Build out from your own data as the cookie crumbles

Brands need to prioritize trust and data integration

The evolving regulatory and media framework around the use of customer data has not only shifted the goal posts for marketers, but to a degree put many on a different pitch altogether.

The old rules are being replaced and, as a result, easily identifiable customers have become a lot more elusive, picking up after themselves the digital cookie crumbs that had previously allowed us to peer closely at them during online sessions and surreptitiously drop a reminder display ad. Losing third party cookies, as flagged up in last year’s EffWorks report, will hamper the ability to re-target leads and make it harder to measure the immediate impact associated with performance marketing.

The death of third party cookies is, at least in the short term, a blow to certainty. Having only a partial picture of how a consumer navigates across digital walled gardens, such as Amazon or Facebook, negates some of the certainty and convenience we have grown accustomed to (and possibly relied too heavily on).

As privacy concerns and the transparency of data usage are debated and ruled upon, The LEGO Group is leaning further into its characteristic approach to building trusted relationships, in which the privacy and digital safety of children come first. Operating with these guiding principles allows us to navigate the regulatory landscape in a way that is consistent with how The LEGO Group markets to its audiences.

With that said, we will lean further into our current approach to:  

Develop solid value propositions to consented, first party data

Consented, first party data is hard to come by since it involves permission. However, this type of data comes with a wealth of actionable information based on real interactions with your brand. Hence, it’s worth the effort and as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben rightly pointed out, with great power comes great responsibility. Being clear upfront about what the data is being used for, and how it will eventually translate into better customer experiences and more relevant dialogues, are essential in building trust.

Harness synergies across ecosystem touchpoints

Collating and stitching together data sets across available owned and earned touchpoints will help paint a more holistic picture of the overall customer experience, bringing to light opportunities as well as pain points. As agencies go into hyperdrive to provide public, identity-based data sets, as a response to the loss of third party cookie data, organisations would be wise to initially focus on what can be captured internally and then validate external sources.

Leverage off MMM and Machine Learning to drive direction

Marketing Mix Models (MMM) are well positioned to take precedence with their ability to leverage aggregated data (both digital and offline) to highlight the drivers and preventers of growth. At The LEGO Group, MMM has continued to evolve to provide a holistic picture of marketing activities beyond advertising to capture the effects of owned and earned touchpoints. It continues to play a pivotal role in our investment recommendations.

Operate within and jump across walled gardens

We will continue to leverage the direct relationships we have with our partners and utilise data clean rooms (places where walled gardens share aggregated data with advertisers, while still exerting strict controls, for the purposes of measurement and attribution) to test and optimise within ‘safe’ spaces. This gives us the opportunity to marry partner data sets with accumulated first party data, creating a more nuanced portrait of the customer journey.

Going forward, it will be key for clients to garner first party data but then run several tests to evaluate the added value external aggregated data sets will bring to their effectiveness efforts, as MTA (Multi Touch Attribution)-focused providers pivot towards a more unified approach to marketing effectiveness.

Kamran Durrani is Senior Marketing Manager, Marketing Performance and Technology, at The Lego Group, and sits on the IPA’s Effectiveness Leadership Group.

Last updated 21 March 2022