Apple threatens email, Google eases back on cookies: Friday’s daily brief
Plus Integrate launches B2B events product.
MarTech’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s digital marketing leader. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, who is the person behind the email?
We’ve been speaking with marketers about some rude changes to the email and cookie ecosystems. Time and again they’re thinking about real people represented in the data, and this helps them embrace the changes because consumers really do care about privacy.
But consumers also value good marketing. That’s the silver lining as we delve deeper into these developing storylines. In the email channel, which we hit first, subscribers will keep subscribing if senders provide value.
In the case of the third-party cookie, the same basic empathy with consumers applies. People don’t like to be followed. As you’ll see further down, Google’s phase-out, which aims at adding transparency for consumers, is going to get slowed down, in part to lend transparency to the FLoC transition itself.
Also, check out what the latest buzz is about whether marketing leaders are up to handling technology. And a new B2B events solution from Integrate.
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Apple’s email changes shift focus to experience
With iPhone-based Apple Mail representing a nearly 40% share of email clients, according to Liltmus’s 2021 research, Apple’s announced changes to email would seriously affect campaign analytics. But an even bigger fear is who might copy Apple next.
“Google may follow suit, so it’s the time now to learn how these changes are impacting the business, adopt and begin new strategies, as many of us have been doing for the past few years,” said Kate Nowrouzi, vice president of deliverability for email marketing solution Pathwire.
“The new privacy changes not only are impacting email marketing but online marketing as a whole. They challenge tracking and what it means to marketers and consumers.”
The majority of consumers are already on edge about data privacy, and eight out of 10 Americans think they have little to no control over their data and are somewhat or very concerned about how companies use it. But that does not mean they want brand communications to go away. In fact, the change should give marketers a renewed focus on what truly matters in email campaigns: the experience.
“What Hide My Email signifies is that unless the person is going to get some value out of communicating with a company, you have to have the promise of a good experience on the other side,” said April Mullen, Director of Brand and Content Marketing for another email vendor, Sparkpost. “If marketers are going to be spammy and inundate with messages, the person is not going to like that.”
Google delays cookie phase-out until 2023
The digital advertising ecosystem which depends so heavily on third-party cookies can breathe a sigh of relief — for the time being, anyway. The plan to deprecate the cookies on the Chrome browser by 2022 has changed. They will now be phased out in a three-month period beginning in mid-2023. In an announcement, Google said this reflects a desire to “move at a responsible pace.”
It also surely reflects both the confusion among advertisers and publishers confronted by a multitude of alternative identifiers, few of which claim to be able to identify non-logged in users (the vast majority), as well as hurdles facing Google’s proposed alternative, FLoC, including difficulties with European regulators.
The announcement went on to say that the delay “will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services. This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content.”
Why we care. Many advertisers have rightfully been worried about what the rollout of Google’s privacy initiatives and the blocking of third-party cookies means for their metrics and their clients. This delay means that there is an opportunity for search marketers’ concerns to be heard by the tech giant and that there is more time to prepare for the major changes — including finding technology solutions that adjust when cookies are deprecated, figuring out a first-party data strategy, and pulling data from other sources.
Is the C-Suite disillusioned about marketing’s handle on technology?
A few weeks ago, Rackspace Technology published the results of a survey suggesting that business leaders thought that CMOs ranked almost at the bottom of C-Suite roles when it came to understanding technology (CROs did worse). Recently, the CMO Council followed up with their C-Suite Scorecard, and when they asked business leaders to identify leadership gaps in their marketing organization, 42% pointed to modernization of organization, systems and operation, while 40% called out the absence of technically savvy managers in key roles.
That makes for some painful reading. Scott Brinker discussed the two surveys here, and also started an online conversation about the findings.
The chatter. B2B specialist Karin Schaff drew a distinction between modernization and technology: “You can modernize your martech stack all day long and spend gobs of time and money on doing so. However, if you don’t understand why you’re modernizing and how technology plays a part to further the organization’s growth, you’re simply doing just that… spending gobs of time and money with little value as a result. Modernizing means being mindful of why you’re doing it and how best to go about getting to that next level of maturity — that could mean technology, people, processes, communication, etc. Most of the time, it’s a combination of those and more. To say modernization of Marketing is about technology alone is like saying digital transformation is only about technology.”
Consultant P.R. Smith observed, “Seems to me that C-Suite do not appreciate Marketing, or Marketing Directors have not presented boards with enough data driven results and projections.” Dave Nixon of Denodo had a gloomy take. Marketing’s resistance to working with IT has left it isolated, he said. “Many years of managing the marketing process using single-point applications, lack of automation and niche technologies has made this domain impossible to own. Now coupled with the sudden realization that this isn’t just about the channels as much as it is about unifying the data to put it to work has made this worse.”
And Onur Polat of Channable tried turning the tables: “What do we think about the rest of the C-Suite? :)”
Why we care. Perception isn’t everything, but it’s important. If a consensus is developing that the marketing organization doesn’t really know what it’s doing with all its shiny toys, and doesn’t really understand technology, that’s bad news. Of course, having access to SaaS tools has made IT’s involvement less necessary, and many would say that’s not a bad thing given the fast pace of change.
But if this is a real problem, what’s the answer. More responsibility in the hands of the Operations teams? Lowered expectations about how much marketers themselves should be involved in technology? Of course, the no-code movement is pushing in the opposite direction. There’s a lot still to unfold here.
Integrate launches solution for B2B live, virtual and hybrid events
Greeting the prospect of balancing the return of live events with the benefits of virtual, Integrate, the B2B precision demand platform, this week announced the launch of Precision Events. The new solution aims to connect event interactions with the rest of the digital demand strategy, explicitly recognizing the B2B journey as buyer-driven and omnichannel.
Precision Events will unify data from live, virtual and hybrid experiences in one platform. It will enable the capture of behavioral data from live events and map it to information captured on the Integrate mobile app or web forms. It will integrate with CRM and marketing automation for seamless follow-ups, and measure event performance in order to optimize future strategy.
Why we care. Despite the return of in-person events, changes to the B2B buyer journey, accelerated by the pandemic, will be with us indefinitely. The journey was already going buyer-centric and digital, even before an all-digital environment was imposed on everyone.
There are a number of events solutions out there, built for marketers, which offer not only registration and other administrative tools, but also ways to capture data and drive it to CRM and marketing automation. Integrate, of course, is approaching this from the other direction. It already captured, managed and executed on demand data; it’s now bringing those capabilities to events.
Quote of the day
“There may be patterns for the things that succeed, that doesn’t mean there’s a formula for success.” Simon Sinek, author, leadership expert