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Brand Strategy Third Party Cookie Marketing Measurement

For brands, the silver lining of signal loss is the opportunity to build trust

By Savitha Namuduri, Vice-president of data and analytics

November 18, 2022 | 6 min read

As part of The Drum’s Data and Privacy Deep Dive, 3Q/Dept’s Savitha Namuduri argues that while privacy changes may impact ad measurement, they also create opportunities to build trust with customers.

Silver lining

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One of the main challenges facing today’s marketers is signal loss, whether it is the result of third-party cookie deprecation, Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) or pro-privacy regulations including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Privacy act and other state-level laws set to go into effect. Marketers are working hard to mitigate the impact that signal deprecation is having on measuring their efforts, whether it’s a reduced ability to identify the customers visiting their sites, serve relevant ads or create a closed-loop measurement strategy.

It’s important that marketers understand these changes and take the appropriate steps to adjust their approach. No marketing strategy is complete without meaningful, actionable data guiding its decisions.

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Signal loss is inevitable, but companies that are hyper-focused on collecting as much data as possible risk losing out on an important chance to build trust.

Trust as a competitive differentiator

Some businesses have recognized a silver lining. Some of our B2B and financial clients are welcoming the changes with open arms by adopting a privacy-first approach that appeals to their privacy-minded customers. It’s a golden opportunity to reaffirm why their customers should place trust in their institution (instead of their less privacy-focused competitors).

For example, one organization has taken the proactive step of sunsetting pixel-based tracking. Did it introduce gaps in their measurement? Yes. Did it make justifying media efforts even harder? Absolutely. But earning their customers’ trust and finding creative solutions to bridge those measurement gaps is an impactful differentiator – one that customers notice and appreciate.

Signaling a privacy-first approach is proving to be a competitive advantage – it’s easing consumers’ fears around how their data will be used, by whom, without their explicit consent. Consumers have demonstrated that they may be willing to trade relevance and other conveniences for heightened data privacy.

Investing in privacy-conscious targeting and measurement

While brands are still left with a myriad of challenges to address, few, if any, are insurmountable. They should look towards alternative solutions that uphold their commitment to keeping their customers’ data private.

One option is leverage incrementality tests to gauge the incremental impact of media tactics compared to an organization's business as usual (BAU). This will help quantify the impact of ads, regardless of how sophisticated a brand is with respect to their existing risk mitigation strategies.

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Another option is to increase access to and reliance on first-party data and identity resolution mechanisms or authenticated people-based marketing. Set up an ecosystem to import first-party data, resolve identities and leverage third-party and behavioral attributes to fill in the gaps that have opened up as a result of signal loss.

Having a holistic marketing approach means being aware of the risks and preparing for the worst. But brands shouldn’t be afraid of signal loss – it’s simply an inevitable reality we all have to contend with. Instead, they should embrace it by demonstrating their commitment to consumer privacy and work to find creative solutions that ensure they can still understand the impact of their marketing efforts.

Savitha Namuduri is vice-president of data and analytics at 3Q/Dept. For more on how the world of data-driven advertising and marketing is evolving, check out our latest Deep Dive.

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