While marketers may be concerned about how the death of third-party cookies would affect their marketing strategies, it’s crucial to remember that they can still create personalized campaigns without personally identifiable information. Marketers can still use anonymous data to create customer profiles that they find useful.
It’s no secret that the delayed but inevitable death of third-party cookies has left marketers struggling to figure out how to best target and interact with existing and new customers. It’s reasonable that marketers might feel powerless in the face of Chrome and Apple’s dominance in the browser and app marketplaces, respectively. According to Copper’s 2021 Customer Relationships survey, more than half of marketing professionals feel the removal of third-party cookies will have a moderate or significant impact on their marketing strategy.
There’s good news, though: third-party cookies don’t have to be the end-all source for marketers trying to create personalized campaigns that target a company’s desired audience. While it may not appear to be a game changer at first glance, marketers can nevertheless gain valuable insights from anonymized user data.
Gathering useful anonymous data
The first step any marketer should take when starting a campaign, regardless of the data they want to use, is to accurately define their ideal customer profile (ICP). When using anonymous data when individual profiles are not available, this kind of segmentation is even more essential, since it can aid in the creation of lookalike audiences, a targeted group of customers with similar interests and behaviours.
Marketers can utilize CDPs (customer data platforms) to appropriately view, filter, and group data into various categories of audience targets. CDPs can help to collect data from visitors to a company’s website in a completely anonymous manner while maintaining user privacy.
Similarly, marketers can utilize data warehouses to consolidate data from other platforms, such as Google Analytics and advertising channels, to better organize customer data. Instead of throwing marketing emails at the proverbial wall and seeing what sticks, these platforms take the heavy lifting out of data organization and analysis, allowing marketing teams to focus on developing meaningful, long-lasting relationships using the knowledge garnered from these profiles.
It’s also worth mentioning that marketers still have access to behavioral data, even if it’s not linked to a specific person. Marketers can use anonymous data like time spent on a page, pages viewed, and actions taken to build a picture of an audience persona. While anonymized, this information is accurate and reflects how people interact with the website; it has been just redacted to protect user privacy. There are even some vendors that sell this type of data that marketing teams can buy when they need it.
Despite its name, anonymous data does not have to remain that way indefinitely. Companies that employ a CDP can provide users a token that assures their data remains anonymous until they grant the company permission to access it. Marketers can match that user with their token and change previously obtained anonymous data into named data related to an individual once that consent is given.
Leveraging anonymous data
Once a marketing team has established an ICP using anonymous data, the next step is to discover trends within this group of targets, which can be done even if no detailed information on an individual level is available.
Marketing teams can begin by understanding how the ICP functions by evaluating the data and digging a little deeper, and they can further split this list into subgroups that are more customized to a given campaign. Despite the fact that a marketing campaign based on anonymous data may appear to be a spray-and-pray technique, marketers can nevertheless come close to a personalized outreach method that appears relevant to the consumer.
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