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Insurance Industry Digital Marketing - A Cookieless Future?

Adrian Holloway Adrian Holloway , 4/2/2024
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For years, digital marketers have leveraged digital cookies for targeted marketing, marketing automation and/or advertising. That is about to change, quickly.

If you are advertising using 2nd or 3rd party cookies for any type of marketing and promotion of your insurance products and services, you are probably very worried right now. Yes, including social media marketing!

Third party cookies are leveraged to target users based on previous browsing data. For example, when you visit Facebook and see an advt. from a 3rd party, like because you were looking for a hotel yesterday, and you wonder how Facebook has that targeted data on you - that's 3rd party cookies in play.

Who is affected in the insurance industry?

Insurance Carriers, Wholesalers, MGA's, Retail Agencies - almost everyone uses this form of digital targeting.

Google is leading the charge on killing 3rd party cookies. By Q3 this year (2024), Google Chrome browser will disable all 3rd Party cookies.

This form of privacy invasion comes to an end soon as other tech giants are following suit and are scrambling to define ways to create cookie less targeting for marketers without violating users' privacy.

Where does this leave us - marketers in the insurance industry?

In terms of digital targeting and digital marketing you have a few options left -

  1. Contextual advertising - Search based advertising (Google, Bing search ads), Article based contextual targeting (including content sources such as YouTube).
  2. Organic SEO – optimize your website pages to rank well organically –using well written content.
  3. Email Marketing – still the most inexpensive and effective form of mass digital marketing.

Of course, if you already gather 1st party non-critical cookies with user consent, you can use them to target your audience/s, but I would imagine that only the very large carriers and wholesalers possess the web traffic, data and resources to leverage this effectively.

Alternatively, traditional forms of marketing would still work – off-site, seminars, trade shows, etc.

Compliance Considerations

Consumer Privacy is a serious issue. Cyber breaches have accelerated the serious nature of protecting potentially sensitive data about users. CCPA (pioneered in California) is in full effect and is becoming the norm in many states. A simple google search reveals that the laws are being enforced and cases are being won by plaintiffs.

If you are using someone’s data (Personally Identifiable Information - email, cell phone etc.) without their consent, then you may be out of compliance. If you are a leader in your company and do not know for sure if you are compliant, you need to make it your business to investigate and act accordingly.

If you are purchasing, renting or leveraging a 3rd party’s email and/or phone marketing lists – and your vendor is non-compliant then you are probably out of compliance – and therefore, potentially liable.

Questions? Get in touch.

Please do get in touch with me if you have any questions - to discuss and provide further insight and guidance.

P.S. – If you are a client of ours, leveraging our digital marketing (email, SEO, onsite), rest assured that we are fully compliant. 5 years ago, we implemented some technology that was forwardly compliant and remains so. To the best of my knowledge, none of our competitors are fully compliant as it relates to the issues described in this article.