Cookiegeddon and the corona crisis: Study highlights trends and challenges in digital marketing

Cookie blocking and the corona pandemic do not shed a good light on the coming year. But the experts in a study clearly reject an offline boom. Instead, they rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence.

With the upcoming post-cookie era and the corona crisis, the marketing industry is facing two significant challenges. In the “Digital Dialog Insights” series of studies, the status quo is examined annually and trends and upcoming challenges are discussed. The focus of the current issue was on the topics of the post-cookie era, corona crisis and artificial intelligence. 120 experts from the fields of trade, services and production took part in the survey conducted by United Internet Media together with the Stuttgart Media University.

The study shows: Cookie blocking and the corona crisis leave deep marks in digital marketing. For the post-cookie era, experts in the digital marketing industry are currently giving a bad report. Only three percent believe that companies in the marketing sector are well prepared for the end of cookies. There is a lack of preparation and know-how, according to a central result of the “Digital Dialog Insights” survey. The experts clearly reject a return to traditional marketing channels and favor the use of alternative infrastructures and technologies. As in the previous year, the relevance of AI is rated high.

“Cookiegeddon” is imminent

For the upcoming post-cookie era, the experts paint a dark picture of the future, which can be summed up with the term “Cookiegeddon”: Only three percent believe that the companies in the marketing industry are well prepared for the end of cookies; only six percent observe sufficient investments in the relevant preparation. The ongoing legal uncertainty is still holding back the appropriate reaction to the restrictions caused by cookie blocking, say 78 percent of the experts. Another major hurdle is the lack of know-how about alternative processes (71 percent).

© Digital Dialog Insights

Nevertheless, most experts are sure that there is no going back and that there will be no offline boom due to the end of cookies. Even with the changed framework conditions, the digital channels are continuing their success story – with the help of new instruments: For example, already 56 percent see a shift of budgets to contextual targeting systems. In addition, login solutions ensure that advertisers can use cross-marketer user-centric data targeting with the consent of users. According to the experts, more investments will be made in the areas of contextual targeting and ID-based targeting with their own identifier over the next two years.

Technical and legal framework conditions have made the transition to the post-cookie era inevitable; this transformation will now accelerate due to the corona. However, the Cookiegeddon is already offset by solutions in the form of alternative identifiers and ID alliances. Data-based marketing and user-centered targeting mean more sales for publishers and more relevance and user-friendliness for consumers, since frequency capping is possible across multiple devices, for example.

says Rasmus Giese, CEO of United Internet Media.

© Digital Dialog Insights

Influence of the corona crisis on the marketing industry

Almost three quarters of the experts observe financial restrictions due to the corona crisis and more than half report personnel consequences. Many companies have changed both their communication messages (62 percent) and their media strategy (56 percent). 55 percent of the experts also see a significant change in general marketing communication.

A clear majority of the experts (83 percent) see a significant increase in the importance of data-based marketing and e-mail. This is also reflected in the investment forecasts: Marketing investments in digital sales and service (81 percent) are the clear winners ahead of data-based marketing (76 percent). In addition, 73 percent of the experts predict a shift to increasing media spending into digital channels. Only seven percent estimate that investments flow into non-digital channels.

© Digital Dialog Insights

AI – relevance and interest remain high

However, the relevance of AI remains unaffected by Corona. The use of AI lies in the creation of additional customer benefits in the form of individualization and personalization – that’s what 83 percent of the experts say. Marketing AI is already of great importance for over half of the companies and agencies. The experts predict that in just two years, AI will play an important role in three quarters of companies.

Four out of five experts continue to see data quality for AI as the greatest challenge. In addition, there is the elimination of third-party cookies, which often make it much more difficult to identify consumers (62 percent), and the low volume of consent for use and linking via opt-in (60 percent).

With artificial intelligence, better marketing decisions can be made. I believe that a new type of marketing decision-maker will prevail who has a higher understanding of the operation of modern digital marketing infrastructure,

is Prof. Harald Eichsteller just as convincing as 68 percent of the experts.

The entire study is available on the Digital Dialog Insights website for download ready.

The information in this article comes from the official press release from United Internet Media.

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