The Cookieless Future – A Future of Data Sovereignty

The Cookieless Future - A future of data sovereignty
Fabian Bologna
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Marketing is always facing new challenges. In digital marketing, the Cookieless Future is probably the most discussed one. It is tempting to think of the problem simply in technological terms, but the most sustainable solution is to overcome old-thought patterns and revitalize old strengths.

Often it feels like marketing still has one foot in the 90s. The modus operandi: “repeating old tunes.” Just as the rise of private TV stations led to the rapid increase in advertising hours in the mass medium of TV, the enormous growth in digital media, platforms, channels, etc. was followed by an increase in advertising opportunities and advertising pressure. The flood of stimuli and information dominates media consumption. Old wine in new bottles. Whether in times of TV and print advertising or the era of Youtube PreRolls before influencer content. The logic in which the possible inevitably becomes a must still applies: Can therefore Must run more ads. Can therefore Must send more messages.

Infographic: Outdoor advertising, billboards and promotional displays
So 90s: Maximum advertising pressure on all channels!

Cookieless Future – Final end of 90s marketing?

Today, personalized advertising is mixed in between Instagram Stories and emails from private contacts. Leaks from the headquarters of the internet giants, which in this context mostly act as service providers, continue to unmask the digital as unbounded. Trust in the data competencies of brands and companies is declining. Looking at political initiatives such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or the recently introduced Digital Services Act Package, regulation and new technical barriers in digital spaces were, are and will remain inevitable. Given the systemic relevance, it is hardly conceivable otherwise. For companies, however, this means that dependencies in the design of direct and digital customer relationships on third-party providers are becoming increasingly risky. The Cookieless Future is becoming synonymous with a future of tidy digital space.

Infographic: Digital customer relationship based on data sovereignty
Digital customer relationship based on data sovereignty

Cookies do not stand for what customers want

Tracking cookies should not be missed. The Internet’s bugs, which are sometimes stored in the browser for years and collect information about users, do not stand for what is needed and wanted in the sustainable relationship building between brands and customers in a digitalized age. Rather, it is about deepening understanding from the moment of first contact with customers and developing a seamless customer experience (CX) based on acquired data. Basic capabilities across customer acquisition and identification, consent management, data consolidation and segmentation to final activation want to be leveraged in line with customer needs. To be able to do this, the sovereignty in the use of data must lie within the company itself. Controlling data distribution always means gaining sovereignty. The target image is a data sovereignty that challenges the old logics of marketing.

Customer Experience as a contrast to 90s marketing.

The new generation of marketing has a key role to play: creating a holistic customer experience (CX) across all touchpoints. It will evolve touchpoints into trustpoints, regain trust, and bring together the upcoming innovations in the business model with absolute dedication to customer centricity. With increasing digitization and a plethora of barely differentiable products, the entire buyer and customer experience is becoming the real currency. It takes a data-driven and holistic view of the customer, product, and perhaps also brand lifecycles and thus creates long-term added value.

And is that still marketing then? Yes. And no.

With this demand on marketing, the old specialists of individual genres remain, but in the new context, the IT systems of an organization are below, above and beyond everything in the marketing architecture. The perspective of increasingly regulated, direct digital access to customers is hardly possible in any other way. Apart from questions of marketing technology architecture (MarTech), the marketing organization as a whole will be forced to evolve in the course of the turn of the times. New competencies, such as institutionalized orientation to progressive jurisprudence or IT administration skills, often still isolated silos of organizations, will move closer into the field of vision of tomorrow’s marketer.

How CX-ready is your company?

Actually, customer experience is not rocket science, but the complexity often lies in the fact that it is not created in the green fields, but in the thicket of existing structures. The often underestimated but probably most opaque thicket: the existing IT system landscape.

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