Cookies are out, and putting the user first is in. Media measurement will become much more about user consent rather than gathering as much information as you can in a cookie-less world. But what does this mean for brands and how can you prepare for this new way of collecting and storing data?
What is the ‘era of consent’?
The era of consent places the user first. Marketers have begun to listen to people’s concerns around data privacy and have adapted accordingly. Now data is only stored with the explicit consent of the individual. However, this means that much less data is being collected which has been a growing concern amongst companies and advertisers. But do you really need that much data in order to create personalised and targeted ads? The answer is no. You can still gather actionable insights whilst adhering to the permissions granted to you by a user, which is where consent based marketing comes in.
What are the advantages of consent based marketing?
Less data can actually be a good thing!
For a long time we shifted into an environment where media engines like Facebook wanted to know everything about you. This information was then used as signals to target users with more personalised, unique and timely ads. However, marketers went into an extreme where that actually accumulated too much data that could not be used in an effective way.
Too many data points causes too much noise, and genuine insights can get lost in the vast amount of information that is not actually helpful to digital marketers. Therefore, brands should not worry about creating personalised ads in a cookie-less world, because you never actually need that amount of data in order to be targeted. You will still be able to gather enough information that can be used in an effective way within your marketing strategy.
Companies can begin to rebuild trust
No one trusts the companies that are holding their personal information which is a huge problem. Concerns around data protection and privacy were beginning to mount, which contributed to the downfall of cookies. Marketing without cookies, on the other hand, gives greater power to the user which can help them feel more in control of their data.
This consent based alternative to collecting data can help improve trust because advertisers are being more honest and transparent about tracking. Users are therefore more likely to comply with the tracking systems because they feel they are giving their permission rather than their data being stored without their knowledge. As a result, marketers can still collect the information they need whilst putting their user’s concerns around privacy first.
It’s better for the environment to store less data
As we previously discussed, marketers used to collect way more data than they actually needed. All this information has to be stored somewhere. Even cloud storage is typically kept on a main hard drive. Therefore, data storage places large pressure on the electrical grid and has a significant environmental impact which you may have never considered.
Alternatively, consent based data often collects less information than cookies. This means we will have smaller data centres, which are much better from an environmental perspective because you are holding less information, which relieves the electrical pressure and decreases electricity consumption.
How can you prepare for the era of consent?
Google has announced that cookies are here to stay until at least 2024, however there are a few things brands should do to ensure they are prepared before this date arrives:
- Ensure your are GDPR compliant – Users should be explicitly asked for their consent to use and access their data, hence the rise in cookie banners across the web. You can also A/B test different cookie banners to see what has a greater opt-in rate.
- Invest in first party data – Collecting data on your customers and their behaviour removes the reliance on third party cookies and helps to increase brand trust and compliance.
- Get used to walled gardens – Investing in your own technological and data capabilities can help your brand prepare for a world where walled gardens are only going to get higher and harder to access.