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How Unilever Thailand’s cookie-cutting exercises are paying off | News

While the tech giant has already removed 1% of cookies, the full deprecation is now postponed to 2025, pending approvals from regulatory bodies like the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Google previously delayed cookie deprecation in 2022. This decision comes as Google faces intricate challenges including varied feedback from industry stakeholders, regulatory scrutiny, and the need for further testing of new technologies.  

One brand giant that is not waiting for cookies to depreciate is Unilever. Recognising consumers are diversifying their digital footprints across devices like OTT services, music streaming, and mobile apps, the FMCG powerhouse is expanding its advertising efforts into these inherently cookie-free environments. 

Nidarat Urailertprasert, Southeast Asia home care data lead and data head for Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore at Unilever, says the brand’s first-party data capabilities range from the obvious, including the collection of email addresses and mobile numbers for audience targeting, to the intricate, having integrated Unified ID 2.0 to ensure it has precise targeting across various digital platforms. 

Thailand’s launch of a new Sunlight dishwashing detergent, for example, used Unified ID 2.0 with their first-party data to execute a targeted campaign that not only reached existing customers but also target new customers

This approach significantly outperformed traditional cookie-based methods, achieving lower cost-per-completed-view, increased brand awareness, and higher engagement rates. 

“Other than targeting home care consumers already in our database, with Unified ID 2.0, we were able to identify potential new customers using look-alike targeting. This method involves identifying and targeting individuals with characteristics similar to those of our existing customers, allowing us to uncover new clientele,” explains Urailertprasert. 

“The campaign outcomes demonstrated that this new approach was more effective than traditional methods relying on cookies and second-party data. Consequently, we are planning to scale this innovation across our entire business.” 

Advice for brands

For brands navigating the transition to cookie-free advertising, Urailertprasert advises investing in alternative identity solutions and forming partnerships that enhance marketing capabilities without compromising data privacy.  

She emphasises the importance of educating internal stakeholders about the effectiveness of new strategies through relevant KPIs, such as sales impact or brand lift, to foster a sense of urgency and adaptability within the organisation. 

“Navigating the cookie-free world can be challenging, and we’ve learned a valuable lesson. This is the time to look beyond traditional methods and explore alternative identity solutions and partnerships,” says Urailertprasert. 

“These should provide insights that can enhance the skills of your entire organization and avoid partnerships where you compromise on privacy. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure transparent reporting in return.” 

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