Download HERE our latest e-book: CFOs vs CMOs, how to make joint decisions
Skip to

Cookieless World: Best Strategies for Marketing Teams

Cookieless World: Best Strategies for Marketing Teams
Table of Contents
Estimated Reading: 5 minutes
Post Author: Giuseppe Iafulli
Reviewed By: Cory Anderson

Are you prepared for a cookieless world? This is a question facing marketing teams across the globe as third-party cookies (those bits of code that offer juicy insights for marketers) are facing the sunset. This comes as privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA are starting to tighten, and browsers like Chrome are phasing cookies out. This new era presents challenges and opportunities for marketers internationally.

In this “cookieless era”, marketers have an opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers and deliver more relevant experiences. We feel that the end of tracking cookies is a positive step toward addressing and meeting privacy regulations, along with creating a privacy-first web.

So, what happens next? You’re going to need a first-party data strategy.

Straight off the bat, here are 5 actionable tips for developing a first-party data strategy:

  1. Identify what data you have, its quality, and how it’s currently used.
  2. Define what you want to achieve with your first-party data strategy.
  3. Implement a decision-intelligence platform to manage and analyse your data effectively.
  4. Ensure your data is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  5. Encourage data-based insights to inform marketing campaigns and business strategies.

We’ll break these tips down in further detail later on.

This article is for:

  • Chief Marketing Officers in the retail sector who are considering how to navigate a post-cookies world and need ideas on how to implement a first-party data strategy.
  • Digital Marketing Executives leading the implementation of a first-party data strategy

Introduction to the Cookieless Era

The Decline of Third-Party Cookies

For decades, marketers have confidently relied on third-party cookies for a treasure trove of targeted advertising, retargeting and audience insights. These cookies painted a picture of online consumer behaviour, allowing brands to follow consumers across the web and serve them personalised ads. However, concerns about privacy and data security have led to the decline of cookies.

The Impact on CMOs & Marketing Teams

The cookieless era requires a strategic rethink for CMOs and marketing teams. The reliance on third-party data is fading – which means that building first-party data strategies is critical for future success. This shift demands new skills, tools and processes to understand and engage retail consumers in a privacy-centric environment. CMOs must now invest time and resources into developing a first-party data strategy.

Embracing First-Party Data

The Importance of First-Party Data

First-party data refers to information collected directly from your customers. In the retail sector, this data could include information such as email addresses, website visits and purchase history. The data will prove invaluable in a cookieless era, as it allows marketing teams to personalise interactions with consumers and build stronger relationships with their audiences using only the data they’ve collected.

Strategies for Effective Data Utilisation

CMOs and marketing teams should aim to collect data strategically by identifying key data points that inform marketing goals and customer journeys. In the case of retail, if an online clothing retailer wants to personalise their email marketing, they may wish to collect data points on purchase history, browsing behaviour and click-through rates to help segment their audience and send targeted emails.

For example, through analysing this data, the online clothing retailer could send emails with recommendations for similar items to customers who browsed a specific category or offer discounts on complementary products to past buyers. This strategic data collection helps the store deliver more relevant experiences to their customers, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.

Here are some effective ways to utilise first-party data in your marketing efforts:

  • Target your data collection to insights that fuel marketing goals and map the customer journey.
  • Centralise and unlock first-party data with a Data Management Platform for personalised campaigns.
  • Leverage data to segment audiences for targeted messaging based on shared traits/preferences.
  • Captivate and engage your segments with high-quality content that organically draws them in.

Navigating Targeted Advertising

The Role of Identity Graphs

Identity graphs link customer data from various sources, creating a complete view of consumers. This helps marketers deliver relevant ads without relying on third-party cookies. The customer data is typically made up of interactions with a product or website across a set of different devices or identifiers. When marketers have a full picture of consumer behaviour, they can make informed campaign decisions.

Addressing Privacy Regulations

Compliance with privacy regulations is essential in the cookieless era. When you are collecting data, you must approach this with transparency. This means that marketers must clearly detail their data collection practices, obtain explicit consent from consumers, and provide easy opt-out mechanisms. All of the best practices for data collection and protection are easy to find, with no shortage of online training available.

Personalisation in the Cookieless World

Personalisation remains vital, but the way that marketers approach it will need to be very different in a  cookieless world. Marketing teams should focus on contextual relevance based on user behaviour and interests, rather than relying solely on individual identifiers to inform strategic campaign targeting. It’s important to remember that cookies are nothing more than a text file that includes a small bit of data.

This data is used by retailers to deliver a service for their users. Cookies are not inherently used for tracking. For example, first-party cookies are used to identify users (with the consent of users for this to happen). When first-party cookies are used in this way, they create a foundation for marketing teams to begin delivering personalised content at scale to their target audience.

3 Big Mistakes Marketers When Enabling First-Party Data

With plenty of tools and platforms for managing first-party data, marketing teams have much to consider when building their technology stack in a cookieless world. As you start to embrace new solutions for managing data, here are some important points for marketing teams to keep in mind:

  1. Prioritise data strategy over flashy features when choosing first-party data technology.
  2. Secure your first-party data by prioritising security and compliance during tech partner selection.
  3. Avoid data silos by ensuring seamless integration with your existing marketing stack when implementing first-party data solutions.

Leadership In A Cookieless World

Accelerating the Role of the CDO

As SMBs rarely have the resources to have Chief Digital Officers (CDOs), CMOs will need to pick up this responsibility. CDOs typically champion data-driven decision-making, spearhead first-party data strategies and ensure alignment on privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. In a cookieless world, CMOs at SMBs must put their CDO hat on to reshape how targeted marketing campaigns are implemented.

5 Practical Tips for CMOs in a Cookieless World

Here are just a few practical tips for CMOs operating in a cookieless world:

  1. Lead the charge for first-party data use to personalise customer experiences ethically.
  2. Communicate data practices clearly, obtain informed consent and provide easy opt-out options to build trust.
  3. Deliver relevant experiences by focusing on customer context, behaviour and interests instead of solely relying on individual identifiers.
  4. Enrich your data pool and expand audience reach by breaking down data silos through internal and external collaboration, along with the use of a Data Management Platform.
  5. Stay agile in a cookieless era by experimenting and adapting your team’s approach over time.

Using Kleene For Marketing Without Third-Party Cookies

As a data management platform, Kleene is well-equipped to help retailers transition into the cookieless world by centralising marketing data and accelerating decision-making. When all data is in one place, marketing teams can ensure sufficient data governance by controlling data access. With over 600 pre-built data integrations, teams can consolidate first-party data from a range of sources and keep it in one place.

Talk to an expert today on how your retail business can use Kleene in a cookieless world.

Download the free e-book now : CFOs vs CMOs in Retail. 4 Practical Steps to Striking the Right Balance in Marketing Spend

You may also like:

Use data to guide your business decisions towards better results

From managing your customer acquisition and retention, to product optimisation; Kleene can help
G2 award winter 2023
G2 Awards - the leader in summer 2019
4.5 out of 5 stars on
Used by incredible data-driven companies