Despite Google’s continuing delay in deprecating third-party cookies, marketers now regard evaluating identity solutions as an urgent priority. Publishers are feeling the pressure, too.
Compared with 2021, around twice as many marketers, and well over twice as many publishers, now view selecting identity solutions as urgent to very urgent. The data comes from the latest “Beyond the Cookie” report issued by data solutions provider Lotame. The findings are based on interviews with more than 1,400 industry professionals, marketers and publishers, across seven global markets in September 2022.
Solutions marketers feel good about. An equal number of marketers (25%) feel positive about probabilistic identity solutions — solutions that resolve data from a number of sources into a single, probable identity — and contextual solutions. Almost the same percentage (24%) favor targeting cohorts. (Note: The report does not clearly distinguish between the use of contextual identity and cohorts, both of which group audiences based on behavior.)
What marketers need from identity solutions. With an ever-increasing number of identity solutions available, marketers don’t want to be restricted at this stage of the game to just one. They are testing a variety and learning from outcomes.
The possibility of using multiple identity solutions has resulted in a demand for interoperability. The numbers of marketers open to working with new identity partners remained even YoY.
Questions about email. Identities based on authenticated email addresses are still very much on marketers’ radar, with 23% expressing an interest. But reservations are being expressed too. 30% don’t believe email authentication can scale; 30% are understandably skeptical that it will aid the acquisition of new customers; and it seems that a majority of email identity solutions are still working with third-party cookies.
Topics and clean rooms. The Google Topics identity solution (that replaced FLoC) is attracting some interest from marketers (22%), although there are concerns about the constraints of working within a walled garden.
Som för data clean rooms, there is greater interest among publishers than marketers, but although usage is up, there is grumbling about the cost.
Varför vi bryr oss. Every few weeks we wake up and think — wait, third-party cookies really are going away one day. Is everyone ready for that? After a period of apparent stasis (remember when the industry was in denial about GDPR?), it looks like marketers and publishers are finally focused on finding alternatives. And it continues to look like there won’t be just one alternative that wins the day.
It’s worth noting that Lotame itself offers an identity solution, Lotame Panorama ID. Its website also still drops cookies.
Kim Davis är redaktionschef för MarTech. Född i London, men en New Yorker i över två decennier, började Kim täcka företagsprogramvara för tio år sedan. Hans erfarenhet omfattar SaaS för företaget, digital-annons-datadriven stadsplanering och tillämpningar av SaaS, digital teknik och data i marknadsföringsområdet.
Han skrev först om marknadsföringsteknologi som redaktör för Haymarkets The Hub, en dedikerad marknadsföringsteknologiwebbplats, som sedan blev en kanal på det etablerade direktmarknadsföringsmärket DMN. Kim började på DMN proper 2016, som senior redaktör, och blev Executive Editor, sedan chefredaktör en position som han hade till januari 2020.
Innan han arbetade med teknisk journalistik var Kim Associate Editor på en hyperlokal nyhetssajt i New York Times, The Local: East Village, och har tidigare arbetat som redaktör för en akademisk publikation och som musikjournalist. Han har skrivit hundratals New York restaurangrecensioner för en personlig blogg och har varit en och annan gästbidragsgivare till Eater.
The CPG customer journey is now more nuanced than it’s ever been, with steady expansions in the ways shoppers can discover, research, and ultimately purchase day-to-day essentials. Part of that journey is tied to traditional search engines like Google and Bing, which play a significant role in the path to purchase for many consumers.
Tinuiti surveyed more than 3,000 US consumers across three unique surveys targeting shoppers in the beauty, food and beverage, and over-the-counter (OTC) health product categories to develop deep insights for the The 2023 CPG Customer Journey report. Here we’ll unpack what the results show us about how these shoppers are engaging with search engines for these purchases, and how that varies by generation.
Retail Sites Beat Out Traditional Search Engines for CPG Product Searches
Across the beauty, food and beverage, and OTC health categories, consumers were much more likely to choose a major retail website like Amazon or Walmart than a traditional search engine as the place they’d most likely start product searches on. This was particularly true of food and beverage shoppers, with fewer than 4% choosing a traditional search engine as their most likely starting point.
These results might lead you to believe that search isn’t all that important for CPG marketers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The real value of search in the CPG customer journey lies in its importance to in-store research.
Traditional Search Engines Dominate In-Store Product Research Across CPG Categories
In addition to where they were most likely to start product searches, respondents were also asked to select which actions they’d taken in-store to learn more about CPG products. Across all three product categories studied, the number one choice for researching CPG products in-store was to search for the product or brand on a search engine. This beat out other options like visiting the store website or searching on social media, and was significantly more common than searching for the product on a different retailers’ website, like Amazon or Walmart.
This is important because the respondents across all three surveys most commonly chose brick-and-mortar store locations when asked where they’d purchased CPG products in the past month. Grocery stores were the most popular location for food and beverage purchases, while big-box stores like Target or Walmart were most commonly chosen for beauty and OTC health products.
Search engines might not be the first place that CPG shoppers search for products online, but they are very commonly where consumers go to research products right before purchasing in-store.
Generational Differences in Search Engine Use
Looking at how likely respondents were to use search engines for product search and in-store research, there were clear differences that emerged between age groups that varied by product category.
When it comes to beauty and OTC health products, older generations were more likely than younger generations to turn to traditional search engines for initial product searches online. For food and beverage products, however, the results were much closer together across generations.
However, younger generations were more likely to search for products or brands on search engines when researching products in-store across all three product categories. Notably, older generations were less likely to take any of the actions presented in the survey when researching products in-store, as younger shoppers appear much more likely to head online for additional information before making a brick-and-mortar purchase.
Search engines might not be the first place that CPG shoppers search for products online, but they are very commonly where consumers go to research products right before purchasing in-store. This is true across beauty, food and beverage, and OTC health shoppers. Even large shares of older generations, who are less likely to do in-store research in general, turn to sites like Google to answer questions about their purchases in-store.
Particularly in the case of CPG products, the potential to influence in-store purchases is hugely valuable. Brands should make sure they’re not overlooking the important role search engines play in the customer journey when assessing the impact of this key channel.
As a digital marketing agency, your team renders its services to clients by using a stack of cloud-based tools. The services you offer might include building clients’ landing pages, optimizing their website’s search engine presence, capturing leads for them to nurture, running their email marketing campaigns, managing their social media, or any number of other options.
You likely already have a toolkit in place that helps you tackle all client work and communications. But are these tools helping you build your agency’s brand?
White-label tools are software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions developed and maintained by third-party vendors that you can rebrand and customize to showcase as your own. You can tailor these tools to match your agency’s (or your client’s) branding — in terms of the logo, colors, fonts, etc.
This creates a consistent, agency-branded service experience that helps boost your client’s confidence in your agency, thus improving your reputation, loyalty, perceived value and bottom line. But for each marketing activity mentioned above, there are plenty of white-label tools to choose from. Hunting and figuring out the best ones is a rather time-consuming task.
This post is here to help. Here are four great white-label tools to brand your agency’s marketing services and deliver a more compelling client experience.
A beautiful, functional website is the foundation of any brand’s online presence and marketing success. Tilda is an intuitive drag-and-drop platform that provides a quick and easy way to build your clients’ websites and landing pages.
Whether it’s for a one-time promotion or a downloadable content freebie, Tilda offers a wide range of pre-designed blocks that you can customize to suit your client’s landing page requirements in terms of design and functionality. Its visual editor allows you to add multimedia content (images, videos, etc.), use custom fonts, integrate payment systems, add animations, and a lot more.
It comes with a built-in CRM that collects statistics on leads and customers, giving visibility into your client’s website performance. On the Personal or Business Plan, you can remove the “Made on Tilda” label that is added to all pages by default. Coupled with a custom domain, this removes all mentions of Tilda, making it a feature-rich white-label website builder ideal for agencies.
vcita is an all-in-one small business management platform that lets solo service providers and small teams centralize their routine operations: appointment scheduling, billing, payment collection, client management, and marketing.
With its white-label partner program built for agencies, vcita allows you to deploy an agency-branded web and mobile app that your clients can leverage to efficiently manage their schedules, cash flow, relationships, and nurture processes. You can even offer in-app education flows so your clients can easily learn how to make the most of the platform.
In doing so, you help your small business clients render a better service experience to their customers, as they can provide self-service appointment scheduling, messaging, and payment options while automating their bookings and invoicing processes — all from the vcita app branded as your own.
This helps your agency stay top of mind and upsell additional services based on the client’s business circumstances. You can also integrate other apps into your app’s dashboard, making it a hub for clients to collaborate with you on whatever projects you like. Plus, your branded app can bring in recurring subscription revenue.
BrightLocal is a local marketing platform that provides small businesses with the tools to manage and improve their online presences. It helps with local search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation management, citation building, local link building, localized content creation, and competitive research.
Designed with agencies in mind, BrightLocal enables you to uncover SEO issues that need fixing and the best growth opportunities to rank higher and improve results for your clients. You can track your clients’ local rankings and citations, conduct local SEO audits, manage customer reviews, and provide clients with a live dashboard so they can monitor progress.
Som en white-label SEO tool, it lets you create customizable SEO reports (online and PDF) branded with your agency’s logo and colors. You have complete control of the data clients can see. You can also set up automated, agency-branded email reports sent via your own unique white-label domain.
A popular email marketing automation platform, Kampanjövervakning offers professionally-designed templates on a simple drag-and-drop interface to create engaging email campaigns such as product announcements, newsletters, and event promotions.
You can segment your client’s customers based on purchase data and then build hyper-targeted segments to send highly personalized emails tailored to their individual interests.
Built with marketing agencies in mind, Campaign Monitor’s private labeling lets you give the platform a complete makeover — logos, fonts, colors, backgrounds, etc. — with your agency’s branding to provide your clients with a proprietary service experience.
A single dashboard gives you a master view to easily manage all client accounts. What’s more, Campaign Monitor integrates with many popular CRM and marketing tools such as Salesforce, helping you build stronger customer relationships for your clients.
To sum up, white labeling enables you to offer your clients a consistent, agency-branded experience that helps you stand out from competitors, build credibility and authority, and solidify client relations.
Give the tools discussed above a test drive to start white labeling your service offerings right away.
Re:Think Innovation author Carla Johnson warns content marketers about brainstorming without doing anything to prime the work.
Omitting the critical preparation step, she says, prevents fresh inspiration. It can also lead to ideas that lack the proper audience focus, don’t align with your content strategy, and fall outside execution capabilities.
To help marketers avoid that trap, Carla developed an approach to generating valuable, viable innovation ideas. She calls it the Perpetual Innovation Process (PIP).
PIP shifts your team from their legacy thought patterns to surface novel ideas and manifests them into actionable marketing. It also builds a path around the pitfalls of traditional brainstorming.
Here’s what the process involves and how you can use it to bring more exciting, innovative ideas to market.
Follow the Perpetual Innovation Process
Think of a marketing challenge for which you need an innovative solution. For example, you may struggle to think of a unique theme for a new brand podcast or create an event that advances your thought leadership.
Carla details each step in Re:Think Innovation, but with her permission, I’ve summarized the key points:
Set the stage
You need to know where you hope to arrive. So, before you start the perpetual innovation process, create an objective statement that puts the critical elements into focus.
“Setting an objective creates consensus about the outcome you’re ultimately looking to achieve. It helps you decide what problem you want to solve and how it bubbles up to your goal. It also aligns your team around the work that will need to get done,” Carla says.
Use Carla’s simple template (below) to set that objective. Fill in the blanks to detail why you need ideas, what they’re meant to accomplish for your business, and what constraints you’ll face on the way:
The intention: “We need ideas to ___.”
The impact: “So we can ____.”
The realistic conditions: “With these constraints ____.”
Carla says constraints are part of the equation to come up with innovative ideas rather than just creative ones. “Anybody could have an amazing idea if they didn’t have to work within constraints like budget and time,” she says.
Setting real-world boundaries pushes a more disciplined form of thinking. “It provides a more cohesive view of your brand, which can spark opportunities to tell bigger, more impactful stories than the ones you initially envisioned,” Carla says.
Seek inspiration and make purposeful connections
Next, set your objective aside (you’ll return to it later) and work through the five steps in Carla’s innovation framework. In the end, not only will you have a stream of actionable ideas, but you can pitch them to secure stakeholder buy-in:
Step 1: Observe. Pay attention to the world around you, using all your senses. For example, you might see children, a ball, a few squirrels, or some trees if you’re outside. If you close your eyes, you might hear music playing faintly somewhere, smell food cooked on a grill, or feel a warm breeze.
You don’t need to ascribe any meaning to your observations or focus on an objective. Simply be mindful of your surroundings and write each detail you notice.
Step 2: Distill. Scrutinize those individual details and discern their meaning in relation to each other. Look for similarities and categorize them into larger groups and patterns. For example, if you group children and a ball, that might bring to mind the idea of play; the sound of music and the smell of the grill could connect to ideas of entertainment or friendship.
Step 3: Relate. See where opportunities might exist to tell a bigger story about your brand. Compare the similarities and differences in the identified patterns and look for ways they might fit into your working world.
Ask yourself: “How might we transplant the ‘essence’ of friendship into our event challenge?” Or, “How might we apply the idea of play to the theme of our podcast?”
Not all patterns will translate but remember: There are no wrong connections, just ones that may not fit your needs. Prioritize the most evident connections to your business for step four.
Step 4: Generate. Solidify those abstract ideas into real possibilities. Take the broad list of how-might-we questions from the previous step and generate as many content ideas as possible for each. Don’t set any limitations. In fact, the wilder and crazier your ideas are, the closer you get to a truly innovative – and executable – idea. Form them as what-if questions, such as “What if we tried to …” or “What if we combine X and Y into …?”
Systematically probe the viability of each one after the ideas stop flowing. Use the constraints from your objective statement to make go or no-go decisions on which to develop. Whittle the go idea list by asking practical questions. For example:
Does the idea align with the brand’s priorities?
Is it something the audience needs right now?
Does the team have the bandwidth and budget to see it through?
Will implementation require unavailable capabilities or technologies?
Step 5: Pitch. You’ve already done the hard work by the time you reach this step. Carla refers to the pitch as “the journey of an idea, told in the form of a story.” If you can’t pitch the idea so others will understand and embrace it, you’ll never get it off the ground.
Tell the story of your idea, starting with observe (step one) and working the idea through generate (step four). Present that story through the lens of your audience. Think about what matters to them and how your idea will fit into their world as a cultural product.
Formulate three versions of the pitch – 30 seconds, 90 seconds, and five minutes. Practice delivering each one until you are comfortable enough to deliver them to your stakeholders.
Prepare to conquer your innovation challenges
With a systematic process for generating fresh – and properly focused – ideas, your team can rev up your creative output – and ramp up your ability to add real value to your brand’s experience.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in CCO.
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Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute