Chrome will soon pull the plug on third-party cookies. Meanwhile, Apple has announced that they will require user consent for mobile ad ID tracking within apps, starting with iOS 14.5. This is similar to a previous move Apple made with geolocation in iOS 13. As the old maxim says, this is how the cookie crumbles.
The loss of third-party cookies represents a major inflection point. eMarketer’s Ad Measurement and Revenue Attribution 2021 report cited an Integral Ad Science survey revealing that almost half of US digital media professionals feel third-party cookie deprecation is their industry’s biggest near-term challenge.
Truth be told, retiring cookies is more of a blessing than a curse. We are abandoning a flawed attribution tactic that has been riddled with problems from the start. Moreover, the loss of cookies could be the impetus marketers need to prioritize their identity management strategies and rally around what matters most: data quality.
The 4 Cs of identity data
Forward-looking companies are relying on a combination of approaches to build a holistic identity management strategy without cookies.
Last year, over 60% of data professionals said they would increase their investment in first-party data, according to a study by Winterberry Group and the IAB. Over 35% of these data professionals said they would increase efforts to build second-party data relationships, and the same percentage said they would focus on custom and in-house identity resolution options.
Marketers looking to future-proof identity management in a post-cookie world need an intensified focus on what we at Infutor call “the four Cs,” which state consumer identity data must be:
● Current: Change is constant among consumers. Each year, 36 million people change their address, 50 million change their phone number, and 1.5 million add new addresses. Identity management efforts must keep pace to prevent data decay.
● Correct: Incorrect or “bad” data costs between 15% and 25% of revenue for most companies, according to data quality expert Thomas Redman. Every outgoing message that misses its target comes with its own cost, calculated by wasted time, wasted money, or the lost opportunity to convert a viable prospect.
● Complete: Effective identity management solutions require only a fractional piece of information to instantly create a complete consumer profile. Identity completion allows marketers to recognize consumers wherever they are in the buyer’s journey, in any channel, and to reduce friction in transactions.
● Compliant: A slew of regulations make data quality even more vital, as the threat of fines and other penalties looms larger. With so much change and movement among consumers, it doesn’t take much to violate compliance laws.
How important is data quality? In an October 2020 survey from marketing tech consultancy DemandLab and marketing research firm Ascend2, marketing professionals said data quality was the primary barrier to successful revenue attribution. That’s significant considering that more than 84% of US companies with at least 100 employees will use some form of a digital attribution model this year, according to eMarketer’s report.
The bottom line: There’s no need for a post-cookie panic. By partnering with consumer identity management specialists on a holistic strategy, marketers can achieve scale with their initiatives while realizing greater data accuracy and completeness.
— Kevin Dean, COO, Infutor Data Solutions