Your Users Are Disappearing. What Now? (Part One)


September 28, 2020

The era of privacy is upon us, so what are some things we can do to retain our ability as amazing storytellers? First, we must embrace the fact that all audiences and user IDs are going to be held business-side, as opposed to being housed in third-rd party platforms or packages. In fact, unbeknownst to many, the clickIDs, such as a gClid, are self-destructing if they are held in the media tools alone past 90 days. 

And that is actually a good thing. The industry is forcing our hand. We have to responsibly get to know our audiences, tailor micro-moments to how they arrive at our door in the first place and avoid the all-too-easy route of relying on third parties or tools to do it for us. 

This new paradigm will only make us better storytellers to our customers. However, the technical path for this can be a daunting one to start, and when looking up from the bottom of the mountain it is easy to get lost in the plethora of jargon and tools. But, once you take that first step forward, it becomes a less nebulous task under the lead of a good sherpa. Take action on the following items to get started: 

Your gClids are going away 

User ClickIDs, or the unique identifier string being attached to your clicks, are self-destructing in 90 days or less within your media platforms. And, for good reason. User identifiers should not exist endlessly within the fluidity of tactical tools like a DSP or Search Management Platform. They are intended to be tactical, not exist as data warehouses by themselves. Further, the tools are ultimately owned server-side by the provider and any identifiers or data passing through them, as we already mentioned above, should be owned by the responsible business side. 

So how do you prove Lifetime Value (LTV), 90 day+ conversions or any full-funnel media modeling and optimizations if gClids are gone in 90 days? You need to get those identifiers out of the media tools and into a warehouse that is owned business-side. Not only will this ensure you can model gClids post-90 days however you like, but you are also responsibly future-proofing your efforts and acting as a good steward for your users and company. Plus, once they are out of the tools, you can do some pretty cool stuff, which we will talk about below. 

Pro Tip: Why stop at media clicks? Use this opportunity to unify all data. Your onsite analytics, CRM and sales funnel data, if they are part of a loyalty program, and what their favorite products or services are and any other business side data that can be joined. All of these touchpoints unified together can enable the real magic to occur. 

Make it look cool. Going beyond a static warehouse 

If you undertake a project to warehouse data, you might as well double the effort and make it look cool by creating a central business-side reporting and dashboarding suite. You can think of this as the front-end interface of what will ultimately double as your data warehouse on the backend. 

Why is this important? Much like the widening gap between media tools and business-owned data, reporting will also fall into this category. The tactical tools provide great insights for those pulling the levers specific to that tactic. However, it is cumbersome at best to try and cobble together reports for things like full-funnel incrementality, media assists, offline, onsite, etc. And even more messy to try and align business side metrics like time-tracking margins, net profit margins, efficiency and CRM insights or any business unit profits in a meaningful, accessible and scalable way.

Without beginning this effort, your reports will still reside in the tools themselves which also complicates things if you ever want to leave those tools behind. By embarking on a visualization project, the power resides agnostically, is browser-based and totally customizable with your fave colors and logos. Views and triggers can be deployed sufficiently for the different teams or people who would need to use it. Plus, templates can be created for client use if needed, and all of this on a flexible architecture for the DIY team if needed post-install. 

Stay tuned for part two to read about what you can do to activate your data once it is centralized and warehoused. In the meantime, contact us with any questions.