Brands need better customer data systems as cookies crumble

Image courtesy of ICO

Most brands are still unprepared to address their own identity data infrastructure weaknesses although cookie-based customer engagement is under question, according to a survey report from Epsilon and CX Network.

The global survey covers about 200 customer experience and marketing experts based in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

“The decay of cookie technology is now forcing many brands to alter their strategies to meet changing customer expectations,” said Patrick Sim, Epsilon’s SVP for APAC and MEA regions.

The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office explains that cookies are a technology that stores information between website visits. They are used in remembering what’s in a shopping basket when shopping for goods online; supporting users to log in to a website; analysing traffic to a website; or tracking users’ browsing behaviour.

“Moving forward, CX practitioners and marketers should conduct frequent assessments of their data management and customer engagement strategies to deliver loyalty-winning customer experiences and boost customer lifetime values,” said Sim.

Findings show that over 60% of respondents suffer from incomplete customer profiles that hamper customer engagement tactics. Also, 24% have data that is fragmented and siloed by channel or business function, disabling their ability to adapt to changes in customer behaviour quickly.

Further, over 40% of those surveyed are in the early stages of rolling out first-party data capture strategies, indicating a shift in identity data management. However, a majority do

not currently enrich their first-party data with third-party data and are unable to manage marketing programs without depending on third-party platforms. 

This suggests that despite companies potentially having a more complete view of the customer, a crucial challenge to overcome lies in managing and optimising growth through Identity Management.

Sim observed that campaigns run on third-party platforms rarely provide customer intelligence to companies, and this lack of intelligence in the system leads to a vicious cycle of continued dependency on these platforms. 

“The solution is to invest in owned platforms and software for customer engagement, allowing for relevant, timely and compelling communication,” he added. “Businesses need to prioritise gaining an understanding of their data footprint and enhancing their data strategies, which must include capturing and leveraging first-party data to drive optimal customer experiences.”

Considering the predicament with cookies, 61% of respondents plan to alter their engagement strategies. In selecting a solution provider and identity resolution partner to assist in managing customer identity data more effectively, accuracy (77%) and compliance (68%) emerged as the most desired traits, beating cost (2%).