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EU cookie directive: 90% say customer engagement will nosedive without cookies

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10th Nov 2011
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Only one in ten believe marketers will be able to engage consumers successfully without the use of cookies, according to new research.

The study conducted by affiliate marketing company affilinet at ad:tech 2011 highlights a distinct lack of confidence in new laws, due to come into full effect next year. The EU cookie directive, due to come into force in May 2012, means that companies will have to comply with certain regulation on privacy and electronic communication when customers are browsing.
Only 12% of those surveyed believe that businesses will be able to engage consumers as successfully without the use of cookies. This represents a reduction from the 23% that responded to the same question asked at the 2010 show.
The research also found that 32% of respondents believe affiliate marketing is more effective at generating sales than other forms of marketing, almost one in five businesses are still not utilising the benefits of affiliate marketing as part of their multi-channel strategy. Furthermore, only 11% of businesses reported all marketing activities truly integrated across all online and offline channels.
Data is increasingly important to many businesses, whether this is insight on customers, sales conversion statistics or figures on lead generation.  This is highlighted by the 81% of businesses that reported utilising marketing data to make wider business decisions, such as optimising marketing activity (93%), understanding consumers (70%) and generating more profit (67%).
The research, which was taken from a poll of 111 marketers, also revealed that 54% of respondents reported that marketing budgets are set to increase in the next year, with over a third also reporting that affiliate marketing budgets are set to grow too. 
Gary Bicker, operations director at affilinet UK, said there was a need for further communication and education around the enforcement of the new legislation around use of cookies. “It’s good to see that affiliate marketing and the overall marketing budgets in many businesses are on the rise, but disappointing to find that one in five people are still not fully utilising the benefits of affiliate marketing. 
“It is clear to see that affiliate networks must continue to show how affiliate marketing can be used as an umbrella discipline, to generate sales or new customers through a range of channels.  Whether it is through display, search, social, mobile or email, affiliate marketing offers businesses the unique opportunity to engage through all these channels on a strictly cost per action basis,” Bicker added.
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