Innovation Series: Marketing in a Cookieless World
Innovation Series: Marketing in a Cookieless World
This is the fifth episode of the Innovation Series -- where we highlight marketing experts to learn how they are innovating in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. In this episode, hosts Bobby and Cole have an in depth conversation with Danny Abraha, Lev's Strategy Consultant of Paid Media and Analytics about what the future of paid media looks like. They discuss third-party cookies, IDFAs, CCPA, and what marketers can do to make sure they are being compliant with these new policies.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the In The Clouds podcast. In The Clouds is a marketing cloud podcast powered by Lev, the most influential marketing focused Salesforce consultancy in the world. Lev is customer experience obsessed and podcast host Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher have partnered with some of the world's most well- known brands to help them master meaningful one- on- one connection with their customers. In this podcast, they'll combine strategy and deep technical expertise to share best practices, how- tos and real life use cases and solutions for the world's top brands using Salesforce products today.
Bobby Tichy: Welcome to In The Clouds podcast. This is Bobby and Cole, and we're continuing our innovation series on all things marketing cloud, and things that obviously affect marketing cloud as well. And we're really excited today because we've got our co- worker here at Lev, Danny, to talk through third- party cookies, IDFA, CCPA, and really how folks can make sure that they're not only honoring the changes in laws, but what they can do, but some of their other data and pieces there. So Danny, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. We're really happy to have you. If you wouldn't mind just doing a brief introduction of yourself and then we'll dive in from there.
Danny Abraha: Yeah, absolutely. Well, my name is Danny. I've been at Lev for about a little over five months now and my previous job history, I guess my first foray into the digital marketing world began at a demand side platform called Simplify where I built a foundational base for programmatic advertising, then moved on to the media agency world, went into the ad agency world to do some digital strategy. Now I'm at Lev where I help with programmatic strategy, audience segmentation within data management platforms and creating business impactful data analysis.
Cole Fisher: Very cool. It's pretty exciting too, because this for Lev has not previously been a central, like a core focus of Lev or most consultancies in our space. But it's something that's as fast as it's changing and as much that's going on right now with IDFA and CCPA and regulation changes and things like that, it's really a fascinating field to be in right now. And so I've only dabbled previously in the ad agency space but with your extensive history, tell us a little bit more, just at a high level of what is an IDFA? What are first versus third- party cookies? And give us the background of this field before we really dive into this. Is that cool?
Cole Fisher: Yeah, for sure. This is a huge game changer. And so I want to get to the point of, what is it that really brought this up? Because now, as consumers, we're seeing this, we're using cookies, things pop up on sites and things like that, that are obviously being mandated or at least is a much recommended best practice for a lot of these companies. Is all of this coming about. So you mentioned CCPA, the California Privacy Act. Prior to that, proceeding the US regulations were like GDPR and the EU regulation. And so there's this data and privacy shift that's going on globally speaking. I think Brazil's in progress now and I know other states are going to be passing this as well. So is all of this just like riding the coattails of those changes and adapting to a world that mandates more privacy or are there other events or needs that are really driving behind this? Because this is a huge change that I think marketers have seen coming, but have been super fearful of for quite a long time, because it's been a while that we, as marketers, have been able to overstep the boundaries or take advantage of other companies, first and third- party data and trade things off and really things that we knew didn't feel right to begin with, but we were able to take advantage of if we so chose.
Danny Abraha: Yeah, absolutely. Targeted advertising is a little creepy, honestly.
Cole Fisher: A little.
Danny Abraha: And honestly, it can be a really painful reminder for some people. So for example, if you were in market for a wedding and then your wedding was, for some tragic reason, called off, you're still targeted with these wedding dress ads for the next several weeks, maybe months, reminding you of your failed relationship or our data is leaked onto the internet, which has happened several times, Experian obviously, BlueKai, Oracle, who Oracle owns, leaked a bunch of data onto the open internet without any passwords or anything like that. And so users are just becoming a lot more aware and conscious of how their data is being used. And in the past, I don't think that the value exchange between the walled gardens like Google and Facebook that take that data and use it for advertising, I don't think the value exchange was clear to the user, and now they're becoming a lot more conscious of it. So the CCPA definitely models itself after the GDPR, a lot of language is a little similar in terms of how we prevent monetization of personally identifiable information. And there's also copycats popping up around different state level policy makers as well. I think Virginia might be having a similar piece of legislation coming into effect. And so yeah, there's definitely a huge just general consciousness shift in terms of how we view our personal data and how we want it to be used. And it's becoming a lot more valuable.
Cole Fisher: Real quick, when CCPA rolled out, it was hard to wrangle this as a regulation and some of the data privacy changes that were required of companies. And there's so many, and there's such a big change that I think it started in January, technically in January of 2020. But they basically said," Hey, we're putting this out there. Start getting in line for it, but we're not actually going to start penalizing people." GDPR had huge, like massive penalties for anybody that was in violation. CCPA came along and said," Hey, we don't expect everybody to change ship just right away." And so they gave it, they were like," Come June, we're going to start really enforcing compliance to this." But you've got time to get your ducks in a row. Is the same effect in place here, or is this like," Hey, you're big time advertisers, we're not going to be as lenient on you because you're not small businesses and things like that, that need to get this together"?
Danny Abraha: Yeah, yeah. That's a great question. So having the policy in place is one thing, and then enforcing it is another right? And that's where I think it will be a little more difficult. So far, for example, I think the biggest fine that the GDPR that has resulted as a penalization from violating the GDPR was for Twitter, and I think it was under a million dollars. And so these pieces of legislation are going to really impact these really, really big companies a lot more than it is smaller to medium- sized businesses that have tons of data, but maybe aren't on the radar of policy makers because there are thousands of businesses out there and trillions of data points, right? And so it is going to be a little difficult, I think, to enforce just because of that fragmentation of different businesses. And I'm not sure if there is a huge desire or willingness to penalize people, unless it is a severe violation of the standards set forth within the legislation. So yeah, it just depends in terms of how bad the violation is, how big the company is, et cetera.
Bobby Tichy: Do you think this'll be a start to more regulation? Because I could see where consumers become smarter and smarter about data and who has access to it and all that stuff. I could see the walls closing and even more. Curious about what you think about that.
Danny Abraha: Well, ideally companies would innovate quicker and policy wouldn't necessarily be a prerequisite to a more private world. So Google and The Trade Desk and LiveRamp, and a couple of other identity solution providers are, I think, really getting ahead of the curve in terms of developing different types of solutions before any one federal policy passes or two, state level policy like the CCPA are enacted. And it's not just those three companies either. I think those are the biggest players, but there are a ton of identity solution providers. As of right now, I think the list is between 70 to 80 companies that are trying to get ahead of the curve in terms of providing targeting solutions for advertisers. So in an ideal world, policy wouldn't be necessary, but I do see this modeling of the GDPR, CCPA occurring across the country, eventually.
Bobby Tichy: I think that just about everybody we talked to, identity resolution is a big focus for them because obviously having data and being able to stitch all that data together in an ethical and moral way is something I think a lot of companies want to be able to do, but I'm sure that for folks who are listening to this, or even if they already knew about some of the third- party cookie elements going away, a lot of marketers are probably thinking right now," Crap. I don't know how I'm going to do my lookalike audiences" or" How do I replace some of my programmatic advertising," leveraging some of this information or some of this data that ultimately it's going to go away. So my question is what can marketers do to help continue their marketing efforts while making sure they're being compliant with these new policies?
Danny Abraha: For sure. Well, there are a few, outside identity solution providers, I will talk about, I think, two areas that are going to see a lot of attention in the near future. And the first of which is really strengthening, cleaning and understanding our first- party data, where it is, how it's housed, what type of data we have access to, et cetera. first- party data is going to be a goldmine in the future since third- party cookie deprecation will... The recency of that data will decline over time as no new data is added into those black box audience segments. So they'll eventually go away. So first- party data is going to be huge. So implementing newsletters to capture data on the website or loyalty programs or any way that we can gather first- party data to understand what our customers look like, what they want and how to better target them is going to be really, really important in the future. And then the second thing I want to mention probably contextual targeting, and we'll likely see a big resurgence within the next year. Contextual targeting has always been, I think, a part part of every programmatic strategy. But it will see, I think, a lot more attention in the future, contextually targeting users based on the content that they're reading on whatever website that they're on or whatever content they're consuming on whatever publisher. So those are two really big areas. And then the third is just, I think the businesses really need to leverage the right partnerships with the right type of organizations to come up with better identity solutions for their marketing strategy. And that's how we're preparing right now. We stay ahead of the curve, I think, on every technical innovation that has so far occurred in the world and the Lev team is just really, really knowledgeable about almost all aspects of third- party cookie deprecation, i.e. if they're going way, how to better attribute revenue towards those campaigns as well, since that'll be a little more difficult in a world without third- party cookies. So yeah, I'll leave it at that, those three things, first- party data, contextual targeting and identity solutions slash partnerships with specific organizations that can help drive those campaigns.
Bobby Tichy: One thing that you mentioned that I think a lot of folks are realizing if they haven't already, which is first- party data is a gold mine, right? That's the most valuable thing that a lot of these companies have because it allows you to do so many different things based off from that first- party data. Do you think that second party data will ultimately go away where some of these organizations are actually selling that first- party data to others in an open marketplace?
Danny Abraha: Well, the thing some of these policy mandates within legislation, like the CCPA, will prevent the monetization of data. And so it's still a little unclear what that might look like for second party data. That being said, I don't think the market for that will be particularly strong in the future because of the costs, the potential cost of misusing that data.
Bobby Tichy: Yeah. It's not a situation we come up against quite a bit. Salesforce came out with a solution a couple of years back called Data Studio that allows you, kind of creates this marketplace where I can put certain segments or elements of my first- party data up for sale. And it's not something, Cole, I can't actually think of a scenario in the last three or four years since they launched it, that any customer we work with actually uses it. So I think you're right, Danny. There's not a big call for it, so to speak. But I was curious, as we go down this road of third- party data going away, second party would be affected. But it sounds like it will be as part of CCPA. Awesome.
Cole Fisher: I feel like that's one of those areas too, that marketers knew was shady. And so even though it always got brought up and companies always-
Danny Abraha: Like buying lists.
Cole Fisher: Yeah, exactly. It always got brought up. It was always on the table, but it always quickly got shot down because everybody knew it just felt like it was too shady. My concern is, is there non- monetary exchanges? Because Salesforce and other companies would get out of the way of those negotiations, like, if you want to sell it, you do your own thing. But this is not something that we're involved in, it's just a capability. And I think companies were like," This sounds sketchy to me." But if there was a," Hey, we're trading the same amounts" or" We're trading without money exchanging hands," that's still sketchy, but it's not necessarily being bought. And so does that open the window? But it feels like that's something that can and never did take off, at least not legitimately.
Danny Abraha: Yeah. Yeah. And just to add to that, even most data management platforms have a third- party marketplace to purchase these audience segments that are, generally speaking, black boxes. We're not able to look inside the audience segment and see which data points are driving performance and stuff like that. So whenever we purchase these black box audience segments from the Oracles of the world or the other data providers, Axioms, et cetera, it's going to be a lot more, I think... Essentially what I'm trying to say is this is going to be a good thing for advertising in the long haul, this more privacy centric world that we're going towards. And yeah, so one of the implications of that will be that data management platforms no longer have access to a lot of those third- party black box audience segments that were used for prospecting line items.
Cole Fisher: Yeah. And I think too, we've seen those studies where it shows the generational differences between how people trust advertising and how people trust their information being shared and things like that. And some generations are, older generation saying," I don't want people having my information. I don't want to be called by strangers." Whereas younger generation is saying," Hey, I'm going to see ads regardless. They might as well be targeted to my interests. So I'm okay sharing information." And so I think there's just going to be this feeling out, buffer of timeline, where people are like," Okay, how comfortable am I? Where do I want to control the levers and what companies do I really implicitly just trust with my information, because I want them to be able to service me at the greatest points? It'll be interesting to see how that susses out.
Danny Abraha: Yeah. I'm not sitting on the fence. I definitely prefer more, I think, targeted ads. I want more relevant content in my feeds and stuff like that. So I personally prefer it that way. I purchased a ton of different products that were advertised to me on Instagram and Facebook and it's because they knew what I was in the market for and the types of things that I was interested in. And I think it creates a better experience overall. And so I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon. We'll still be able to target users based on certain in- market attributes. But that being said, yeah, a lot of people don't like it and I can totally understand why.
Bobby Tichy: Awesome. Well, thanks a bunch, Danny. Cole, you had a great, completely unrelated, so I'll kick it over to you to kick this off.
Cole Fisher: Yeah. So Danny, as exciting as this field is right now and especially with all the changes, I want to pose a question to actually, to both of you. But if you could work a dream job in any industry, regardless of barriers of entry, education, compensation, anything like that, if you could work in any industry and you can't say Lev, Salesforce, industry, Martech, it's got to be outside of that, if you would work at any industry, what would it be? What would your job be?
Danny Abraha: All right. Bobby has to go first.
Cole Fisher: Hot seat, Bobby.
Bobby Tichy: I think professional golfer.
Danny Abraha: Nice.
Bobby Tichy: I would say I love the NBA, so I would go that route. But what I like about being a professional golfer is a lot of them will have a camper, an RV that they drive from tournament to tournament, which I just think would be a blast. My wife and I, and our three dogs just hop in the RV, go to wherever the tournament is this week. You get to spend the whole week there. So you get to see the country, you get to travel these different places and you get to be outside while you're working, and I use the term working lightly because I don't think many people would call that work. You get to meet interesting people at the Pro- Am. I just think that would be a really fun thing to do. Now, the only caveat to that is I wouldn't want to do it every week.
Cole Fisher: I don't want to have to work every week.
Bobby Tichy: I'd want to be at the Tiger Woods level of professional golfers. Yeah, exactly. Who wants to work every day? That's why I only work three hours a day. Stay tuned for my new book, The Three Hour Work Week. I would want to be like Tiger where I can just pick and choose the tournaments I go play in. I think it'd be a ton of fun just to be able to be outside all the time, get to travel, but travel with your family, live the RV life. I think that'd be fun.
Cole Fisher: I wonder if you would run into remorse or some sort of obstacle of the fact that you've taken something that was a fun recreational pastime and now you've turned it into an actual work, like career-
Bobby Tichy: Well that's what I think anything is, yeah.
Cole Fisher: Yeah.
Bobby Tichy: People always talk about," If I could do anything, I would do this." Well at the end of the day, it's still becomes work. Right? So I do think you're right. I think it would be tough because then you've got to find some other outlet that's not that to enjoy instead. I love software consulting, so maybe I would do software consulting on the side if I was a professional golfer.
Cole Fisher: inaudible I got this dream of just being in technology. Danny, what about you?
Danny Abraha: Oh man, that's a tough question. NBA star is a little too easy. So I'm going to say, I was listening to this Trader Joe's podcast once and there is an executive whose sole job is to travel the world and taste different ingredients and decide what's going to be in the store. And so that sounds really awesome.
Bobby Tichy: Holy smokes. I totally regret my answer now.
Cole Fisher: That's a great one.
Bobby Tichy: Along those lines, we have some friends of ours who run a bar manufacturer, like they make granola bars and things. And they have food scientists on staff that they don't do that. That sounds like a much more fun job, Danny, than this food scientist. But they can taste something and tell you every single ingredient that's in it, which I think is really cool too.
Danny Abraha: That is amazing. Yeah. Honestly, if it wasn't that, then I would be a like Anthony Bordain type TV host where I eat food and just talk to people.
Cole Fisher: I feel like that's a field of knowledge I wish I had, or at least some experience that I wish because I know the types where I've read reviews, where it's like," Oh, such and such has a really oaky finish and notes a symphony of hazelnuts." And I taste it, I'm like it tastes like wine to me. I think I just have really uneducated taste buds where I'm like," Oh yeah." I'd be there," It has like a burger finish to it," and they're like," Yeah, it's a cheeseburger."
Bobby Tichy: I always thought wine tasted like stumped on grapes myself.
Danny Abraha: I just drink PBR.
Bobby Tichy: Cole, what about you? Oh, PBR. Gosh. Cole, I think we just found our third co- host.
Cole Fisher: Danny, we just became best friends.
Danny Abraha: That's awesome.
Cole Fisher: I think my gig, I would go with something in the creative flare side of things. So like experience and stuff, it didn't matter. I thought one of the coolest jobs that you could have would be the person that scores the soundtrack to a movie or a series, because I feel like that is such an impact to where, when you watch a film, the way the music comes in or the way the type of music and how it's presented can entirely change the message or the feeling of a moment in a movie. And so it can be either whimsical and totally make an ironic statement about what's happening, or it can be super somber or really intense, or I don't know. And I love music, I have zero music capability. I took piano lessons once in college and I think I blew the teacher away how tone deaf and awful I am at music.
Bobby Tichy: I love that you took the leap from took a piano lesson to I want to score movies.
Cole Fisher: Well, PGA golfer was taken already because I wanted to spend my entire life getting last in every tournament. So you've taken that role. So I'm going to go take my no talent clown act to the musical industry.
Bobby Tichy: What movie would you want to score or what movie and that score sticks out to you?
Cole Fisher: Honestly, I think the one that stuck out to me and I forget which movie. What's the movie with the boxers? It's Brad Pitt. I think it's like either Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I forget, I get the two mixed up. I think it might be Snatch. But it's a part of the movie where they're working with some criminal under bosses and there's a fight that's going to be set up and everything is going this way and basically it's do or die, this guy has to have this fight or take a dive. Well, he gets into a brawl with a bare knuckle boxer, Brad Pitt, who just devastates the guy. And as soon as he hits the deck, it should be like a really scary moment. And instead, they play this really, like almost upbeat, whimsical, like harpsichord music. I think the band was called The Stranglers, it was called 96 Tears, I think. And it's just like, this really, really upbeat. Just like, whoa, this is weird. It's supposed to be this dark humor, around a really serious incident. So it's like the game changer of the movie. And so I just remember seeing that and being like," That's really weird. I never would have chosen that, but I love the way it works."
Danny Abraha: That's an awesome choice.
Bobby Tichy: I'm shocked that you didn't pick a Rocky movie.
Cole Fisher: Those are awesome. I just want to be Kenny Loggins in the eighties and nineties.
Bobby Tichy: Do you think in Top Gun 2, the whole soundtrack is Kenny Loggins?
Cole Fisher: If it's not, I'm walking out of theaters.
Bobby Tichy: Oh, man.
Danny Abraha: Wait, what's your favorite movie Cole?
Cole Fisher: That's a tough one. I feel like a simpleton if I say something like Dumb and Dumber. It would probably have to be a comedy, but there's too many good ones to choose from. But speaking of really good music, I might go with Boondock Saints.
Danny Abraha: Very good pick. Like it.
Bobby Tichy: I've never seen Boondock Saints.
Cole Fisher: Oh. Bobby, you disappoint me on almost every podcast, at some point.
Bobby Tichy: Danny, what's your favorite movie?
Danny Abraha: Mine, I'm a big Tarantino fan. So I really love Inglourious, I don't know if I'm allowed to say the other word.
Cole Fisher: I think you can say Inglourious Basterds.
Danny Abraha: Okay. Inglourious Basterds, I really like that movie. But yeah, anything Tarantino touches generally, I'm a big fan of.
Bobby Tichy: I don't think I've seen any Tarantino movie.
Cole Fisher: I'm not sure you've seen any movie, Bobby.
Bobby Tichy: Well, I am rewatching all of the Marvel movies. I think this is the third time.
Cole Fisher: In order?
Bobby Tichy: Not in order, no. I just finished Captain America: The Winter Soldier and then this morning I restarted Black Panther. And I think Black Panther might be my favorite movie.
Danny Abraha: Very good. I think it's the best Marvel origin movie for sure.
Bobby Tichy: It is so good. Talking about music, the soundtrack for that, what Ryan Coogler did. Yeah, I think that movie is just unbelievable. Michael B. Jordan of Friday Night Lights fame. Probably don't even know what Friday Night Lights is. The TV show, not the movie.
Cole Fisher: He's coming out in a Tom Clancy movie.
Bobby Tichy: Without remorse, I can't wait.
Cole Fisher: That looks legit.
Bobby Tichy: Oh, man. Well, I guess we should probably end this podcast. crosstalk I know. I love when the completely unrelated is much longer and we're so much more excited about it than the actual topic on the podcast.
Danny Abraha: Yeah, I could talk about movies all day and I love music. So Cole, you have a favorite band?
Cole Fisher: Tons of them. We'll turn this into a whole next podcast.
Danny Abraha: Okay.
Bobby Tichy: Why don't we just have another podcast with Danny talking about our favorite music and movies.
Danny Abraha: Oh my God, I love that.
Cole Fisher: Sweet.
Bobby Tichy: Awesome. Well thanks so much for jumping on Danny. We really appreciate it. And Cole, as always, it's not been a pleasure, it's been something.
Cole Fisher: It's been a required part of the job. Thanks guys.
Bobby Tichy: As always, you can get in touch with us at InTheClouds@ LevDigital. com. We're wrapping up our innovation series with just a couple more and then we'll jump into a new multi- part episode that we're excited to feature as well. So talk to you guys soon. Thanks.