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DMA Convo: Manulife’s Leo Lau on how to navigate the upcoming cookieless landscape

DMA Convo: Manulife’s Leo Lau on how to navigate the upcoming cookieless landscape

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MARKETING-INTERACTIVE is proud to present Digital Marketing Asia – Hong Kong, a conference about uncovering transformative trends impacting marketing leaders and decision-makers that will arm digital marketers for 2024 and beyond. Taking place on 26 and 27 October at The Mira Hong Kong, our 39 speakers will share with us their insights and experiences on the post-cookie world, the new digital experience in North Asia, social commerce and putting AI into practice.  

Speaking at the session “Can we really replace the cookie? The impact on analytics, measurement, tracking and more” is Leo Lau (pictured), director, martech lead Asia, Manulife Asia, who is an accomplished digital marketing and analytics expert with over 25 years of experience in web and digital operations. 

As third-party cookies could track customers across multiple channels for effective retargeting or evaluating prospects, brands have been heavily reliant on cookies for the past decade. However, with the impending shift away from cookies, the local marketing industry faces challenges in replicating the tracking, retargeting, and personalised experiences they provide.

In fact, during a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Lau said it is hard for brands to truly replicate the personalised experiences that cookies traditionally provided.

“We are still able to do some sort of tracking or measurement even with incognito or private browsing. However we will be losing the capability to identify the same user over multiple sessions and the ability to provide a personalised experience,” he added.

To deliver a better customer experience on the digital property for conversion, Lau suggested brands look more internally at first-party data and with business partners at second-party data.

While a cookieless environment offers improved privacy for users by reducing the reliance on tracking technologies such as third-party cookies, Lau agreed that brands should welcome the trends of better privacy protection for customers.

“If major or loss of digital marketing activities we have are at the cost of sacrificing customer privacy, or other aspects, the digital environment will become toxic and have no customer left behind, or they will find their own ways to heavily protect themselves,” he added.

Click on the picture to watch the video!

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What can brands do to overcome the challenges that will come with a cookieless environment? What digital customer experience do you envision to become important?

Not all cookies are gone, but only the third-party cookies, which have a big privacy issue. Brands are still able to track and measure ROI with their first-party cookie. Just the media platforms, they are unable to track the same users across different domains. 

However,cookie-less is only one of the most discussed items under the overall privacy concern. Brands should look more internally at first-party data and with business partners at second-party data to deliver better customer experience on the digital property for conversion. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: The advent of a cookieless environment is being welcomed by privacy advocates. Will it also be a good thing for brands, MarTech professionals and performance marketing professionals?  

In fact, brands should welcome the trends of better privacy protection for our customers, as we always talk about customer centricity, and our privacy should be part of that. 

I also like to think about the privacy concern or intellect and digital space such as the environmental issue we have in real life. Some of the past or even current practices we have in digital marketing, they just like burning fossil resources for energy, which comes at lower costs and is easier to access. But it's not sustainable. 

If major or loss of digital marketing activities we have are at the cost of sacrificing customer privacy, or other aspects, the digital environment will become toxic and have no customer left behind, or they will find their ways to heavily protect themselves. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Will the cookieless environment be like the "true killer" of performance marketing – incognito browsing mode?  

Incognito, or private browsing is a way users can use to protect themselves. We are still able to do some sort of tracking or measurement even with incognito or private browsing. But we will be losing the capability to identify the same user over multiple sessions and the ability to provide a personalised experience. 

There are also some browser plugins that can pay when all kinds of tracking, All these different types of measurement or protection can be done by users if they find that the digital environment is getting unsafe for them to stay in.

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We are bringing Digital Marketing Asia to Hong Kong from Southeast Asia! Hear all about the latest trends in the digital space with 200+ brilliant minds at Digital Marketing Asia - Hong Kong on 26 and 27 October at The Mira Hong Kong. Uncover thought-provoking and customised strategies that help brands connect with audiences effectively.

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