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  • Chelsea Chua

How Marketers Can Adapt to the Changes in the Digital World



The rapidly changing digital world seems to have accelerated its pace even more in the last year. Some of the major recent updates are leaving marketers stumped. However, the nature of digital marketing is that all changes, no matter how unprecedented, are welcomed and tackled with new vigour. Let’s take a look at some of the major changes and how to handle them.


Google will Remove Third-party Cookies

Third-party cookies are the information collected on the activities and experiences of a user after they leave your website. Often, platforms like AdWords use this information to help brands promote their products to the users at times when the users have never interacted with the brand at all.


For example, you can search ‘night lamp’ once and suddenly find videos on YouTube related to lamps, posts on Instagram about some brand with an account dedicated to night lamps, and so on. It’s way deeper than that, where the smallest interest by customers is reported to the brand.


Removing third-party cookies means brands can’t access this information on their customer freely anymore. Additionally, third-party cookies rely heavily on movements within a device rather than the focus on the customers' intention.


What can you do now?


Well, Google is removing first-party data but not wiping it off completely. Instead, they have proposed Google Topics, which is a more privacy-friendly version.


Topics API assigns users a set of interests by analysing the websites they visit on the browser. The interests are then sent to the websites and advertising portals. Since the tracking period is limited to 3 weeks, this is a huge compromise compared to third-party cookies, which can track a person’s entire browsing history.


Topics avoid any kind of sensitive personal information, such as race, age, or gender. Google will assign a user a number of topics based on their browsing data. Then, they will create three batches out of their interest categories, sending a random one to the website and their ad manager.


You can use this data to target them with digital ads while they’re browsing. The trouble here is that you’re only getting interests, and no other personal data to personalise your ad thoroughly. Additionally, customers can choose to opt-out of Topics.


So, while you have Google Topics API, you should still:

  • Focus on first-party data. This is the information you collect when a user visits your website pages or social media websites. You can use analytics to gauge some information on their interests.

  • Promise free content such as a free eBook in exchange for information directly to your customers.

  • Create a guided selling experience. For example, a customer wants to find a shirt. Ask them to choose their age range, body type, etc., on the app to find the shirt which matches their taste the most.

  • Follow up purchases with surveys and requests for reviews.

  • Google actually still will have the browser data. While you can’t access this information anymore, Google will allow you to advertise through their platforms. Only they will decide whom the advertisements will reach.

  • The people-based targeting system from Facebook can be useful in this regard. The data collected directly from the audience is put into a CRM to create a buyer persona, which helps track and promote products to customers without third-party cookies.

Metaverse Marketing Preparation

As Facebook rebrands into Meta and pushes the idea of the metaverse, a world of complete virtual reality, 3D ads would be the first major step.


However, there are some other exciting metaverse changes that you need to look into.


  • The trend of influencers means even metaverse would have its own. Brands are creating entire avatars based on customer preferences. These avatars have Instagram accounts, perform concerts, do live, and upload TikTok videos while existing only digitally. They serve to make metaverse look real and turn customers into fans of these seemingly perfect beings. After all, metaverse influencers can’t make mistakes that real-world ones can.

  • In turn, influencers are holding metaverse even themselves, with their virtual avatars performing in online events.

  • Special branded characters now exist who show up in online game events. Some brands are using them to promote their product such as offering treats inside the game which they will get in real life too. A brand may send you clothes inside the metaverse and in real life.

  • Huge sports venues now have booths with AR glasses and 3D advertising for your special viewing.

  • Brands are holding huge-scale live events online, where everyone shows up as avatars, interact and talk to each other, while no one actually leaves the safety of their home.

  • NFT is closely related to the metaverse. NFTs can be exchanged inside the metaverse and since NFT is considered one of the major trading asset for the future, people are quite excited to get on it.

Benefits of 3D Advertising

3D ads mean customers can interact with a product, such as clicking the straps on the image of a purse to see the contents inside it. Ever came across those videos on YouTube or Facebook where you can view an area from a 360-degree angle? 3D ads will only enhance this experience.


  • AR technology allows users to overlay digital products into the real world in 3D through smartphones and AR glasses. Aiming the phone camera at a particular spot, customers can see the product in 3D. So, you can see if the desk you want to buy is small enough to fit the wall opposite your bed.

  • AR sunglasses can transport you to completely different surroundings. You may find yourself inside a video game or inside a furniture shop as if you’re seeing these products in real life. Customers make quicker decisions when they don’t have to travel all the way to your shop to see the quality of the product.

  • It’s an all-around immersive experience. Whether you consider poking the product with mouse clicks or visually following something around the room, it attracts interest in a way 2D ads don’t. Interest translates into engagement and purchase.

  • The current attention span is estimated to be about 8 seconds. If you want a shot at getting someone’s attention, 3D ads are the most effective method.

  • 3D ads can actually be extremely cost-effective. As long as you invest in a good 3D design studio, you’re set. It takes way less time than finding directors, actors, set, costumes, and makeup artists for traditional advertisements.


Use of AI

As artificial intelligence develops at a rapid pace, digital marketers have been presented with an opportunity like never before.


  • Automating major tasks such as paid advertising by focusing on keywords.

  • Chatbots on websites talk to customers despite no human being present.

  • Making personalised recommendations to customers after the AI analyses the customer behaviour and pattern.

  • Developing content by consuming a massive amount of content in the same field. For example, AI assistants can write entire blog posts by mixing and matching other blog posts to create something new.

  • Identifying images and their source which wouldn’t be possible for humans.


Final Thoughts

None of the major updates in the digital sphere is particularly alarming. If anything, it’s meant to make things more comfortable for digital marketers in the long run. However, it’s certainly making digital marketing a specific profession and not something any brand can try their hands at without consulting an expert.