leeanne igb cookie crumbles

The Cookie Crumbles: Lee-Ann Johnstone’s talk at iGB Affiliate

Our CEO Lee-Ann Johnstone recently made an appearance at the iGB Affiliate webinar this week in London and was part of a panel where she gave a talk on the importance of cookie data and its impact on online marketing.

Lee-Ann was joined on the panel by, Gavin Flood, VP of Marketing and EMEA Site Lead at AdRoll, Allan Stone, CEO of Intelitics, and Joe Kustelski, Co-Founder of Chalkline Sports.

Don’t worry if you missed the iGB Affiliate conference, because we’ve got a breakdown of everything said at Lee-Ann’s talk. She covered everything from cookie deprecation and its effect on marketing to multi-channel attribution and the impacts of first party data. Read on to find out all the insights from the highest level of Affiverse.

What is cookie deprecation and how will it impact how we perform our online marketing activity?

Deprecation, in terms of money, is the lowering of market value due to influential economic factors. When it comes to affiliate marketing, this can be factors like regulation, like the GDPR EU law, or something closer to user habits on social media, etc. A lot of things can affect affiliate marketing, causing deprecation, but the biggest is definitely the effect of cookies.

Cookies are collected from users when they enter a website and are used mainly to make websites better. However, the importance of cookies has shifted since the introduction of the GDPR. Instead, data is more commonly collected in other ways and affiliate marketing is a big part of that. Affiliate marketing allows for data collection on users’ habits, where they came from, where they are going and what they engage with. This allows for more brand-building opportunities rather than just being a means of driving traffic to your site.

However, in order to take advantage of the expanding role of affiliate marketing, affiliate marketing managers will have to refer back to basic marketing practices to get the most out of their data. Keep marketing practices simple and therefore more effective.

What’s the impact of cookies falling away on the affiliate marketing ecosystem?

There are both long term and short-term effects of the devaluation of cookies. The short-term effect is that affiliate marketers have to get around the concept of using cookies to learn about their users. Marketers can no longer rely on the walled gardens of certain social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram since the landscape concerning user data is changing rapidly. Regulations are consistently changing around where consumers and players spend their time online, and marketers are met with the new problem of how to target and retarget without cookies.

Affiliate marketing is a big part of the solution here. Due to the nature of affiliate marketing spreading across platforms and sites, it is bound to play a much bigger part in marketing as a whole.

How will this affect multi-channel attribution metrics and should we be considering this first?

Affiliate marketing links that lead to sales on target websites are undoubtedly going to be affected. Without the simple solution of cookies to inform marketers of what consumers are buying and who they are, targeting future audiences will be more of a shot in the dark, unless marketers look at other means of learning about their users.

However, this re-optimising of the way things are done is putting the cart before the horse. Instead, marketers should focus on a simple and bold marketing approach. Use affiliate marketing to find out what, where, and why your site visitors are buying your products and services, and then move on to how you can serve these site visitors.

Marketers should also look outside their industry for more insight into trends and data analysis. iGaming in particular should look for other methods of collecting data as they are falling behind here.

What are some of the bigger impacts of first party data?

There are a lot of bigger impacts on industries and marketing if first party data were to continue to deprecate. If data were to stop being collected, affiliate company valuations might change, as will commercials. The value of traffic to operators might shift if it’s not first party data being recorded. Anything other than first party data might be considered unreliable.

A knock-on effect of this might be that marketing opportunities might dry up for traditional sites if they have traffic but no data.

All of this is to say that marketers must act now to future-proof their sites for the sake of your affiliate business. The cookie is crumbling, and it’s important for the online marketing industry to find an alternative.

If you’re interested in more insights from Lee-Ann, you can attend the Elevate Summit which kicks off on June 14th. Tickets will be on sale from April 19th. Find the whole agenda on our website. You can find more information on affiliate marketing on our blog, or for more personalised advice, book a free call with a member of our team.

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