Last month, we wrote about what the tech world is calling “the death of the third-party cookie,” and Google’s new solution: Federated Learning of Cohorts, or “FLoC.” The technology collects user data within your browser, rather than on Google’s servers, assuaging privacy concerns—at least, that’s the hope.
Two major questions remain, however: Do alternatives to third-party cookies equal more user privacy? And what does this mean for marketers who rely on third-party data?
We held a roundtable with three of Dashlane’s marketing experts where they divulged third-party cookie workarounds for advertisers, how Dashlane approaches data security, and their love/hate relationship with ads.
Ebony Hester, Director of Demand Generation: We take a big stand on the whole “death of the third-party cookie” by telling brands to focus on first-party data. The solution of the future is to concentrate on Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) that can take all of your data from all of the platforms that have it, and equate and align them together. It’s being able to take from your POVs, your ESPs [email service providers]—everything that you actually communicate with your customers on—and merge it all together and build audiences from it. The biggest benefit is the cost-saving aspect. So, for example, if “Bob” doesn’t open any of our emails but he loves Facebook, we will only talk to Bob only on Facebook. You’re taking the first-party data, so you already have the basic PII [personally identifiable information].
Betty Moyer, Senior Marketing Manager: [Our database at] Dashlane has what’s called “The Wall.” Once someone creates an account with Dashlane, we don’t collect data on what marketing channel they came from. From an ad perspective, we don’t tie a new account to an email address or name that we collect. It’s a separate database and we never tie them together, which is kind of annoying from a marketing perspective, but very nice for our users.
Gavrin Brown, Director of Performance Marketing: That’s 100% true. Because Dashlane is a security company, marketers are not able to get to that user-level information that a lot of other companies would have. We’ve created lookalike models based on search, paid social, and targeted ads, but it’s never based on actual user-level data, because Dashlane has always separated marketing from tech or data specifically. I can’t tell you which user is actually using the product, or even who upgraded to Premium. All we have access to is a UTM structure [codes that track website traffic based on URLs] that groups them into a “bucket” to tell us what percentage of users are actually using the product and what percentage went Premium, and we’re using that perspective to optimize. It’s actually a good thing when it comes to a security company, because you never want marketers to have a lot of that information.
Here are some facts about the way we use data at Dashlane:
Gavrin Brown: Is it nice PR versus actually looking out for the users? Absolutely. It’s going to force people to spend more within their ecosystem. Google is still collecting user information and marketers are still going to rely on Google for that information. No one’s going to boycott Google because of this.
Betty Moyer: Firefox and Mozilla blocked cookies back in 2013. Google is kind of late to the game.
Ebony Hester: That also brings to mind people wanting to use DuckDuckGo [as an alternative to Chrome or other popular browsers]. I can buy ads on DuckDuckGo to target someone who has filled out a form on a website through the browser. We often forget that we give up personal information very easily. You give out your email address, or you log on to free WiFi at a hotel. Your information is out there to be retargeted to you.
Ebony Hester: Once we have an email address and the information that customers volunteer to give to us, we can bring them back to the website where we’re going to give them offers and speak to them. So I don’t think it’s going to have a big effect on small businesses, especially in the B2B space.
Gavrin Brown: Every time I’m on Twitter, I hit “not interested” on every single ad I see. I just don’t want to see an ad, and I probably have blocked thousands of sites on Twitter because there’s no relevance for me. I’ll follow what I want to follow—don’t suggest anything that you think fits me.
Betty Moyer: I love seeing all the ads and how we could fashion our ads differently. I’m also immune to ads at this point. I can either pass by an ad quickly or take a better look at it.
Ebony Hester: I love a good ad, so I think I may be the opposite. I love stimulating the economy and I love spending money—I just love shopping. There’s this solution called Pricing Assistant, which changes the pricing strategy when you’re looking at something, so that’s [the only time] I’m like, “Clear the cookies! Clear the cookies!”