With the death of third-party cookies comes the simultaneous demise of data management platforms (DMPs) that traditionally relied on these cookies. Going forward, brands must now develop a top-of-funnel marketing strategy rooted in first-party data.
Looking back, third-party cookies previously enabled brands to track users across websites while populating user profiles with details such as age, gender, location, time spent on site and more. This was then used to activate consumers at the top of the funnel by serving them relevant and timely advertisements.
But the effectiveness of using third-party cookies for user addressability and profiling has been diminishing for some time — from Apple’s Safari web browser blocking the ability to leverage third-party cookies in 2017 to the recent announcement that Google Chrome will no longer support them in 2024.
As part of a recent webinar with leading consulting firm Munvo — Cookies, DMPs and CDPs: Solving for the Top of Funnel — we spoke with industry experts from global information services and technology company Neustar, a leader in identity resolution and an ActionIQ partner.
We discussed the current state of third-party cookie deprecation and steps brands can take to create a future-proof strategy for capturing customers at the top of the funnel. Here are the top three takeaways from that discussion.
4 Top-of-Funnel Marketing Tips for a Post-Cookie World From Neustar
1. Prioritize Unified & High-Quality 1st-Party Data
To maintain brand loyalty among existing customers and convert prospective ones, brands need to deliver personalized experiences at the right time and place. And as the death of the cookie rapidly approaches, it will all be dependent on unified, high-quality customer data.
This can be a challenge, as oftentimes brands struggle with disjointed or incomplete customer records. In fact, 20-40% of customer profiles are duplicates. Maybe that’s why only 33% of marketers feel they can rely on their CRM data to make decisions.
“The goal is to have a single unified graph powering everything on the backend,” said Devon DeBlasio, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Neustar. “That way we have single control, single consolidation.”
Meanwhile, the ability to maintain consistent profiles using both online and offline information reduces fragmentation while empowering you to track customers across touchpoints, which in turn enables the delivery of better experiences.
2. Align Your Martech Stack Around First-Party Cookies
To create a future-proof solution, ensure your martech stack is driven by a first-party cookie approach.
Traditionally, DMPs have been marketers go-to source for identifying anonymous users at the top-of-funnel. As we move towards a privacy-first future, tools like DMPs that were reliant on third-party cookies will no longer be relevant.
“In the past, DMPs have been the primary tool to drive audiencing and orchestration activation.” said Zachary Van Doren, Senior Director of Partnerships at ActionIQ.
“Third-party cookies as the traditional means in which to build profiles around.”
As organizations prepare for the future of advertising, pairing a CDP with an identity provider not only mitigates reliance on an unreliable tool, but will also enable more addressable and informed targeting.
3. Make Transparency a Cornerstone of Your Strategy
Customer-centric businesses are powered by dynamic customer data strategies, but those strategies must align with consumers’ expectations for how their information is collected, used and shared.
In short, long-term success is dependent on being transparent — both with consumers and publishers – about how customer data is assembled and activated.
“[W]hat brands are focused on is control and ownership,” said Ade Adeosun, Vice President of Marketing Solutions & Advertising Partnerships at Neustar.
“They want to make sure they retain ownership of their data. They want to make sure they’re being very responsible owners of that data. And they want to make sure they’ve got control going forward.”
Compliance with data security and privacy should be a key component of the tools you add to your marketing technology stack.
4. Power Superior CX With Trusted Identity
Obtaining complete and accurate profiles across both unknown and known customers enables brands to more effectively segment audiences, create predictive models and orchestrate customer journeys across both their owned and paid channels with a customer data platform (CDP) and CX Hub (download the CX Hub Solution Brief here).
“[Neustar] provide[s] the underlying infrastructure from an identity resolution standpoint to power everything that ActionIQ is doing with their software, to get the right experience in front of the right customer at the right time,” DeBlasio said.
Only by knowing exactly who you’re talking to — and their past interactions with your brand — can you maximize the value of top-of-funnel engagement.
“The CDP is the orchestration and activation UI for the marketer to engage with that [customer],” said Zachary Van Doren, Senior Director of Partnerships at ActionIQ.
“And then, it’s addressed and activated downstream into paid media. Again, using that underlying ID as that agent for addressability.”
In short, leveraging an identity-based solution not only assists with future-proofing your martech stack for a world without cookies and device IDs, it also helps you provide customers with the personalized, impactful experiences they want.
Check out the full webinar featuring Neustar to hear more about how you can reimagine your marketing approach for a cookieless world.
Learn More About Cookieless Top of Funnel Marketing
Download The Enterprise Advertiser’s Guide to CX in a Cookieless World to learn how you can take back control of your customer data and support business-critical prospecting and conversion use cases.