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Let the Cookies Crumble

Let the Cookies Crumble

Tiffany Schreane

cookie moon

How to shift from cookieless campaigns and build healthier customer relationships

What’s an event without cookies? (Pun intended!) Digital marketers have begun to strategize how they will continue to create effective, targeted campaigns in 2022 without the use of Google’s third-party cookies. As one Forbes articles points out, “The disappearance of third-party cookies doesn’t mean an end to measurement; it just means what and how we measure is going to change.”

What can marketers do today to create effective cookieless marketing campaigns? Follow these steps toward building more sustainable customer relationships.

It’s a Party

We’re talking about first-party data, to be exact. Third-party data may be disappearing, but that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in beneficial data to help inform marketing campaigns. Strong first-party data remains, while second-party data can help fill in some gaps. 

First-party data lives at the center of cookieless and targeted campaigns. As a Nielsen study from April shows, 86% of marketers say that first-party data is essential to their business marketing efforts. Further, experts suggest that companies look to build out their own targeting solutions using first-party data to help shape campaigns. Over the years, marketers have gotten smarter about educating themselves on different types of first-party data that is at their fingertips. They have rigorously analyzed this data to help them produce beneficial insights, building measurement strategies that feed marketing campaigns. Valuable insights such as executing personalized campaigns can be produced through analyzing first-party data. 


Data quality and cleansing are still stumbling blocks for most marketers and will continue to be as marketers make the shift to cookieless campaigns. 

Here are some key data points to help prepare for this shift:

  • Review all of your first-party (and any second-party) data accessible within your organization
  • Confirm the quality of all data to ensure data is cleansed for campaign measurement intelligence; additionally, confirm the frequency that data quality will be audited
  • Establish a measurement strategy up front during the marketing planning phase to verify that any data needed is being tracked

Culture and Community

Are brands truly listening to their customers and communities, or are they just performing hollow acts? Whether B2B or B2C, customers will look for ways to do business with brands that align with their customers core values. According to Keesa C. Schreane, author of “Corporations Compassion Culture: Leading Your Business toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” creating a compassionate and equitable corporate culture and improving employee engagement are vital brand values and have the potential to help a business’s bottom line.

“[Customers] want to spend their money with brands that care about what they care about. They are consciously making spending choices based on their relationship with a brand and alignment of values,” says Christina Garnett, senior marketing manager at Offline Community & Advocacy. “Brands need to keep this in mind when they look to connect with their audience and work to build consumer relationships with them.”

Here are some examples that help shape company culture impacting brand value and help with the bottom line:

  • Create a happy corporate culture. Allobee is an end-to-end all encompassing business solution for solopreneurs, micro-businesses, small businesses and startups. One way this company ensures a happy culture is by including a “Bee Kind Clause.” This clause helps sustain a kind atmosphere—eliminating the possibility of microaggressions and hostile environments for its employees, freelancers and clients.
  • Don’t just tell us your company believes in equal opportunity—show us. This has the potential to impact B2B growth. Maya Watson, head of global marketing at Clubhouse, took to LinkedIn to express why she and her team have turned down working with multiple advertising agencies. “I will not work with an agency that doesn’t have a diverse team. It’s a non-negotiable for me. It’s still surprising to me when I show up to a pitch and this is the case. Just a PSA for anyone who wants to work with us.”
  • A people first organization that cares just as much about their employees as their customers is the most organic marketing strategy a company can implement. Not to mention, this is a brand value that aligns with customers and will help increase the bottom line.

The Continuous Pivot

Identifying a silver lining around the last 18 months, marketers had to shift from the typical marketing playbook and significantly change their strategy. In altering these marketing strategies to meet new goals, new insights were unveiled. Even better, in some cases cost efficiencies were found that can be utilized in further marketing campaigns. Parameters of marketing—especially digital and social media—are evolving every day. The key to keeping up with the momentum is to continuously pivot your marketing strategy. The famous saying “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” applies to marketing strategy as well. Innovation and predictive strategy based on data and analytics should always be a part of the conversation.

What are some ways to ensure you are continuously pivoting?

  • Review a trend analysis of campaign results (try looking back just two years for a relevant analysis).
  • Identify what worked and what didn’t, analyze and understand the different nuances of the marketplace as well as the brand campaign, and be sure that outside forces didn’t contribute to negative results.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. If budget allows, put some money toward new marketing channels. After all, the goal is to reach as many potential customers as possibleyou won’t know what worked unless you try it. 

Tiffany K. Schreane is a marketing, advertising branding professional with over a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 clients globally and domestically. Schreane’s professional background includes media director roles with Publicis Media and Ebiquity. Schreane is a marketing professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Borough Manhattan Community College.