Customer Data, Cookies and Consent: How to prepare for the new world of data | #119

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Chris gives solid advice on how Australian enterprises can prepare for what many predict will be significant changes to data protection regulations. 

EP 119
Hosted by

Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.

A media and marketing technology executive with a history of delivering innovative strategic revenue growth initiatives and industry growth recognition in global markets. Chris’s 20+ years digital experience spans building foundational teams in the NYC SaaS Martech & Adtech community and ASX listed Agency environments. Chris’s ability to understand and translate executive level needs in an ever changing technology and regulatory environment for brands such as NAB, Delta, ANZ, Woolworths & Panasonic have resulted in changes being made to global industry standards, in tandem to longer term client success stories.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Chris Brinkworth Civic Data.  Chris  is a media and marketing technology executive and founded Civic Data earlier this year to offer solid advice on how Australian enterprises can prepare for what many predict will be significant changes to data protection regulations.  In this chat, Chris discusses the move from cookie-based targeting to cohort planning, explains the importance of permission and reveals the data protection rabbit hole he went down during a recent episode on the dating app, Tinder.

When it comes to customer and marketing data, I would say the most important piece is permission and the trust attached to that permission.”

Chris Brinkworth

Questions answered in this episode include
  • What’s the difference between first, second and third party data?
  • When it comes to data compliance, where do you see the most common mistakes? 
  • How can retailers get on the front foot when it comes to data, consent and changing legislation?

Consent and trust

“I think it all comes back to this. If you don’t have consent, there’s a few things that will happen. The first is you will not be trusted by that consumer. And I think we’ve all done it where we go to a website and we’re like, “Hang on. What are you going to do with this? I’m a bit confused. I really want what you’re offering me at the moment, whether it’s information that I immediately need because I’ve got some weird rash on me that I need to discover the answer to, or I’m trying to research a product that I want to buy because I’m near the store right now.” So you will give up that data for the urgency/immediacy. 

But there’s always that question of, what am I agreeing to? And then there’s, how come you’re now emailing me? How come you’re now texting me? How did you know where I am from a location perspective?

So if you don’t have that trust from the consumer then the experience that consumer has on your website, in your store or wherever you’re reaching them, the whole remarketing thing. There’s a very big difference between a creepy experience versus you know what? That’s actually a really good reminder. That’s the experience I wanted. And because I gave you permission to remind me of that experience, then I’m happy to get it, but because I didn’t know I had given you that permission, it’s a bit of an off-putting thing.”


“Cookies will never go away. Cookies will always be required, and cookies themselves are stored on a user’s device. That’s an important thing to understand, which is why you can always delete them from your device. Now, a cookie is not a person, so you can have one cookie on your phone and that sees your phone as one device or you can have a cookie over on your laptop. Now you might be seen as two separate people rather than one person using two devices if you haven’t found a way to stitch that together in the data layer.

Now cookies will still have their use, their need for logged in states and ensuring people are logged in, making sure that what was in the cart just now is still in the cart when they go back in about two hours’ time. One thing that will happen, however, is your access to those first-party cookies to create that personalization that you were talking about is changing. I think it’s a seven-day window now as one example when it used to be a lot longer.  So that ability to personalize the experience for that user when they come back, if they come back after eight days, then you’re going to look at them as someone brand new, unless they log in.”

Getting ahead of legislation changes

“One of the things I would advise everyone to do is go and search Google images for GDPR email memes. One of the things that I found fascinating, and some of you may have seen it as well if you’re from Europe when GDPR was coming to a point when it was actually going to come into effect. So you’ve got maybe two months before the due date when everyone’s got to be compliant. Those who were not prepared started panicking, and they had to get permission, and they had to get consent to keep a relationship going with that person, and they also had to provide the opportunity to that person to discover information that’s known about them and the ability for them to delete it.

So everyone in Europe started getting emails from everyone that had them on their database, three, four, five, six, seven emails in a day. People they’ve not heard of or from in three, four years. “We’d love to keep a relationship with you. Click here to opt in.” 

So the secret I’m giving to everyone here is do it now because even though we don’t know what’s going to happen, start getting that permission ASAP with your database that you’ve got because if you’re going to start sending an email the same time every other corporation in Australia sends an email if they’re not prepared, people who get in first obviously is going to be doing a lot better.”

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