Piano and Digiday Announce Findings from the State of Direct Brand Engagement

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Results Show More Brands Relying on Zero and First Party Data in Preparation for the Deprecation of 3rd Party Cookies

Piano, the leading subscription commerce and customer experience platform, announced the results of an original study “The State of Direct Brand Engagement.” Digiday Media, in partnership with Piano surveyed over 100 brand and agency marketers to understand how they’re making the transition to an increasingly cookieless world. The survey offers a snapshot of a marketing world on the cusp of the transition from reliance on third-party data, to a world in which first- and zero-party data use becomes both more sophisticated and widespread and content is critical to every brand.

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The survey found that while some marketers are proactively making the switch to post-cookie data strategies, the majority are still relying on third-party data, and many need new resources and content to help them create the authentic relationships that produce first-party data.

  • 50 percent expect to be more reliant on first-party data in the coming year, and 49 percent will use more zero-party data
  • While 50 percent are using newsletter sign-ups to boost engagement, 29 percent are exploring a subscription offering
  • 52 percent saw difficulty in creating content that appeals to their audience as a roadblock to improving direct engagement.
  • 78 percent said they will adapt to using other types of data, but don’t need to make any changes yet, putting them at risk of missing Google’s 2022 deadline for cookie deprecation.

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Michael Silberman, SVP of strategy at Piano said “We’re in the middle of a fundamental shift in the way users are tracked on the internet — a change has really been driven by the users themselves — as they’re tired of surveillance-based marketing and want control of their data. Browser companies and regulators have responded. We believe that’s ultimately a good thing for both publishers and brands, who will benefit as they make the move toward real relationships with users.”

According to James O’Brien, head of Production at Digiday Media, where the Custom team partnered with Piano on the research: “The convergence of brands and publishers is a story Digiday has followed closely, and it’s clear that the deprecation of third-party cookies will likely accelerate the alignment that’s already underway. We’re pleased to have surfaced some of the most recent ways that brand marketers are preparing to make the transition, and this study emphasizes how critical it is for brands to develop a post-cookie data strategy before the 2022 deadline.”

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