How to identify a potential customer’s website and app activity after Google opts out of third-party cookies is one of the major future marketing challenges identified by industry experts.
Although there will be a replacement for Google’s privacy – one that The British competition observer must sign European publishers have accused the tech giant of keeping them in a “death grip on ad tech.”
Meanwhile in Germany, publishers, advertisers and media groups have called on the EU to block Google’s plans.
A third-party cookie-free future means it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to personalize content and serve relevant ads.
And according to marketers and business leaders, this isn’t the only mistake Google is making.
Vertical Bounce is Google’s premier partner, and head of SEO David Colegate is stern in his criticism.
“One of the biggest challenges when running a marketing campaign – in this case we mean an SEO campaign – is that Google is constantly moving targets.
“As we know, there are hundreds of mini updates to its algorithm each year, but there were three major updates in 2021 that completely rocked the industry. One even took place in November, right before the main holiday season, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“There are winners and losers in every major update, and if you’re negatively impacted, it can lead to a significant reduction in visibility, and sometimes even removal of websites from search results. For some companies, this can be disastrous.”
Warrick Godfrey, VP of strategic consulting for marketing platform Braze, agrees. “Tech giants can change their goals at any time when it comes to third-party data, and brands need to be prepared to respond to that. Brands are facing the biggest data management challenge since the GDPR was introduced four years ago, making it more difficult than ever to optimize the way they communicate with customers.
“It has never been more important for brands to take control of their own data and customer relationships. Successful customer engagement in 2022 will mean better use of first or zero party data to personalize communications and harmonize cross-channel messaging.”
April Mullen, director of brand and content marketing for SparkPost, is also concerned about the loss of tracked data.
“Privacy continues to be a hot topic for email senders, especially marketers. As the demand for relevant and personalized email grows in 2022, so will the barriers to collecting the data needed to meet that demand. The loss of third-party cookies and new features like Apple’s mail privacy protection are likely just the beginning of a paradigm shift that will continue to drive marketers to rethink how data is collected and used.”
And Wulfrik Light-Wilkinson, general manager of marketing channel Wunderkind, argues that it could be a blessing in disguise: “Over the past 12 months, marketers have been forced to tackle the problem of customer acquisition after cookies are gone for good. And for some marketers, this is a problem they still need to solve.
“Google’s original plan to implement FloC as an alternative to tracking has recently been replaced by Topics, demonstrating the complexities involved in finding a viable, effective solution that will allow marketers to spend money and deliver results.
“The phasing out of third-party cookies is causing huge disruption to the digital advertising space, but for savvy marketers, this is also seen as a big opportunity. Now is the perfect time for marketers to reevaluate and focus on what matters: the customer. The best way to do this is to use customer data to learn about their preferences, behaviors and purchasing intentions and ultimately enable them to make purchases they value.”
“Any marketing campaign must have a clear focus”
According to our participants, companies and individuals that lack the foresight to develop a comprehensive, coherent strategy will also lose out.
Matthew McGillicuddy, head of call analytics at Infinity, cautions against a one-size-fits-all approach.
“One of the biggest pain points for marketers is the lack of visibility all the way to a purchase, especially when it comes to offline shopping. Since many consumers jump from one channel to another before making a purchase, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach to attribution.
“For marketers, if you don’t have accurate mapping and customer journey tracking, you will constantly have a black hole in your analytics and you won’t be able to accurately report.”
Julian Horberry, head of strategy for integrated technology marketing agency B2B Fox Agency, says concentration is vital.
“Any marketing campaign must have a clear focus, without it you will run into a lot of pain points because you are not clear about the end goal. Our first question for all clients is: “What are you trying to achieve?” – we ask this to multiple stakeholders so that they fully understand the goals of the business, and based on this we develop a strategy. With a defined goal, all activities within the entire marketing mix are geared towards the same end point and will run much more smoothly.”
This unified approach to thinking is emphasized by Damien Bennett, Global Director of Digital Marketing Group, Incubeta. “The biggest problem with an effective marketing campaign is unclear or imprecise goals. Business goals should be a central component of building a winning strategy that maximizes investment. However, this is often not enough as marketers make plans without knowing exactly what they are trying to achieve.”
Brands that match
An important factor in successful marketing decisions remains the ability to identify and measure, especially less tangible factors such as brand awareness.
James Murray is Account Manager at Definition Agency. “Measuring brand awareness is a sore point for many marketers. When considering a brand awareness campaign, I always find it important to set expectations, discuss and agree on key performance indicators in advance.
“Remember that there are many traffic monitoring and Share of Voice platforms out there these days. Social media listening tools also help to better understand the success of brand awareness campaigns.”
Stuart Russell, director of strategy for Planning-inc, whose clients include M&S and Argos, is expanding.
“Marketers work tirelessly to create the highest-performing campaigns, but they don’t measure them correctly. All this hard work is underestimated by key decision makers in the business, and in order to truly demonstrate the impact of a marketing campaign, special attention must be paid to measuring the added value they create.”
And CMO and founder of marketing technology company Bango, Anil Malhotra adds his expertise. “A significant problem with any marketing campaign is the gap between what marketers are trying to measure and the hard KPIs that really matter to the rest of the business.
“In particular, there is a strong element of self-approval in digital marketing, which often focuses on audience engagement as the primary goal. But companies need to know what the correlation (if any) is between, for example, social media content and customer acquisition, revenue and profit, the metrics by which all companies measure themselves.”
“Social media marketing is one of the biggest challenges”
The final pain point nominations go to Janika Ekbo, Director of Marketing at Scandi, Kawai Software Specialist, and Sarah Dawley, Hootsuite Senior Manager, Social Media Experts. Janicke denounces “lack of innovation” and suggests that marketers focus on “the quality of the interaction and the subsequent exchange of information that generates insight and increases the likelihood of conversion.”
“Ultimately, focus on the problem you are solving for the client, not the product or service you are trying to promote. Customers rarely care about what you sell, but they do care about how it will help overcome their own pain points and society as a whole.”
Sarah, meanwhile, sees social media as an end-to-end solution, not “just brands selling directly through social channels.”
“This is much more than just the buy button on Instagram and Facebook. Social commerce starts with inspiration and brand discovery on social media and continues through to actual transactions and customer service after purchase.”
Fast Moving Google Goals, Social Media and More: Marketers Share Their Biggest Challenges appeared first on Press bulletin.