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Data silos and the post-cookie era: how marketers can overcome landscape changes and internal barriers

Data silos and the post-cookie era: how marketers can overcome landscape changes and internal barriers

By Carolyn Corda, CMO at data consortium ADARA

Security, safety and privacy have long been qualities held at the top of the agenda for financial brands. Banks and other financial institutions need customers to trust them with their money – and so communicating a trustworthy image is a priority for financial brand marketers around the globe.  But how marketers communicate this image is about to change dramatically. And much of that is to do with privacy.

Over the last 25 years, financial marketers have relied on third-party cookies to fuel digital marketing campaigns. Tracking consumers from website to website across the web, third-party cookies inform marketing strategies and allow financial institutions to create highly personalised marketing communications based on user patterns and behaviour.

However, concerns around user privacy have led to tech companies cracking down on the use of third party cookies. Apple launched its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in 2017, Firefox launched its Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) in September 2019. This week, Google caused a stir when it announced that it wouldn’t build an alternate identifier to track individuals as they browse across the web after the third party cookie is retired on Chrome. Moreover, privacy laws including GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California are limiting the use of third party cookies, requiring users to opt-in and adding other hurdles.

 So what does this mean for financial brands and marketers?

The impact on financial marketers

Finance marketers currently use third-party cookies for measurement, attribution and the all-important task of personalisation. These are all impacted by the loss of the cookie. Personalisation is much more difficult in a post-third party cookie world. Data is limited to walled gardens and first-party information such as purchases, name and location.

As customers have come to expect personalised content as the baseline in most communication, the loss of third-party cookies could put financial institutions at a disadvantage, and make it harder to send the most relevant promotions to the right customer at the right time.

Understanding the alternatives

There are a few options for financial marketers looking for life post-cookie.

#1 – Amp Up First Party Cookies

One option that many brands are considering is their own first party cookie data. Brands can create a strategy to collect more data on their own properties and increase the quality and footprint of their own data as a foundation for a new targeting and measurement approach. But, for most brands, this won’t be enough.

#2 – Understand the Footprint of Walled Gardens

The “walled gardens” like Google, Facebook and Amazon, can rely on data provided directly by users in the future. Huge sites like these have a competitive advantage because they have the scale and log-ins to track and target their billions of site visitors with deterministic insights. Other companies don’t have the footprint or scale to do the same thing. Of course, many will partner with sites like Google, Facebook and Amazon, but this won’t allow them to have ownership of their insights or use them across environments. The walled gardens won’t work together, nor will they share granular data.

#3 – Create a Scaled Data Strategy

While marketers will undoubtedly want to work within Google and Facebook’s first-party environments, it’s critical that financial brands seek ethically sourced data from elsewhere. Brands need to develop a new targeting and measurement strategy that expands beyond their own first party cookies –  and beyond the walled gardens.

The bar for sustainable and ethical data is rising. Ethical data is data obtained using transparent means; collected from consumers with the consent that it will be used for marketing purposes and with the understanding that they will receive value in exchange for sharing their data. This gives consumers confidence that their data is being held and used securely and ensures the relationship is transparent and morally sound.

Financial brands can augment their own first-party data with the data from independent partnerships, allowing them to build a broad audience to engage with highly relevant messages in a privacy-centric manner.

At Adara, we’ve developed a future-proof solution for the post-cookie world that combines first party data across brands with strong data rights management capabilities and Privacy Token – a secure way to obtain and share customer data that doesn’t rely on third party cookies. With the ADARA Privacy Token, all shared data is pseudonymized, with differential privacy applied.

ADARA’s tokenization solution is purpose-built for safe data sharing and allows for businesses to share and receive data, secure in the knowledge that sensitive information won’t be leaked to external sources since it never leaves the firewall. Analytics or science teams are then able to provide the best and most relevant insights for marketing and customer experience teams. This enables them to create delightful, permissioned consumer experiences through extensive and validated identity graphs. So even as ecosystem policies and privacy regulations constantly change, financial institutions can ensure a privacy protected digital business without sacrificing performance.

Instead of fearing the demise of third-party cookies, marketers should see the next year as an exciting opportunity to forge a better path forward. Privacy and security are familiar concepts to financial brands, and incorporating these values deeper into marketing strategies is a natural step.

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