Customer Loyalty in a Cookieless Future

Last year, Google dropped a digital marketing bomb when they announced a drop of third-party cookies. There’s been much talk about the future of user tracking for digital advertising purposes ever since. Apple is also planning to give their smartphone users more control over their privacy. Enter the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost every single business has to quickly pivot to find alternative ways to serve their customers. The majority flock to the web.

As a result, the UK digital ad spend reached a staggering £16.5bn in 2020, growing 5% year-on-year. Clearly, advertisers still rely heavily on third-party data. So how do we imagine a cookieless future? And what does this change mean for customer loyalty? The news might seem daunting to digital marketers used to their ways. However, bigger focus on first-party data and user data privacy is ultimately good for all parties. You don’t believe us? Let us explain.

Transparency & trust

The debate around the level of control consumers have over their data privacy online is not new. Ever since GDPR came into effect in Europe, businesses and marketers in particular have had to think twice every time they planned a campaign, created a website or used a contact database. It is not only because they don’t want to get into trouble with the law but also because they have understood the importance of users’ data to the consumers themselves.

If you’re still not following, being transparent about the use of your customers’ data increases the trust between them and your brand. Many consumers are now very picky about which sites they interact with and which data they are willing to give away. This is why the move towards a first-party data approach is such an exciting one. First-party data is by default permission-based, meaning total transparency and consent.

Transparency in data privacy

When it comes to customer loyalty, this can be easily replicated. If you have a loyalty app, you ask users for some of their basic information in order to provide them with optimal experience. The glory of loyalty programs is that you can directly explain why you’re asking for that information and what the benefit of providing that data for the user is. What’s more, you can even incentivise your program members to reveal more specific information in exchange for a reward or loyalty points. Thus, with such approach in a cookieless future both parties profit equally!

More flexibility & insight

Second advantage point for the first-party data approach is that it gives your brand much more flexibility in what data you have to work with. The one-size-fits-all method of third-party data is outdated and does not give way for more nuanced marketing tactics. Just consider what type of customer information a global consumer brand such as Pepsi might need compared to a B2B manufacturer selling to wholesalers and retailers. By choosing to rely more heavily on your own first-party data, your marketing department can extract insights about your customer base that are truly valuable and telling. This then leads to a more accurate segmentation and targeting strategy.

Customer insight

This is particularly important to retaining key customers and creating true customer loyalty. In many cases, demographics data just won’t cut it. Explore the influence of basket data, brand affinity and shopping habits on repeat visits. By using an event-based loyalty platform that can transform any kind of data into actionable insights and rewardable experiences (such as White Label Loyalty), you can finally reach your optimal retention efforts.

Personalisation

You don’t need cookies to personalise your advertising and marketing campaigns! By collecting consensual first-party customer data, you can be more precise and less intrusive with your communications.

Did you know that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand providing personalised experiences?

Moreover, if you want to use personalised offers to increase customer loyalty, you can maximise the ROI by using automations. With the right loyalty software, you can create any type of reaction for any customer action.

For example, say a customer buys your product 3 times within a month. That’s a good indication they are loyal to your brand for the product category. You can build on that affinity by sending an automatic push notification campaign, with a special reward to reward their loyalty. Such personalised experiences are only possible through clever use of CRM automations, which can be achieved via your loyalty app.

Do you want to send personalised offers to your customers?

Hopefully you now feel more at ease with the prospects of a cookieless future. Additionally, we trust you understand the positive consequences that a first-party data approach can have on your customer loyalty. We encourage you to explore how your brand is collecting and utilising first-party customer data. If you need a reliable technology partner to help you prepare for the fast-approaching cookieless future, get in touch with us!

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