Why are you waiting to upgrade to a people-based marketing strategy?
Google just can’t seem to quit cookies. A confluence of factors are to blame, but chief among them is Google’s inability to develop a suitable replacement.
It’s not like it hasn’t had the time or the money. Remember, cookies were initially set to be phased out in 2022. Then it was 2023. 2024 is the new magic number…for now.
The writing has been on the wall for a while. Cookies are dying and Google is foundering as it tries to come up with something better.
The thing is, something better already exists. To be sure, “better” is definitely a low bar. Cookies don’t represent real people, they don’t support deduplication, and they contain attributes that are often flat-out wrong. Yes, they’re cheap but even that isn’t a great benefit when they fail to deliver strong ROI.
Marketers don’t just need better, they need a leaps and bounds improvement.
To us, the answer is so obvious that it’s perplexing Google continues to avoid it: people-based identities. In other words, marketing to real people based on real interests.
Real people visit stores. They make purchases. They engage. They tell their friends. Cookies don’t do any of those things.
In our recent discussions with agencies and marketers, they have been clearer than ever about wanting to wash their hands of the privacy and ethics drama that surrounds the usage of non-permissioned, pseudo-anonymized data.
They want to really get to understand their customers. Then they want to find more customers like them. They want to strategically segment customers and prospects based on metrics like loyalty and purchase frequency.
Stakeholders like this remain ahead of the curve in a market that has been painfully slow to adapt to the realities of a changing environment. That said, we think marketing based on real people and identities is at an inflection point. The rug is being pulled out from anyone trying to hang on to old approaches. IAB knows it. Trusted advisors like McKinsey know it.
The stakes are getting higher
If the ROI and strategic marketing enhancements aren’t enough to sell some stakeholders on cookies, the reality of a changing legal and regulatory environment should also factor into decision-making.
As one industry expert just recently pointed out, “the headline-grabbing, multimillion-dollar fines” are not just a threat. They are quite real and “can affect smaller businesses that do not take proper care of personal information.” Major entities like Twitter have gotten slapped with $150M penalties for breaking privacy promises.
Small or large…no brand or agency is immune and claiming ignorance no longer cuts it. It may be hard to believe that we’re now five years on from the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal that really brought awareness of privacy in tech to the forefront.
Since this time, regulators and lawmakers across the world have been busy making sure consumer rights are protected once and for all.
The wave is coming. Those that are unprepared may find themselves crushed by it. Others who prep new strategies will be best positioned to ride it to new levels of success.