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Episode 75: The Cookieless Future: What it Means for RevOps (Feat. Drew Davidoff)

by Hannah Rose | Nov 29, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Let’s give a warm welcome to our Director of Product and Development, Drew Davidoff. Drew joins the show today to discuss his insights and take on the cookieless future and the impact it’ll have on Marketing and RevOps.




Additional Resources:

Show Notes:

About Drew: Drew is Lift’s Director of Product and Development. He’s been with the company for a while now and you aren’t seeing double – he is Doug’s son. If you’d like to connect with Drew, you can find him on LinkedIn.

Pre-Show Banter: Jess is a glutton for punishment because she has two Davidoffs on the show with her today. Doug and Jess discuss her upcoming trip to Disney Land in California next year.

Today is all about cookies and not the kind that Cookie Monster eats. He’s safe from this conversation, though Doug believes he prepared for the wrong topic and had the wrong cookies in mind. I know, such a comedian!

What are cookies? 

Cookies are snippets of code that track user activity on a website. There are two types of cookies: 

  • First-party cookies: track user activity on a specific website
  • Third-party cookies: track user activity across different websites

Third-party cookies are the ones that are being phased out and causing concern. And for those not familiar with cookies, there are no second-party cookies, which everyone finds a little odd.

Cookies on a website are often added through external services or integrations like chatbots, Google Analytics, or HubSpot tracking coke. They enable functions like personalization and user access and are set up and configured during the website’s development process. 

Safari and Firefox have already stopped supporting third-party cookies, but Chrome still does and has a majority of the market share of web browsers. 

The loss of third-party cookies will make it more difficult to automatically build profiles of user behavior and track their actions outside of a specific website. This may result in a decrease in the precision and quality of programmatic PPC advertising and may favor organizations with larger first-party data sets. 

Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies is seen as a privacy measure, but some view it as a response to privacy regulations like GDPR. To Drew, the motivations behind their decision can be seen as both a genuine concern for user privacy and a response to regulatory pressure. This view comes from Google’s recent announcement to delay the removal until mid-2024. 

The debate around third-party cookies is complex with arguments for privacy and concerns about data use and targeted advertising. Some believe that cookies should only be used for essential functions like retaining login information, while others prefer more strict privacy measures. Apple’s login system, for example, allows users to benefit from cookies while keeping their identity private. 

Getting rid of third-party cookies more than likely will negatively impact small companies that rely on them to target their advertising to specific audiences. Bigger companies will more than likely benefit from the removal as it’ll enhance their privacy and decrease the amount of targeted advertising they see. It’s important to recognize that there are trade-offs and second and third-order effects when implementing changes like removing third-party cookies and that larger players benefit rather than the decision being an equalizer. 

How does this play into RevOps?

The role of RevOps is to collect and leverage data to personalize the sales and marketing process. It’s important to make data collection a part of the sales and marketing process. Collecting data can look like: 

  • Filling out a form to gated content
  • Using chatbots to intake data
  • Having sales reps fill out profiles and information to CRM records

To Drew, asking the existing database for information about prospect behavior can help. As well as experimenting and documenting the results of those experiments. 

According to Doug, advertising is the tax you pay for being boring or irrelevant. Post-intent data is often unreliable and can be used to manipulate behavior. Data tells you what has happened, not what will happen. Data mixed with automation can make a company efficient but inflexible, so it should be used for answers, not just to follow trends. 

The key to being relevant in this digital age is by understanding the problem you solve for your customers. It’s important to be relevant in their eyes before they need what you do. Search is a fundamental aspect that isn’t going away, so you have to be smart in your advertising and this is why SEO is crucial. Embracing your acquisition ecosystem means identifying the people and businesses that solve complementary problems for your target audience. Building relationships with centers of influence and partnering with relevant companies can help you grow. Rather than constantly asking for information, consider offering access to valuable content in exchange for filling out one form.

Regardless you should be an advocate for your customers. You have to decide whether you can play a colume game or not. If not, focus on other strategies that align with your goals. Be cautious of getting lost in the mindset of volume as it’s easy to see it as the dominant game.

Third-party cookies going away will impact traditional marketing strategies, and the focus should shift towards first-party data and building direct relationships with customers. Content marketing will become even more important and companies should aim to be relevant and valuable to their target audience. 

RevOps can play a crucial role in adapting to these changes and aligning sales, marketing, and service functions to drive revenue growth. RevOps should take a horizontal approach, looking at the bigger picture of revenue generation rather than siloed functions.

It can take anywhere from 12-18 months for sales and marketing initiatives to generate impact. RevOps teams can help to bridge the gap between the short-term and long-term by focusing on the intermediate term.

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