Nearly half of senior marketing executives expect to see a large financial impact on marketing ROI as a result of the end of third-party cookies, according to a recent survey by Lytics. It’s a reality that all marketing teams must face, and while some are making moves to collect more first- and zero-party data, 52% of retailers in the survey said they were completely reliant on third-party cookies.
Nicole Silberstein, Ecommerce Editor for Retail TouchPoints believes this moment of reckoning “presents marketers with the chance to course correct back toward their consumer, aided by a vast range of technology solutions now available for that very purpose,” she wrote in a recent Tech Guide. “Those solutions are becoming increasingly essential to marketers, evidenced by the fact that B2C spending on marketing technology (martech) in the U.S. is estimated to hit $14.54 billion this year, according to Insider Intelligence.”
We will dig into this new reality, as well as some of the key technologies and solutions driving the future of marketing during the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, taking place June 13-15, 2023, in Chicago. (In fact, we even have a session planned that will dig into how brands are designing unique experiences that support first-party data collection!) We found Nicole’s Tech Guide to be fascinating, and frankly, validating as we assessed the topics we hoped to cover.
She found that, overall, martech has become a strategic investment for organizations, especially as they think beyond acquisition and instead emphasize long-term relationship building and loyalty creation. Investments are aligned to the loyalty loop, which is more robust than the traditional marketing funnel.
Image courtesy: The Fridge Agency
Among the key areas that marketers will be investing money (and time) in as they prepare for the new era of marketing are:
1. Tools that enable data management and effective decision-making: Customer data platforms (CDP) have become critical for marketers as they strive to better manage and understand the vast sea of data they collect about their consumers. AI and machine-learning tools layered on top of that CDP are also becoming key to help marketers take this data and turn it into proactive and intelligent decisions that can shape customer experiences. As teams’ layer technical tools to support more robust analytical capabilities, they must ensure that these solutions integrate so there is a unified view of the business, the customer and business actions.
2. Enhancing personalization across all points of the consumer journey: Organizations that personalize their messaging see an ROI of 20X for every dollar spent, according to an Advanis survey commissioned by Adobe. Personalized experiences can also help improve customer loyalty, retention and conversion rates. But as Silberstein correctly pointed out, “successful personalization at scale is complicated, compounded by the fast pace and always-on nature of today’s media environment.”
At the same time, brands must be able to develop and scale a content strategy that supports this personalization, as well as the expanding mix of platforms and channels that consumers use. Some key technologies that support these goals include content management systems (CMS), digital asset management (DAM) systems and creative automation and optimization solutions that use AI and machine-learning technology to help marketers get maximum ROI from their marketing and advertising decisions. There are so many ways brands and retailers can personalize the experience, so experts noted that they should prioritize what adds value to the customer experience.
3. Post-purchase engagement, retention and reactivation: For years, brands and retailers overlooked the post-purchase experience. After all, through the lens of the traditional marketing funnel, winning the sale is the most critical. But now, as marketers prioritize zero- and first-party collection and strive to use that data to build long-term loyalty, the post-purchase stage presents a prime opportunity to further engage, serve and learn about your consumers.
A big low-hanging fruit opportunity is using loyalty and rewards programs as a vehicle for consumers to get additional benefits and experiences, however, some brands and retailers could also benefit from adding product protection, shipping insurance, installation services and other value-added offerings to build consumer trust. Post-purchase content also can help reactivate customer interest, especially if you’re helping them get maximum value from their investments with your brand!
Sure, the eventual death of third-party cookies feels like a big dark cloud over a lot of marketing teams. But this Tech Guide painted a more positive picture of the benefits brands can see if they invest in building a tech stack that addresses the long-term needs and goals of the business. Marketing isn’t just an expense or a way to win new business. It can create long-term value and turn one-time customers into long-term brand fanatics.
Are you ready to make the change? Check out the guide and get more ideas and recommendations from the experts! And oh yeah, be sure to register for the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, because you’ll be hearing from a lot of pros about how you can thrive in this new era of marketing.