5 steps for optimizing your digital marketing as third-party cookies crumble

June 6, 2022 | 5 minute read
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A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer. Cookies are designed to enable websites to remember useful information (like log-in information) or to record the user’s browsing activity. Cookies are also used to track customer behavior for marketing purposes.

First-party cookies are specific to the site/domain the user is on, while third-party cookies can cross websites/domains, thus allowing for more extensive tracking. Third-party cookies, however, are increasingly being blocked by applications, browsers, and default privacy settings. As privacy restrictions increase and customers become more sensitive about their data, marketers must now rethink and evolve how they collect and leverage customer data.

Today’s marketers face challenges with data, adapting to customer behaviors, and shifting due to disruption. Learn what marketing technologies, such as automation and AI, make a difference. Check out the top marketing technology trends for today.

First-party cookies for the win

First-party data has become essential for how marketers build trusting relationships with customers. As Chelsea Gross, former Director Analyst at Gartner, explains it: “marketing leaders must accelerate when, where and how they collect, aggregate and deploy first-party data. They’ll need best-in-class tactics for incentivizing customers to share that first-party data, as well as data and analytics management capabilities to handle the data itself.”

When marketers get better data, they can leverage it to build better models and drive more personalization, which results in better customer engagement. That, in turn, leads to the sharing of more, higher-quality data and improved marketing ROI. It’s a virtuous cycle.

Let’s look at five steps you can take to work with data without cookies to continue optimizing your campaigns and results.

1. Understand your requirements for the customer experience (CX) you want to deliver across the entire customer journey

Doing so helps you figure out what types of data you’ll need to deliver on those experiences as you deploy your marketing automation platform, CRM, and other tools. Different areas of your business, for example, will require more or less data to meet their goals. Take an inventory of who needs what data to deliver on your CX promise.

2. Bring all your data together so that it can be validated and cleansed, standardized, and compiled

You can then make relevant data available to everyone who needs it in the form and scope they need it. You need the right level of data governance for the right users of the data, making sure that security settings around your data are aligned internally and externally.

Break the silos where data gets trapped and stagnates. Take stock of what data is stored, and if it's not needed to support your CX (see step #1 above), then purge it—the standard approach in a post-GDPR world (GDPR refers to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation).

3. Plan alternative approaches to collecting customer data that you may no longer have access to

The essential question for marketers is ‘how do we get the data we need, and how do we get customers to opt in?’ There's so much to gain from that conversation. You also want to ensure that customers have a positive experience with your brand. You must provide valuable, relevant content to get more consent and relevant customer data.

4. Take every opportunity to communicate transparently with potential leads and share real value

Work to understand why a prospect is coming to you in the first place, then use that understanding to nurture the relationship by delivering content that addresses their specific needs.

Find out how to assess a buyer’s intent and take the next-best-action to nurture that lead with Oracle Eloqua.

No customer wants to give you their family’s email addresses when they barely know you, let alone trust you. Slow down and build those trusting relationships, creating and sharing content that provides real value to customers before you ask them for anything (like their data) in return.

5. Develop the ongoing capacity to test and measure marketing impact

When it comes to marketing, it's never ‘set and forget.’ You need to keep learning and adjusting as you go.

For example, with a marketing automation solution such as Oracle Eloqua, you can automate processes and utilize tools to create a network of data coming in, getting cleansed, standardized, and sorted appropriately.

Then you can create campaign canvases that nurture contacts based on decision steps that ask, ‘Is the customer engaged? How did they engage with our last email or our forms?’

You can automate responses based on predefined customer behavior and enable timely personalization at scale.

Cookies and Oracle Eloqua

Multiple Eloqua updates have addressed the evolving issues around cookies, recognizing that first-party data now ranks among the most valuable data for B2B marketers. Here are just a few ways Eloqua helps:

Eloqua asynchronous tracking scripts

Track visits to your website seamlessly without affecting the page load time for the visitor. So when customers visit a website that has those scripts deployed, cookies are placed in the browser. Those cookies help identify a website visitor according to their specific browser and computer combination if they return to the domain.

Those cookies remain in the browser until the visitor deletes them manually or for 13 months.

Strict mode tracking in Eloqua

This helps you not track visitors from countries based on their IP address unless they've opted into tracking. This tool helps marketers remain compliant with data privacy regulations—like GDPR—and I strongly recommend it for any company with an international footprint.

Interested in other Eloqua features for lead management? Subscribe to our regular feature kits for Eloqua and other Oracle Marketing product updates and news to stay at the top of your marketing game

Ultimately, marketing success comes down to having the capacity to sense customer needs and respond to them with relevant, timely messaging targeted to those needs. The right platforms and tools can help you automate, scale up, and personalize your outreach to nurture customer relationships, even as cookies continue to crumble.

Any questions? Get in touch with Sojourn Solutions about how to adapt to a cookieless future using Oracle Eloqua.


Get product updates and tips on making the most of new features for Eloqua and other Oracle Marketing solutions. Subscribe to our regular feature kits to help you stay up to date and on the top of your game.

Find out more about making the best use of data to create personalized, relevant campaigns with Oracle Eloqua:

 

 

 

Rebecca Le Grange

Rebecca Le Grange is a managing partner at B2B marketing advisory firm Sojourn Solutions. Sojourn Solutions has been helping Oracle Eloqua customers on their marketing automation journeys since 2015. Sojourn has empowered hundreds of client companies to overcome challenges around accessing and leveraging their customer data, enabling them to achieve improved B2B marketing results that impact marketing ROI and top-line revenues.


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