Google’s recent announcement it will drop the Chrome cookie within two years should be seen as the second key marker in the inevitable transformation and reshaping of the digital marketing industry (the ﬁrst key marker being the introduction of GDPR). Our recent article entitled Solving Performance Marketing’s Trust Problem looked at some of the problems the industry faces in the present; this article will now look beyond that, using the ﬁrst two markers within a seismic industry shift to project a natural progression and journey we are already - and inevitably - on. The future of Digital Marketing will be built upon the generation and management of ﬁrst-party data; to successfully navigate this future will rely upon the evolution of software AND the way we use it.
What does Google’s announcement mean in practical terms?
It means we are moving into a post-cookie identity landscape. It means that any advertising which is built upon the collection and segmentation of anonymous cookie-based audiences will fade out in the next few years. It means that if you are currently operating a spray and pray approach to non-consented data then you need to massively rethink your strategy. As of 2022, browser-based cross-site and cross-device tracking of cookies will no longer be possible.
In simple terms, it means:
If you are a digital marketer you need to switch from targeting third party data to ﬁrst party data as soon as possible.
First Party Consented Data Is Key
The inevitable end of third party data as a legitimate method of digital advertising will usher in a new age; just as one door closes so another will always open. But, the interesting thing about this transition is that it disrupts the industry on a far deeper level than any previous developments have seen, arguably since the birth of digital marketing. Whereas previous technological advancements and cultural shifts have ushered in variations upon a theme, the epoch we are now entering will see an entirely new way of thinking.
When viewed through the lens of consumer privacy and a general awakening regarding personal Data, transparency will be the byword of all future digital marketing. A natural progression of the philosophical ideas behind “Inbound Marketing” will be taken to their logical conclusion: when consumers were no longer tolerating intrusive bids for their attention marketers had to change their approach. Soon, data will not be something marketers use and target; data will become something marketers must earn and deserve.
Evolve Your Philosophy
Let’s stick with the theme of transparency and tell you about a simple mistake Databowl made. For several years we used the phrase “Lead Capture” on our site. We did this because, within the world of lead generation, this is what everyone called it. We believed by using this terminology it would make it easy for people to understand what we were offering.
But, there was always something about this term that jarred. It seemed fundamentally at odds with our brand and our philosophy. The word “Capture” seemed too strong and too harsh. It presented a lead as something to be owned and possessed when we knew the only person to ever truly own personal data was the person the data belonged to. Our software would protect their data, certainly. Databowl would always keep their data secure and safe, but it would never own it. So, how could the word “Capture” ﬁt in with this?
Sure, it’s just a word and it’s a word many people use, but fundamentally it represented something we didn’t believe in. We wanted to operate with absolute transparency, and as such, all our branding must reﬂect and demonstrate that.
18 months ago we changed the phrase Lead Capture to Lead Acquisition as that seemed softer and more in line with what we believe. But, to be honest, we will probably change that again soon as it still isn’t perfect. In line with the aforementioned change in the world of digital marketing, data should not be something you simply acquire, it should be something you earn and deserve.
Moving forwards, whether you’re a brand or performance marketer, the key to success will be earning ﬁrst party consented data . How you do that, is up to you (and if you’re sensible, the software you’re using can massively help).