Fortune 500 Marketers Say Shift Against Cookies to Lead to Increased Spend on Social, Search

June 6, 2022

Organic search and social media marketing are the most commonly used channels by Fortune 500 marketers, according to a study [pdf] from the Loyalty Research Center. They’re also perceived to be the channels most impacted by the trend against cookies as well as the channels to which marketers are most likely to be devoting more spending over the next couple of years as a result.

The survey, conducted with Rep Data, of more than 175 Fortune 500 marketing leaders across multiple verticals and distribution models (B2B/B2C/B2B2C), examined the most popular marketing channels and the impact that a cookie-less future will have on them.

Organic search/SEO and social media marketing are the most widespread in usage, according to the findings, with 86% of respondents using each. Not far behind, 8 in 10 use paid search/SEM.

There’s a significant drop-off in adoption after that, though a majority of respondents are using each of OTT advertising (57%), email marketing (54%), events/tradeshows/conferences (54%), partnership marketing (53%), and influencer marketing (51%).

Further down the list, offline ads/direct mail (27%), programmatic ad networks (26%) and podcasts (22%) are not seeing strong adoption among the Fortune 500 sample surveyed.

Shift Against Cookies Heavily Impacts Social and Search

The report indicates that marketers see a big impact on their top channels from the trend against cookies. Two in 3 (67%) say that the trend has had a high impact on social media marketing, with another 28% saying it has had a medium impact. Likewise, almost all have seen a high (64%) or medium (31%) impact on organic search and paid search (54% and 42%, respectively).

OTT advertising has been less impacted, according to the study’s findings, as just 30% said the shift against cookies has had a high impact on this channel. Separately, cookie deprecation has been cited as a key driver of increased spending on connected TV advertising, per a recent report.

Overall, marketers are feeling the most pressure from these recent trends towards the bottom of the funnel. Presented with 5 stages of the funnel and asked where they are feeling the most pressure, more than 8 in 10 pointed to the bottom 2 stages of the funnel, with 44% citing purchase/conversion and 38% loyalty/retention.

F500 Marketers to Allocate More Spending to Social and Search

The report’s authors note that “marketers are anticipating an increase in budget allocation across each of the impacted channels to help navigate new waters.” Nowhere is that more true than for social and search. Indeed, some 83% say they will either significantly (30%) or slightly (53%) increase their budget allocation for social media marketing over the next 2 years in response to the shift against cookies. This brings to mind previous research suggesting that the triopoly will benefit from cookie deprecation: in response to the lack of third-party cookies, advertisers surveyed were most likely to say they would increase their spending on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and Google.

Meanwhile, more than 8 in 10 (82%) respondents to this latest research are expecting to increase their spend on paid search/SEM. And although fewer (73%) plan an increase in organic search/SEO spending, this is the channel for which the largest share of respondents (41%) plan to significantly increase their spend.

In fact, data from GetApp (as covered here by HubSpot) indicates that as a result of cookie deprecation, almost half of marketers (44%) indicate a need to hike their spending by 5% to 25% in order to reach the same goals as 2021.

Read more from the Loyalty Research Center study here.

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