Carolyn Corda, CMO at ADARA


Personalisation is critical for financial brands, both in acquiring new customers and driving further value from existing ones. As the financial market becomes increasingly competitive following the emergence of digital challenger banks like Monzo and Starling, alongside digital payment solutions such as Klarna, it’s clear that financial institutions need to personalise messages in order to compete.

The de facto process for targeting and executing personalised messages, the third-party cookie, however, will soon be phased out in January 2022. Apple and Firefox have already stopped using 3rd party cookies on their browsers, meanwhile Google Chrome – with nearly half the market share of web browser usage – is soon set to follow.

Without the insight and information that third-party cookies provide, financial brands will find it much harder to personalise messages to consumers. Data in a post cookie landscape will be limited to walled gardens and first-party information such as purchases, name and location. With consumers coming to expect personalised content as the baseline in most communication, the loss of third-party cookies will put financial institutions at a disadvantage, and make it harder to send the most relevant promotions to the right person at the right time.

It is imperative that finance brands fill the gap left by the death of the third-party cookie by finding new data sources that allow marketers to execute personalised marketing efforts.


Putting privacy first 

Lack of transparency and infringements upon consumer safety were the main reasons behind the death of the cookie. Any replacement, then, needs to be privacy safe.

However, finding a privacy safe solution that also generates results is easier said than done. Replacements such as Google’s cookie alternative, FLoC, and walled gardens like Facebook and Amazon don’t give advertisers the flexibility to tailor data sources to their own specific wants and needs. While walled gardens do have the scale and log-ins to track and target billions of users with deterministic insights, they don’t allow financial brands to use insights outside of their ecosystem. For example, financial brands can’t use Facebook, Google and Amazon to find specific audiences based on  travel habits, real estate plans, preferred credit cards, mortgages and other financial products and then reach these audiences on other platforms. This means that any advertising campaigns using just these walled gardens as a source will lack the info needed to deliver highly personalised messages to consumers across every channel.

While financial marketers will still undoubtedly want to work within Google and Facebook’s first-party environments, it’s crucial that financial brands also seek ethically sourced, privacy-centric data from elsewhere. Brands should be developing their own targeting and measurement strategies that go beyond walled gardens.


Data sources and tokenisation 

Financial brands should be looking to replace the gap left by third-party cookies by utilising their own first-party data (payment history, credit score etc) in combination with data from external partnerships. Data partnerships give financial brands a broader view of their consumers, allowing them to send highly relevant messages in a privacy-centric manner. In other words, they can give financial brands insight into how people interact with a group of other companies and therefore data into a wider set of behaviours and patterns.

At Adara, we’ve developed a future-proof solution to the third-party cookie that combines data partnerships with strong data rights management capabilities and our Privacy Token – a secure way to obtain and share customer data that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies. With the ADARA Privacy Token, all shared data is obscured in a way that no external party would be able to reconstruct. ,

Adara’s tokenisation solution is purpose-built for safe data sharing and allows for brands to share and receive data, secure in the knowledge that sensitive information won’t be leaked to external sources since it never leaves the firewall. Analytics or data science teams are then able to provide the best and most relevant insights for marketing and customer experience teams. This enables them to send personalised messages through extensive and validated identity graphs. So even as ecosystem policies and privacy regulations constantly change, financial institutions can ensure a privacy protected digital business without sacrificing performance.

As we approach the death of the third-party cookie, financial brands need to prepare themselves for the seismic change in personalisation and digital marketing. Those that adapt by utilising first-party data and entering into data partnerships will find that they are able to fill the gap left by the third-party cookie while remaining privacy safe. They will also ensure that they are competitive by delivering the right message at the right time to existing customers and potential new ones.


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