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Assessing Marketer Readiness for the Privacy-First Digital Era

A major chapter of the digital era is morphing into a new one. From Google’s elimination of third-party cookies to Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency policy to GDPR, data practices are being upended. The way marketers follow shoppers around the web will forever change in the privacy-first digital era.

But that doesn’t mean marketers will be handcuffed. They will be able to use first-party data to understand their audience. Google will continue developing its privacy sandbox to serve ads to like-minded groups of people, just not individuals. Some consumers will still opt in to tracking. Machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies will continue to create performance benefits from digital advertising.

The way marketers follow shoppers around the web will forever change in the privacy-first digital era.

Operating in the new era will not come easy to every marketer. This article discusses the skills you personally develop, how you hire in-house and external talent, and the priorities and processes you drive on your team. As a marketing leader myself, I see several actionable takeaways to develop your team for the privacy-first digital era.

1. Groom collaborators and data-driven decision makers. Certain data that marketers rely on is going away in the privacy-first era, but that doesn’t mean marketers want to be, or should be, any less data-driven. According to Sidecar’s 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey, 33% of ecommerce marketers say that “data-driven decisions” are a primary success factor for their team — one of the top three success factors reported. Another 33% said “strong collaboration” is a big success factor. These findings emphasize the need to increasingly center your team’s expertise in these areas.