How Channel Data and Automation Give Partners a Better Experience

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Tomislav Krevzelj

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Digital marketing data is going on a diet – no more cookies. This changes the digital landscape for advertisers. Tracking what users do and what they interact with will become nearly impossible. So, what can digital marketers do? The answer is – collect first-party data.

But wait… what is happening with cookies?

Since the dawn of digital marketing, advertisers have been using cookies to serve consumers relevant ads, based on their web browsing habits. But, in 2020, Google announced they would be phasing out third-party cookies by 2022 on Chrome browsers.  

This means that advertisers will lose sight of how web users convert. For example, before “converting”, a user is likely to perform a series of actions across the web. From searching for an item, clicking on an ad, browsing multiple sites before finally making a purchase.

All of these actions are tracked by cookies, which advertisers use to analyze web user behavior. This data is then fed into AI machine learning algorithms that can model user behavior to optimize conversions.

There are two main predictive models. The first is the attribution model in which the last “click” or web event counts towards the final conversion. Basically, the ad that is clicked before a web user completes a conversion, counts as the main contributor to that conversion.

Then there is the linear data-driven model. This model uses cookies to assign a value to every web event that led to a conversion. So, say a user clicked five ads before converting. This model will assign a value to each click event, and lead to an optimized web journey.

Clearly, the second model is far more valuable to advertisers, since it provides a wealth of web user behavior data.

But this doesn’t matter anymore – because, without cookies, this level of conversion optimization is gone. Probably for good.

What is life without cookies?

There’s hope, according to Infobip’s resident digital marketing guru, Dubravko Blaće. Advertisers accustomed to “sniping” can either get used to the scattergun (or at least assault rifle) approach. Less accuracy, means more guesswork, though. Spray and pray.

Advertisers can also zoom out and analyze campaigns as a whole, looking at total spending and ROI. This moves growth marketing closer to traditional sales KPIs, by looking at pipeline generated and conversions won.

The best option, however, is to provide value and get first-party data.

What is first-party data?

First-party data is any personal information that relates to users. An example of this is an email address or a phone number – anything that can be used to contact users.

Once this data is gained from users – as well as their permission to use it for advertising purposes – businesses can begin providing them the experiences that can guide them to a conversion.

How to get customers to give you first-party data?

This depends on the industry. Retailers, for example, typically get first-party data from customers by offering discounts for registering. And adding a time limit to the discount helps get customers across the line for quick conversions.

For other industries, it’s as easy as considering what is the value the business provides its users. Then, they can offer them a sample of it – in exchange for an email address or, even better, their phone number.

From that point, it’s as simple as having the right partner in place to help partners deliver better experiences.

Channel automation

Any business equipped with both first-party data and channel automation tools can nurture users towards a conversion. 

Where cookies used to be able to help predict user behavior, channel automation lets businesses build omnichannel messaging flows to nurture users towards a conversion.

That means that businesses can target users with the right message at the right time, respective to where they are in the customer journey – on any channel. This means a conversation started over email, for example, can continue seamlessly over other channels – for instance, in-app and over WhatsApp or any other chat app.

By creating tailored messaging flows, businesses can guide their customers to a close on the channels they’re most responsive on.

But in order to do that, businesses need to have full data profiles.

Unified first-party data

First-party data can be collected across multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. This can result in creating incomplete user profiles with fragmented data.

Unless user profiles are sorted with the right first-party data attributed to the right user, then automated messaging flows may not optimally flow.

Remember – businesses are collecting first-party data from their users so that they can guide them towards a conversion. These carefully crafted flows are only as good as the data they’re built on.

The right tools for channel automation and unified data

With cookies on the way out and highly targeted advertising using AI machine learning predictive models following – businesses need to take the wheel to properly steer users towards conversions.

The first step is in capturing, collecting, enriching, and aggregating first-party user data from multiple partner sources in a single place.

The second is using this data to build omnichannel messaging and campaign flows that help guide users to a conversion. And then, continue nurturing them throughout their customer lifetimes.

Customers have come to expect this level of service. They expect to be able to communicate with the businesses they use as simply and freely as they would with their closest friends.

The right partner for the job

Cookies are going away and this will fundamentally shift how businesses target customers. The surest way to respond to this challenge is to provide value to customers in exchange for their first-party data. Using this data, businesses can create automated omnichannel campaigns that nurture potential customers towards a conversion.

Having the right partner in place, who understands the challenges of the future and the tools to address these, will help businesses succeed in a cookie-less economy. 

Sep 30th, 2021
5 min read
Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Tomislav Krevzelj

Senior Content Marketing Specialist