How CMOs can lead the digital transformation as third-party cookies go away

November 23, 2022

Think small.

A number of Chief Marketing Officers surveyed in DELVE’s new, global survey are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of customer data available to them — and uncertain how to effectively use it.

And it’s only getting more complex as companies are being forced to shift away from reliance on third-party data within the next few years. Google is phasing out trackers on Chrome, likely by the second half of 2024, and Safari and Firefox have already restricted such third-party cookies. 

Take a deep breath and think of this disruption as an opportunity.

“I am glad to see 3rd party cookies being phased out. It is a healthy disruption that pushes marketing leaders to find other ways to identify, describe, and find more of their best customers,” says Anton Lipkanou, DELVE’s president.

First-party data allows companies to create an end-to-end customer journey that is more personalized and predictive, frictionless and assistive, and relevant and valuable. The brands that do this right drive revenue by drastically reducing customer churn, prompting loyal, vocal brand advocates. 

Cutting the complex journey into smaller steps will make it much simpler to identify your opportunities for action.

Start with an honest, vulnerable assessment of your customer journey. Are you offering end-to-end personalization? Are you analyzing customer behavior across touchpoints? What is the overall customer experience?

Once you have that vivid vision of your CX, you can work your way down to tactical, tech-enabled solutions. At DELVE, we call this the crawl-walk-run approach to marketing transformation.

Steps include:

Shifting to first-party data

If you’re still relying on third-party data for insight into your customers, you’re not alone.

According to our survey of 308 CMOs working in a variety of sectors around the globe, 62% of organizations are still partially depending on third-party cookies — and 35% are still completely dependent on them. Only 29% of CMOs report that they’re currently utilizing first-party customer data.

First-party data is completely unique to your businesses, which makes it a better source of fuel for the personalized experiences that drive loyalty and retention programs.

But surprisingly, offering personalized experiences to customers is not among the top four objectives for marketing leaders. Only one-third (32%) cited it as a reason to invest in digital marketing, according to our survey.

That’s despite the fact that customers are increasingly demanding personalization — even as they expect more data privacy, as well. 

A resounding 73% of respondents expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, and 62% think companies should anticipate their needs, according to a May 2022 Salesforce report.

So how do you transform into a brand obsessed with your customers — and create customers obsessed with you?

Start by shifting perspective from seeing digital marketing as a means to only increasing revenue and higher profits … to a tool for better CX.

That’s the challenge of the CMO role heading into 2023.

A new digital era

CMOs are increasingly shifting to guiding an all-encompassing, fully automated, digital-native approach to marketing. A whopping 97% of CMOs in our survey agreed that evolving customer expectations are expanding their roles and responsibilities. 

Get ready to hone in on ROI in 2023.

Most CMOs report wanting more updates about trends impacting digital transformation processes and practices: information that will help you do your job well in a changing era.

Get that support and more by reading DELVE’s full 2022 CMO Survey: The Leaders’ Way to Effective Marketing Transformation.

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Greg Sobiech

CEO & Founder