What Is The Future of Marketing In a Post-Cookie World? – Flock 222


This month we ask two marketing experts two questions in two minutes around our interest topic; what does the future hold for marketing in a post-Cookie world?


Many in the marketing industry have painted a negative picture of a third party cookie-less environment. What do you see as the opportunities arising from the evolving landscape? 

Shanjay – Firstly, acquiring and effectively using first-party data has never been more important. We’ve got a number of exciting projects which will increase the depth and volume of the data we collect. Furthermore, we’ve been investing in our capabilities to execute on this data (people & tech), in a channel-agnostic way.

Secondly, we’re increasingly looking at lift studies and econometric modelling to understand performance, due to the limitations around marketing attribution. The end result is that we’re able to get a more balanced view on performance across the funnel and make better decisions on our mid/upper funnel investments.

Nancy – The “cookie-less” landscape is going to usher in the next wave of digital transformation that will be a more durable and accurate reflection of consumerism, helping us get closer to people-based advertising.  If this happens, this would improve addressability (reaching and messaging Toyota’s prospective buyers) ultimately increasing our marketing effectiveness while gaining efficiencies.  The hope is that cookies will be replaced with a more persistent and universal ID that works across devices, browsers, and apps vs. the current fragmented IDs and cookies, resulting in: over-inflation of buying impressions to reach people (overspending), frequency concerns (overexposure of competing products/services).


As frequency capping and re-targeting, in particular, will be affected by the removal of third-party cookies, what alternatives are you considering?

Shanjay – In the short term, we’ve found we’re more reliant on the duopoly, Google & Facebook, where we still have control and deliver clear results. Longer-term, as we have a mobile-first approach to marketing; MAID (Mobile Advertising ID) is an area we’re looking to test. In addition to this, as Helly Hansen operates in specific niches (Sailing & Skiing), we’re also investing more into direct relationships with publishers which have been a strong growth driver – creating win-win relationships for us and partnered publishers.

Nancy – Retargeting will not be affected by the removal of third-party cookies since this leverages first-party cookies.  In my opinion, frequency concerns should also get better with the removal of third-party cookies if the alternate, new solution of a persistent or single ID is implemented.  My recommendation for fellow marketers that have robust customer record information is to invest in technology and partners that can enrich your data so it’s more usable, or partner with those willing to share their own data providing mutual benefits.  Alternatively, if you do not have deep customer data, I would recommend finding other sources (e.g. loyalty or CRM types of programs that are privacy-compliant) to start building your list. 


Surprise bonus question! How are your media agency partners and media owners helping you to test/ learn/ develop new approaches that are future fit for the cookie-free landscape?

Shanjay – Regardless of the status-quo around cookies, we’ve been working closely with our agency to develop a test & learn mindset throughout all our activity. Our agency has given us clear direction on what to focus on testing and also what KPIs we should be setting. The latter is an easy one to miss, as attribution (e.g. view-through conversions) is often reliant on cookies.

Nancy – We have a few partners that we’re working with to get us prepared for the cookie-less future.  One of the partnerships is aimed to connect disparate customer touchpoints across a variety of digital channels, platforms, and business areas in order to form a single Toyota customer identity.  In order to accomplish this, we’re in the process of cleaning up and unifying our own customer database and tying it to anonymized media data.  We just wrapped up a proof of concept earlier this year that matched anonymized media data to our known customer records and we see huge potential for the future.  Another example is we’re working with several partners on developing dashboards and measurement tools to manage media activity across singular and multiple businesses where there’s shared campaign goals or audiences.  And we’ve invested in an MTA solution that leverages an identity graph to measure incremental lift and multi-touch attribution across all paid channels. The bottom line is – there is no silver bullet to address this very complex situation so we’re focused on preparing for this new future by working closely with our internal and external teams and trying possible solutions..

If you would like to chat more on these topic or find out about how Flock can help with your marketing operations please don’t hesitate to let us know below.