As users become more informed about their online privacy, traditional digital advertising methods are fast becoming a thing of the past. Google recently announced their plan to remove 3rd party cookies by 2022 and Apple’s Safari has already introduced stricter privacy measures.
A 3rd party cookie is a piece of code that allows advertisers to track a browser’s website activity. This is how businesses serve you a Nike sneaker advert right after you clicked on the product via the website. Furthermore, it also allows businesses like Facebook to track your online activity, so they can use this information to sell it on to their advertisers.
The removal of 3rd party cookies presents a unique problem for performance marketers everywhere. Performance marketing is when agencies or individuals are paid to drive results through the use of digital channels such as social media, display or search.The removal of 3rd party cookies means businesses will not be able to track their customer’s website activity and only be able to retarget individuals who have provided their contact details voluntarily. This creates a huge problem for traditional performance marketers, who have been tasked with driving sales without the use of brand awareness activity.
Personally, I believe this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The use of 3rd party cookies was always a short-term solution to driving sales for a business. It’s a shortcut for businesses to get down to the pay-off, without actually building a long-term relationship with their customers.
Also, don’t customers have the right to decide who they wish to receive communication from? The removal of 3rd party cookies is the first step in consumers gaining more control over their privacy, as businesses will need to earn the right to market to their customers.
That’s why this new era will lead to the best outcome for the customer; as each brand becomes more dependent on generating 1st party data by offering authentic brand experiences that are valued by the consumer. This means no cookie based targeting, but rather customers being targeted based on interest levels such as creating a profile with the brand. Yes, this can lead to more challenges, however it can also breed more loyal customers who are happy to promote your brand to others.
This is definitely a longer process, however these important steps will help build your brand and become less reliant on short term marketing tactics.
We at Magnum & Co believe this is not the end of days just yet. Yes, this will change digital advertising everywhere. However, it will empower businesses to gain deeper insight into their own organisation and customers. It will also force businesses to start spending money on nurturing customers and providing personalised experiences throughout. This will lead to more loyal customers, who are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend. Building this relationship early, is the starting point for driving loyal customers who understand the business’s true value.
So where does one start? Conducting a thorough analysis on what your brand stands for is the crucial first step. Customers these days don’t necessarily make decisions based on product, but rather based on what you value as a business. A very common mistake that many businesses make is focusing too much on catering your brand’s experience solely towards the customer. This can lead to your brand sounding almost identical to every other brand within your industry. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for ensuring customer journeys are highly personalised, however it’s important that your brand experience is authentic and doesn’t get lost in the noise. This is why having a clear mission will help your brand’s experience feel unique, while also having a high level of personalisation.
This takes us to the next step, which is understanding what’s important to your customers from a cultural point of view. This step is a crucial part of what is embedded in Magnum & Co’s ethos of ‘Do Things That Change Things’. This involves an in-depth analysis of what factors from a cultural perspective are influencing a customer’s decision. Gaining this level of understanding, combined with what your business stands for, helps you appeal to your customer based on shared cultural values. 77 percent of customers buy from brands who share the same values, so nailing this stage early in the customer journey is your starting point in building a long-term relationship. This strategy has been a key part in almost every one of Magnum & Co’s client executions. This ensures we are empowering our clients to influence their audience’s culture.
Finally, data still plays a key part in your business’s communication strategy, as the modern customer has a heightened expectation of the type of content it receives. 77 per cent of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalised experience. With access to so much data, customers expect to only be served relevant information, which ends up paying dividends for the brand if implemented appropriately. Therefore, data still sits at the centre of being able to provide a tailored customer experience. But, understanding the culture of your brand and audience, helps ensure that the tailored experience is still somewhat authentic towards your brand.
I believe traditional performance marketing is becoming a thing of the past. It has led to brands getting lazy and focusing too much effort on customer acquisition. I am not saying that acquisition is not a crucial part of the customer’s journey, it definitely is. But we have been neglecting other stages of the journey for too long. Brands that will survive, will implement a strategy which nurtures customers with relevant content and builds long-term relationships. Equal amounts of resources will be implemented across brand awareness, conversion and retention. The long-term relationships built will also have a positive impact on acquisition, as loyal customers become brand advocates who drive referrals for the business. Change is coming and all you can do as a business is change with it.
At Magnum & Co, we have developed the Brand Experience Path, a model which helps businesses provide authentic and personalised experiences for their customers. It’s a step away from traditional performance marketing and focuses on taking a proactive approach to the upcoming changes. Don’t get left behind, get in contact with us and see how we can help your business build more meaningful relationships with your customers.
Written by Magnum & Co’s Senior Social & Digital Specialist, Gidon Jacobs.