Goodbye Cookies. Hello Customer Experience!


What is the post-cookie world and why does it matter for mobile app marketers?

The post-cookie world refers to the scenario where third-party cookies, which are used to track and identify users across websites or apps, are blocked due to privacy concerns. Third-party cookies have been the backbone of online advertising for decades, enabling marketers to segment, target, personalize and measure their campaigns across the web. However, with the rise of consumer awareness and regulation around data privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), third-party cookies have come under scrutiny and criticism for being intrusive and opaque. Apple has blocked third-party cookies in its Safari browser since 2017, and Google plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022. These privacy changes forced marketers to find alternative ways to reach and engage their audiences online.

According to Forbes, the death of the third-party cookie will affect many aspects of online advertising, such as identity and addressability, targeting, data privacy and content monetization.
For mobile app marketers, the post-cookie world poses both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, mobile apps do not rely on cookies for tracking and identification but use other methods such as device IDs or SDKs. On the other hand, mobile apps are not immune to the privacy changes that affect the web, such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework or Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiatives. These changes mean that mobile app marketers need to adapt their strategies and tactics to comply with the new privacy standards and expectations, while still delivering relevant and personalized experiences to their users. For instance, Apple’s ATT framework makes it so that app developers must now ask users for permission before tracking and collecting data from them, which limits the amount of data that can be collected and used for ad targeting.

How can mobile app marketers leverage data and technology to enhance the benefits of targeted marketing?

Mobile app marketers were forced to adapt to the post-cookie world by shifting their focus from third-party data to first-party data, which is collected directly from users who have interacted with the app or the business online or offline.

And it comes with a certain advantage, as first-party data is more accurate, relevant and consent-based than third-party data, and can provide a richer and more holistic view of the user journey and preferences to the marketing team. To collect, manage and activate first-party data effectively, mobile app marketers need to use platforms that can unify user data from various sources, provide insights and analytics, and enable personalized and omnichannel experiences. Some of the platforms that can help mobile app marketers achieve these goals are customer data platforms (CDPs), data management platforms (DMPs) and master data management solutions (MDMs).

What are some of the trade-offs between using CDPs, DMPs and MDM solutions for mobile app user acquisition?

CDPs, DMPs and MDMs are different types of tech platforms that serve different purposes and users in the marketing ecosystem. Here is a table that summarizes their main features and differences:

Platform Definition Data Source Data Type Use Case User
CDP A marketing technology that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modeling and optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers2. First-party data from online and offline interactions. May also use second- or third-party data. Personally identifiable information (PII) such as email addresses, phone numbers, loyalty IDs etc. Creating personalized customer experiences by segmenting, targeting, personalizing and measuring campaigns across channels. Marketing teams as well as sales and service teams.
DMP A software that controls data flow in and out of an organization. It supports data-driven ad strategies, such as segmentation. Second- or third-party data from anonymous identifiers such as cookies or device IDs. May also use first-party data. Non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) such as demographics, behavior or location. Identifying audiences by categories to better target digital advertising campaigns across publishers or ad networks. Digital marketing agencies or in-house marketing teams.
A technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets
First-party data from various systems within the organization such as CRM, ERP or POS. Structured or unstructured master data such as product information, customer information or transaction information. Creating a single source of truth for master data across the organization by cleansing, deduplicating, enriching and governing data. Business and IT teams across different functions or departments.

As you can see from the table above, each platform has its own strengths and limitations depending on the type of data it collects, processes and activates.

CDPs are best suited for creating personalized user experiences based on first-party data that is consented, persistent and actionable across channels.

DMPs are best suited for targeting anonymous audiences based on second- or third-party data that is aggregated, transient and limited to online advertising.

MDMs are best suited for creating a consistent and reliable master data set across the organization based on first-party data that is standardized, verified and governed.

How can apps optimize marketing spend to drive conversions?

Apps can optimize their marketing spend by using a mix combination of CDPs, DMPs and MDMs to leverage the best of each platform and create a comprehensive and coherent data strategy for their marketing plan. For example, apps can use CDPs to collect and unify first-party data from their own app, website, social platforms, email campaigns, loyalty programs, in-app purchases etc. and create a 360-degree view of the user.

Apps can then use DMPs to enrich their first-party data with second- or third-party data from external sources such as publishers, ad networks, data providers etc. and create audience segments based on various attributes and behaviors.

Apps can also use MDMs to ensure that their first-party data is consistent and accurate across different systems and departments within the organization and that they comply with data quality and privacy standards.

By using these platforms together, apps can create a data-driven marketing strategy that can help them:

  • Identify and target their most valuable users and prospects across channels and devices.
  • Personalize and optimize their messages and offers based on user preferences and context.
  • Measure and attribute the performance and impact of their campaigns on conversions and revenue.
  • Test and experiment with different variables and scenarios to improve their app marketing effectiveness.

To conclude all of this, as marketers we are forced to quickly adapt to new scenarios, changes in the market, costs and more, all while still being able to deliver the best results we set up as goals. We developed new strategies to serve our users better and to ensure their data is secure. We also went a step further and implemented a system to monitor and detect when data is being accessed without permission, giving us peace of mind. All of this was done to protect our user’s privacy and ensure their data is secure.
That end of third-party Cookies was that major change that forced us to dig deep into the data we already have and understand how to make the most of it.
Once done we understand that it’s more valuable to our plans, creating a better relationship with our app users, knowing that their privacy is being respected.    

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