As marketers we are hungry.
Hungry to reach customers.
Hungry to be the best at doing it.
For most of us, we love what “the cookie” has done to help reach our customers, but it’s not completely satisfying our appetite anymore.
To understand why, let’s start with some cookie basics.
Cookies are like an anonymous ID that cannot identify you as a person (e.g., name, address, and other personally identifiable details). They sit within a browser and are instrumental to digital marketing in several ways:
1) They can relay information to help your website deliver content to match visitor interests and preferences
2) They will remember your preferences and activity, so you can leave a site and return to the same place you left off
3) They can help you deliver ads which are more relevant to your needs
With the rapid expansion of technology, now more than ever, marketers are looking to reach customers across more channels and devices with consistent messages, but we often run into challenges with the tried-and-true cookie strategy because:
- Cookies are tied to a single browser on a single device, and since most consumers now use three or more devices, it’s difficult to get a full picture of the path to purchase or understand how your campaigns work together
- Cookies don’t work as well for ad targeting on mobile devices because popular mobile browsers are set to block 3rd party cookies by default
How Can You Reach Your Customers across All Devices?
As we look to balance these challenges with consumer demand for a more relevant brand experience, we need to supplement the cookie with digital and device IDs, and look to a people-based approach for targeting and measurement.
- A people-based approach to targeting begins with data from first-party data sources—like your CRM, POS, or email systems—or from third-party data providers. When you anonymize and then match this data to cookies, mobile device IDs, and other digital IDs, you can run a cross-device and cross-channel campaign that advertises only to your VIP customers through display mobile, TV, email, and social networks. That’s putting your customer data to effective use!
- You can also take a quantum leap in accuracy when measuring a campaign’s results. For example, ROI analysis is more accurate when you can tell that an ad seen on one device, a website visit on another device, and a purchase in a store are all tied to the same consumer.
We are merely scratching the surface here, but an approach that looks across cookies, digital, and device IDs enables us to use our preferred tools more effectively to:
- Analyze which creative performs best for distinct audience segments
- Measure offline sales lift
- Perform cross-channel attribution analysis
- Easily blend 1st party and 3rd party data
Many leading global brands are using consumer-level recognition and data onboarding to change the game—making it possible to tie offline and online data sets for more agile, rigorous marketing. So look-alike models, CRM segments, and even ad exposure reports all become more accurate. This is giving marketers the precision dreams are made of!
This isn’t the last you’ll hear about reaching customers, not cookies—so stay tuned for more!