By Russell Loarridge | Posted on August 03, 2017
With the future of ‘the cookie’ increasingly in question, the recent research whitepaper (Display Advertising at Scale, Dec ’12) from Semcasting, draws into sharp focus the inherent difficulties with gathering data on consumers’ behaviour on a website. Though complex analytic and segmentation exercises are undoubtedly improving the way information is presented back to customers based on their activity, customer profiles are still essentially guesswork and they will be even more so if cookies continue to be blocked, and indeed increasingly become so.
There is a much simpler, fool proof approach: in an era of social networking and a consumer base keen to share experience and content – just ask. Organisations that leverage social login – the ability for consumers to use their social media identity to register and log in to a brand’s website – can transform customer insight and gain unprecedented understanding based on the customer’s own social network profiles. And with cookies on the decline, this kind of data will be extremely beneficial to brands and advertisers.
For a lot of organisations, using cookies can be an initial step in a move to become more targeted, relevant and personalised in their online customer engagement, however the overall process can be flawed because it is fundamentally based on extrapolation.
For example, if an individual is visiting a website to buy a gift for his or her pregnant sister, they may continue to be targeted with offers for new or expectant mothers when visiting that site again. Furthermore, if a consumer deletes their cookies or clears their cache, all data and insight (however, flawed or inaccurate) is then lost.
Businesses who offer a compelling reason for customers to use social login and share information – or even just offer social login – will benefit from this huge opportunity to gain new, committed and interested customers via shares to the extended social graph. These latest statistics on cookies are yet another example of the challenges facing marketers in understanding what their consumers really want – so surely it would be easier to just ask them?
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