Last October, Bacardi conducted a test to see if its Bombay Sapphire campaign in the UK could boost sales and awareness of the brand. In doing so, it helped answer the larger question of the long-term fate of their digital marketing as the way consumers navigate advertising evolves for the better.

The campaign collected 10,000 anonymous identities of people who visited the distillery or gin brand’s website and sent them offers such as promotional emails or Instagram ads promising drink recipes and early access to new products.

The result was a click-through rate, which indicates how often ads are clicked on, that was about 9% higher than previous campaigns that relied on common but now extinct targeting methods, such as using third-party data. The new campaign also resulted in a 14% increase in profitability, measured by cost per click.

Bacardi says these and other encouraging signs give the company confidence that it will be able to build its brand and sell its products even if it no longer has access to the personalized ad tracking and targeting technology that Google plans to introduce next year.

The tech giant announced more than a year ago that it planned to remove third-party cookies from the Chrome browser in favor of a more personalized approach, and said in March that it would not offer or use alternatives that allow for individualized ad targeting. Cookies, files in a browser that contain information about a person’s online behavior, have become an important tool for marketers trying to deliver the right digital ads to the right people.

We are building a future, but we don’t know what that future is.

– Sebastian Hernu, Managing Director, Data and Technology Transformation, OMD USA


Plans have also been revealed that are likely to make it harder for mobile apps to collect data that helps advertisers drive targeted digital ads.

This change has caused a seismic shift on Madison Avenue, forcing brands to focus less on

Alphabet Inc.

Google, for example, to target people by sending a shoe ad to someone who has already looked at shoes online, and to invest in new ways to collect and use first-party data.

We will need to store and own much more of our customers’ data ourselves and rely less on Google and Apple to store data or borrow other people’s information, said Sebastian Micozzi, senior vice president of digital transformation at Bacardi. This forces us to look at new datasets.

The change will also force advertisers to make changes without knowing exactly how digital advertising will work without cookies, said Sebastian Hernu, managing director of data and technology transformation in the US at media agency OMD. We are building a future without cookies, but without knowing what that future is, he said.

Consumer trade marks: Let’s get to know each other

To replace individual ad targeting, Google says it will develop tools that allow advertisers to target large groups of people with common characteristics when running ads outside its walls. In Google properties like YouTube and Gmail, this will in some cases allow marketers to use their first-hand data to target individuals.

Other technology and data companies are working on tools that will allow advertisers to target not only Google, but also other users without using cookies. A company that works with advertising technology

Trade Desk Inc,

Ordered s. B. and other companies to create a privacy-compliant individual identifier, the Unified Identifier.

The change has forced marketers to scrutinize everything from how they seek to obtain information about customers to how they manage the data they collect.

Stacy Grier, director of marketing and strategy at Clorox.



Google’s announcement last March confirmed the importance of investing in

Clorox Co.

already in first-party data, partly in response to consumers’ changing attitudes toward privacy, the European Commission said.

Stacey Greer,

Director of Marketing and Strategy at Clorox.

We’re trying to get people on our site so they can and will share their data, Greer said. It helps us understand how to have a better and more fruitful relationship with them when the cookies run out.

In 2019, Clorox announced a plan to obtain information on about 100 million people by 2025. This data includes the behavior of consumers who visit company websites and the contact information of people who sign up for loyalty programs or newsletters. For example, the Hidden Valley Ranch Foods Ranchology program asks consumers to provide their email address for recipe ideas. Marketers have been collecting this kind of information for some time, but the changing landscape makes their efforts even more urgent.

Ranchology has increased the return on the company’s investments for the brand, Grier said.

But, she says, it’s not easy to move third-party cookies. This is especially true for packaged goods companies, which do not have as much consumer data as the United States, for example. B. retailers and do not have first-hand access to purchasing and valuation information.

It’s a tough road, especially for advertisers who haven’t had direct access, Greer said.

Technical battery replacement

Clorox is transforming its technology partners and systems to accommodate the shift to first-party data and the need to send more personalized and creative marketing content to consumers, she added.

The company is divesting the data management platform it uses for audience data, much of which comes from third parties, and is building a system that can accept and process data the company collects from its own programs and properties, Grier said. This may include information about what consumers do when they visit their own e-commerce sites.

Other brands do the same.

General Motors Co.

Cadillac said it is working with technology providers who can help match first-hand data with other sources, such as… B. publicly available data on vehicle purchases.

The company works closely with digital marketing agency Merkle and ad-tech company VideoAmp, which has a clean room that allows it to share first-hand data with other companies while adhering to privacy rules, said Melissa Grady, director of marketing at Cadillac. This information should help the company know who is in the car market, for example, and what media they are likely to consume.

This is part of a larger effort that may not soon reach the accuracy with which cookies are recorded.

We started coming to this wonderful place, where everything we were looking for, how to link everything anonymously? But we can understand who people are, Grady said, referring to how digital marketing works with cookies.

Marketers will soon need to adjust not only how they reach the right consumers, but also how they measure results, she said.

When Cadillac sends digital ads to consumers who may be interested in buying a car, Grady says she currently sees rows of anonymous data that show what actions someone takes after seeing the ad. A company and its agency can use this information to optimize a complex data model and ultimately redefine the type of consumers they want to target or optimize the ads they use to target a consumer group.

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When Google makes its changes, Cadillac will no longer be able to see rows of data. Instead, the company expects to have to rely on Google for reporting on broader campaign results. It will be more anonymous and on an aggregate level, she said.

This means that, despite the modern approach to using data, the industry operates much the same as it did in the past, when brands had less insight into the ad placements that motivated consumers to buy products.

The best way to think about it is the Wanamaker puzzle, Grady said, referring to traditional television advertising and print ads. I know 50% of my ads are working, but I don’t know which ones.

Email Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]

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