Breakthrough ‘22 session recap: Data transparency as a proxy for brand trust 

October 20, 2022
Three cookies with bites taken out of them

It’s been a little over a week since Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike melted our faces at Breakthrough, and we’re all still asking ourselves if we really caught a glimpse of Kourtney Kardashian IRL. And that wasn’t even the coolest part of the conference!

We’re also back to our day jobs, and confronting the change we’ve all grown accustomed to in today’s marketing landscape with a bit more confidence after last week’s sessions. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: change is the one constant in marketing. 

As Viral Bajaria, 6sense co-founder and CTO, emphasized in our session, “change in marketing is coming, all we can do is be ready for it.” We couldn’t agree more. Preparation really is the secret to confidence. 

Prepare for change

One of the biggest changes heading our way? The end of third-party cookies. 

We’re not here to talk about that, though. (We’ve talked about that before, and it’s been covered extensively by others, too.) This is about what happens when marketers shift their perception of data privacy from a compliance burden to a high-value way to communicate with their audience. 

Leading with data transparency as a proxy for trust

For anyone struggling to get their team to prioritize data transparency and consumer control among a long list of competing priorities, we get it. It’s hard to conceptualize the business value of intangible things like a messy data privacy situation with a customer…unless you’re in the business of building trust. And if you care about building your brand, you absolutely care about being trusted.

The good news is marketing teams have ample opportunities to strengthen market perception by placing control of user data back in the hands of users. Deloitte recently underscored the importance of this work in light of changing data regulations, writing:

“Customer trust is one of the most powerful business assets that a company can own. So investing in and effectively deploying the right consent management solutions will be increasingly important in order to get more value out of first-party customer data while respecting the privacy and listening to the preferences of customers.”

Challenges for revenue teams & digital marketers in a privacy-first world

Brands invested in the powerful work of building a reputation on privacy know there’s a long road ahead, reimagining the way companies go to market with the loss of third-party data that helped to deliver hyper-personalized experiences. Revenue teams can expect to experience at least a few of these upcoming challenges:

The ability to target and reach your audiences With less ability to use third-party data, revenue teams will struggle to fine-tune targeting. Many will find what works in one ecosystem does not work in another, leading to fragmented processes, targeting capabilities, and data. 

Personalization and relevancy of ads When it comes to personalization and ensuring relevancy for your ads, contextual marketing is going to become much more important. Revenue teams will need to know more about where buyers are in the buyer journey – leveraging intent data, first-party data, and partnerships all help to paint a more complete picture without using cookies. 

Measurement, attribution, & reporting capabilities As if this wasn’t complex enough on its own, the loss of third-party data will undoubtedly complicate measurement, attribution, and reporting efforts. For teams looking to get this right, integrations are critical from your marketing automation platform to your CRM and beyond.

What the loss of third-party data means for revenue teams
Getting smart with first-party data: How revenue teams & digital marketers are navigating these challenges 

Wondering how to approach these challenges? You’re not alone. We’ve distilled it down to four key parts: 

First-party data is key The best revenue teams are combining first-party cookie data with contextual data, machine learning, and AI to serve relevant content at the right time, to the right people. This is your shot to build trust with your audience through the explicit exchange of information, so be thoughtful about the ask, and how you deliver real value against it! 

Empower your AI AI-powered marketing allows brands to eliminate non-privacy-compliant ads and use accurate ad personalization algorithms that build trust. Data is only as good as the amount and quantity that you have, so make sure to have all your data ducks in a row. Migrating to GA4 now (if you haven’t already!) is critical for success on this front. 

Omnichannel marketing If you don’t have an omnichannel marketing strategy with supporting tactics to use first-party data and extended platform data, start here (right after you set up GA4, of course). It’s also how you’ll grow your LTV – bonus!

Persona targeting solutions The more you’re able to learn about your prospective buyers, and then strategically apply this knowledge to your marketing efforts, the higher your conversion rates. While this strategy may feel more difficult in the initial stages as you adjust to a world without third-party data, the long-term benefits of building first-party data into your persona targeting will win out. 

Breaking up with third-party data

Revenue teams preparing to move on from third-party data in the coming months may find themselves fixating on what’ll be lost in the process, as breakups often go. It won’t be easy, but the sooner we collectively get on board with data transparency and hand consumers control of their data, the sooner we can get back to the basics of good marketing, beginning with building trust. 

Prepare for change

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