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Identity will look different in 2021: what marketers should do to prepare

The Drum 15 Oct 2020 09:00
Identity will look different in 2021: what marketers should do to prepare

Uncertainty is a certainty for 2021, but there are some clear and predictable expectations around identity that marketers can capitalize on, with the shift away from third-party cookies and other markers like Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Here’s what you need to know.

There are big changes coming within the data landscape. To meet them head-on, a key objective for many forward-thinking brands has been a renewed focus on digital transformation and the ethical collection, management, and use of first-party consumer data.

First-party data will take center stage and earn the majority of resources for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, with 57.1 percent of the study’s respondents already reporting an increase in their first-party data usage, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)'s recent State of Data report, A strong data foundation coupled with a digital-first mindset has helped brands weather the Covid-19 crisis and even sustain or increase growth.

  • How have our customer preferences shifted in 2020?

  • How can we best meet their newly formed habits and needs?

  • How can we use our newly acquired data to best communicate with customers?

It’s no wonder that a major pandemic changed the way customers shopped, behaved, and went about their day-to-day lives – and one of the most notable shifts we’ve seen across industries is the move to e-commerce. In a report by eMarketer on US e-commerce trends in 2020, online spending is projected to take up 18% of all consumer spending, compared to just 14.9% in 2019. The fastest-growing categories encompass essential needs like food and beverage, health, personal care, and beauty. And while this same report projects a slight dip in the recent uptick for e-commerce in 2021, overall growth in the category is projected to rebound and continue upward.

Quick service restaurants are seeing a dip in commuter traffic, but an uptick in online ordering. Restaurants like McDonald’s anticipate these consumer trends sticking, even as life returns to “normal,” with new plans in place to put an emphasis on more contactless options for ordering, kiosks in restaurants, and delivery services.

Taking a closer look at these trends, it’s clear that digital is increasingly personal and customers now expect deeper interactions with brands. Fast food is just one example of an industry that’s adapting to cater to these preferences. Retail is another experiencing big shifts, engaging with consumers based on their new habits in the environments they prefer.

Loyalty programs are another way for brands to be identity-driven. Digital consumers crave convenience and engagement. And through tailored in-app offers or personalized rewards, brands can provide unique experiences that consumers will appreciate, and will build loyalty toward brands.

Using data to improve customer communication

Equally important to note are customer preferences for brand communication. Losing the ability to enable third-party cookies does not mean consumers can’t have an experience tailored to their needs and wants. Most consumers are willing to engage with brands and share personal information in order to have a more personalized shopping experience.

Data transformation + digital transformation = customer experience transformation

Great customer experience across the entire spectrum of the customer life cycle is more important than ever. In order to truly transform this experience, brands must fortify their first-party data and bolster their digital enablement capabilities. If you get these two parts right, you’ll have the tools needed to best reach consumers and offer a total customer experience. By following this winning formula, you should be well on your way to achieving the desired outcome and be ahead of the curve in anticipation of the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year.

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Interactive Advertising Bureau
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