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Diana Janssen, the director at DDMA states: “The 2022 DDMA Barometer shows that the data driven marketing sector remains highly dependent on third-party cookies and that raises concerns. With stricter legislation and more restrictive measures from browsers, we are increasingly moving towards a privacy-first marketing landscape. Organisations ultimately have to act in line with this if they want to be able to reach their customers in the long run. As an industry association for data and marketing, we support our members by looking at a future-proof way of marketing without the use of third-party cookies, and one from which both organisations and consumers can reap benefits.”

Andries Hiemstra, the chair of the DDMA Digital Marketing Transformation Committee comments: “The results of the 2022 DDMA Barometer are not to be taken lightly. Marketers and organisations have not yet fully embraced the challenge of third-party cookies. Too few organisations are acting upon or entering into dialogue with customers through their own data. Apart from the technical and legal issues surrounding cookies, the matter of privacy and in particular the ethical aspect should be a top priority for organisations. The consumer is willing to share data, but it is up to organisations themselves to take responsibility and be honest and transparent about the use of customer data (read: who, what, where, when, why and how), as this is the only way to create a healthy and sustainable value exchange. It’s up to marketers to take on the task of increasing their role as customer representatives, bringing back a more humanistic approach, and making the marketing field more sustainable.”

DDMA Barometer 2022 English

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Lack of urgency

The willingness to take steps still seems to be lacking considerably in many organisations. A kind of ‘wait-and-see’ procrastinating attitude has been taken, and it doesn’t seem to really play a role for customers (in the case of B2B) as of yet either. Only 11% of the B2B organisations involved in the survey picked up on the fact that the cookie issue is high on the agenda of their customers. A lack of urgency is highlighted as an important reason. For example, one of the respondents in the survey said:

I think that for many clients, it will only really come into play when the regulations take effect – just as it did with the GDPR at the time. 

A manager, working for a B2B organisation  with 0-50 employees

But the clients themselves are also often hesitant as well:

We have a wait-and-see attitude towards the market and are hoping for an answer from that market just before the finish.

A strategist, working for a B2B organisation with 0-50 employees

Cookieless world mainly top of mind in marketing & communication

The fact that a large part of the organisations expects no action to be taken in the coming year is also visible from where the issue is picked up within organisations. In most organisations, this largely takes place within marketing and communication departments (marcom) and not (yet) at management level. A total of 64% of all organisations have stated that they’re picking up the issue from this angle, with a mere 42% also involving management. This applies to small organisations (0-50 employees) to an even higher degree than large organisations (500+).

No focus on first-party data yet, partly due to lack of expertise and manpower

Getting first-party data in order and setting up a sustainable, future-oriented first-party data strategy is often cited as the solution to the cookie question, yet only 1 in 4 organisations (27%) that are currently utilising cookies for marketing purposes have a first-party data strategy that focuses on the years ahead. One of the reasons, which is also why some are still waiting to take certain measures in terms of a first-party data strategy, is obvious. Not only is there a lack of urgency to take steps, but organisations still simply lack the manpower and expertise to be able to achieve those steps. A total of 61% indicate that employing the right people is a major challenge, and a similar percentage finds it difficult to acquire the right expertise in terms of tools.

Uncertainty about the future restricts opportunities for business

Another important challenge is in the legal field: there is still a lot of uncertainty about the genuine consequences of the cookieless world, and partly because of this, organisations are leaning towards ensuring their marketing activities as completely water-tight in a legal sense, thereby unnecessarily limiting the possibilities for carrying out data-driven marketing. Half the organisations surveyed (53%) encounter this problem. One of the organisations in the survey stated the following:

People want to make everything water-tight in a legal sense and sometimes lack insight into what the business needs in order to continue.

Manager, working for a B2C organisation with 1000+ employees

For a complete overview of all the facts and figures, check out the infographic below, or download the file from:

DDMA Barometer 2022 English

Download (60 KB)

More DDMA activities on marketing in a privacy-first world

The 2022 DDMA Barometer shows that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the cookie issue. In order to support organisations in their search for a sustainable customer contact strategy, DDMA will be organising several events in the autumn about marketing in a privacy-first world, a world without cookies, including 2 of a 3-part series of deep dives about measurement, activation and personalisation in a privacy-first world.

DDMA Barometer 2022 Infographic English

Research accountability

The DDMA Barometer was conducted among 159 respondents working within the marketing sector, who indicated that they are to some extent familiar with the approaching cookieless world and its possible consequences for the data-driven marketing sector. Field work period: April-June 2022.

Nanda Appelman

Market Insights Specialist

Bob Younge


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