Third-party cookies are going away in 2023, and if you’re like the majority of marketers, we’re willing to bet that news has you crumbling inside. After all, cookies are a mainstay of brand strategies across the digital universe.
A recent survey by AdAge found that “80% of marketers are either very (39%) or moderately (41%) reliant on third-party cookies.” Long story short, the end of cookies represents a seismic shift in the way brands have thought about data.
Google’s demolition of third-party data isn’t just a policy shift. It’s one that requires a reengineering of your brand’s digital foundations with implications on the UX of your website, a reassessment of your content strategy, and careful considerations about where and how you’re interacting with customers.
This change has potentially far-reaching effects on brands’ relationships with prospects and customers. That means that now is the time to examine how you think about data and how you’re interacting with customers.
We pulled together the Jumpsuit Dream Team for their thoughts on ways marketers like you can pivot your marketing strategies — now — to avoid damage in the coming months. Here are three things to consider when evaluating your post-cookies marketing strategy.
1. Use Email to Get Attitude Straight from Your Customers
A key strategy emerging as a potential solution to the Great Cookie Nixing? Email. Email subscribers have already opted in and given consent to have a relationship with your brand.
After that, It’s up to YOU to cultivate that relationship and be smart about what you share, when you share it, and what you ask.
A great way to test creative and gather meaningful first-party data is by segmenting and considering your subscribers as “attitudinal personas.” With content designed to resonate with the interests of your customer — as opposed to their demographic information — you’ll be able to confirm or disprove your theories about their decision-making. Then, you can create relationships that inspire them to share more with you.
For example, imagine you have a tea brand. Instead of segmenting consumers by age, location, or preference for Herbal Blends vs. Earl Grey, you could consider the reason behind their preference. Are they hoping to reap the health benefits of your tea ingredients aboard the Wellness Wagon? Or to add a moment of zen to their mental health routines?
By considering these attitudes, you can create email content that aligns with their deepest tea desires. Once you’ve developed a warm relationship, you can get even deeper with self-reported data in a poll or preferences in their online profile.
In addition to helping you get more information, focusing on attitudinal personas and committing to continuously exploring them will ultimately help you retain customers. And they won’t have to accept a single cookie!
2. Get Old Fashioned — Give People a Reason to Connect
Out with the cookie, in with the community. In a throwback to the 2010s, organic community-building will be a key component of filling the gap left when the cookie jar is empty.
How? By giving customers something they want to react to. To do this, you’ll need to be very intentional about the content you share.
For example, let’s go back to our tea brand and the Zen Sippers. Instead of just showcasing a product, start a conversation. “Our daily sip routine starts with a morning cup of Hibiscus Twist. How about yours?” This helps you dive deeper and gain first-party data on the inner workings of your attitudinal persona — and, most importantly, strengthen customers’ connection with your brand.
These kinds of conversations give you a deeper understanding of your customer and, in the process, help you identify brand ambassadors and cultivate word-of-mouth advertising.
Remember, any community on social media is ultimately owned by Facebook, Twitter, or the social media platform on which it’s hosted. That said, a community grown on a platform YOU own, with a profile user page, consumer-reported preferences, customizable polls, and quizzes will be invaluable to your brand. Especially if you funnel this information into a centralized CRM, giving you invaluable insights (though it does require substantial commitment to keep up).
3. Give Them a Reason to Come Through the Gate
Without cookies, you’ll have to gain key insights by making the most of your first interaction. If you can, you’ll understand their motivators, be able to segment users into attitudinal personas, and move people more efficiently down your marketing funnel.
So, capture attention and first-party information right off the bat through gated content. White papers, eBooks, and webcasts can help generate curb appeal and substantive interest for those looking for your brand. They’ll also get you key information, including emails, that can help you gain and retain customers.
For example, an eBook on integrating tea into your self-wellness routine can bring “Zen Sippers” into your funnel. A follow-up survey can help you identify more of what they want. A webcast demonstration can help you capture new subscribers, engage them, convert them into customers, and transform them into both community members and word-of-mouth brand advocates.
All this while gathering crucial first-party data. So, who needs cookies, anyway?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pivoting your digital strategy away from cookies. But there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success AND improve your customer experience.
Need help determining which steps are right for you? Jumpsuit has a custom Dream Team ready to make a plan that will keep your customer interactions sweet even in a cookieless world.