participants stated that consumer data is the lifeblood of their marketing strategies, fueling the personalized, omnichannel experiences customers demand.
  • Two-thirds agreed that data deprecation, including tighter restrictions on data use and operating system and browser changes that impact third-party cookies, makes legacy marketing strategies unlikely to remain viable in the long term.
  • 62% of respondents said that the forces of data deprecation will have either a significant or critical impact on their marketing strategies over the next two years.

With so much riding on data and so much to consider, how are marketers navigating the upcoming cookie crumble?

We wanted to learn more about what marketing leaders are dealing with as they anticipate the coming industry changes. We assembled a panel of marketing executives to hear:

  • How they are dealing with the digital disruption and confusion
  • What solutions they are considering
  • What their confidence level is in these solutions
  • What role digital agencies will play for them in the future

Here’s what they had to say.

Identifying which variables are specific to you

Not all variables apply to every brand. The marketing executives whose present strategies include online advertising, pop-up ads, or pinpointed audience-targeting have more factors to consider. Others leveraging different strategies may not find these challenges on their radar daily but there are still many changes to work through.

Jeremiah Bentley expressed this sentiment by saying, “Digital privacy is far from settled. For most leaders, it’s only one of many topics we deal with, and it doesn’t tend to pop up as a challenge on a daily basis like other topics. In the end, we’re relying a lot on our vendors and partners to help us think about these issues and how we can stay in compliance.”

Determining who is in control

It’s been easy to rely on third-party data vendors to increase personalization, but now that entities like Google, Apple, and Facebook have pulled the rug out, it’s time for marketers to declare their independence.

 Some of our panelists are actively considering solutions they can control internally or looking into agencies offering solutions like customer data platforms (CDCs). Others are investigating the best first-party data option to suit their brand’s unique needs while remaining compliant with data privacy regulations.

Finding expertise and guidance⁠—are Agencies the right place?

Marketing leaders are looking for reliable sources of expertise and guidance as they investigate their best course of action for successfully navigating this shifting landscape. But they aren’t certain who to trust.

Hanoz Tabak shared data from a recent study revealing the gap between agency and marketers’ confidence that said, “only 48% of brand data professionals believe their company is prepared for the changes to third-party cookies and new privacy regulations compared to 64% of agency data professionals.”

Jantzen Cole, MS shared a warning about choosing the right source by saying, “Marketing and Digital Agencies have their work to do. It isn’t simply impressions, likes, shares, and demographics. The Agencies that keep human engagement as the end goal will thrive. Those that prefer to give you charts and spreadsheets will struggle to show value moving forward.”

Learn more about how to navigate the marketing industry in a cookie-less world.
Matt Wolfrom

Author Matt Wolfrom

Matt Wolfrom is a media and technology marketer with experience working with the world’s leading brands, media companies, financial organizations, and technology providers. He has a passion for and an interest in the technologies and innovations that enable our connected world. Currently, he is Chief Marketing Officer at BRIDGE, a people-based marketing platform that connects advertisers with their true buying audience. Before joining BRIDGE, PubMatic, Matt was Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications at Synacor. Recruited as a key member of senior executive leadership team charged with kick-starting growth for struggling business experiencing stagnant sales. He commercialized the company’s intellectual property assets to support the go-to-market efforts of the sales organization that turned 3% growth into 16% growth in just one year. Prior to Synacor, he held senior roles at PubMatic and ShareThis. Earlier, he served as Executive Vice President at global agencies Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe advising Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs on their marketing and communications strategies. Matt has been fortunate to receive many professional awards, including: Forbes America’s Most Promising Company, Bay Area’s Fastest Growing Company, Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award, and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500. Matt’s commentary on key technology trends and the future of digital media have been published in leading publications including, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Advertising Age, and many more. Matt is Chief Marketing Officer at BRIDGE, a people-based marketing platform that connects advertisers with their true buying audience. Throughout his career, he has delivered results that increased revenue, profit, and brand awareness through innovative marketing campaigns. Matt relishes building programs that: -- Differentiate: clearly distinguish my company from competitors. -- Motivate: inspire employees, customers, and partners. -- Attract: become the desirable choice for potential customers, employees, and investors. -- Sell: lead prospective customers to a faster buying decision.

More posts by Matt Wolfrom