Is the Cookieless Future the End of Digital?
When we first learned of the cookieless world and that Apple (opt-in option) and Google (Chrome shutdown) would be removing personal identifies (known as cookies), the tech world was in shock. Now that the dust has settled, it may not be a doomsday event for digital marketing. In fact, it may be just what marketing needed.
For many, iOS 14 and Google’s changes will be a move toward privacy. It is a disruption in a disrupted space. The iOS 14 requires iPhone users to opt in to share their unique Identifier for Advertisers or IDFA. Even with the opt-in function, many estimate the rate will only be as high as 5% for US users.
While it is not yet known how all this will impact the effectiveness of digital marketing, what is known is that the automictic, programmatic buyers will experience a dramatic loss because their approach was totally driven by cookies. For digital planning organizations such as my firm, AMPERAGE Marketing and Fundraising, the impact is expected to be much less pronounced.
What we will need is more research to develop smart audiences in the future. No more guessing what your audience wants or needs from marketing. The move to privacy will require better research, better creative and better testing.
It also means that the advertiser may need to keep detailed databases of its own research. The large brands (such as P&G) already have been keeping track of key information. Brand tracking surveys are also seeing a resurgence.
This is a return to thinking about brands and what a brand means to an audience. For me, removing cookies is just like when we researched direct mail and found the majority of it ends in the trash. It’s a return to creativity in the digital space.