MAIDS: A Useful Alternative to Third-Party Cookies

Third-party cookies have long been a favourite for tracking consumer behaviour online, so it’s hardly surprising that marketers are left wondering what to do once they’re gone. With Google’s announcement that it will phase out third-party cookies on Chrome browsers by 2022, there’s little choice but to find new ways to target audiences for online campaigns.

Thankfully there’s no shortage of effective alternatives. One of these is to find and build your audiences with the help of a Mobile Advertising ID, known as a MAID. These strings of digits assigned to mobile devices provide all the advantages of cookies minus most of the privacy issues. Using an anonymous identifier provided by the mobile device’s operating system, MAIDs deliver information about user activity without, as a stand-alone source, gathering personally identifiable information. 

Why MAIDs are useful to marketers

If you’re running a marketing campaign, you want to be able to understand all you can about your customers. The more you know about who they are and how to market to them, the easier it is to make your marketing messages stick. And by seeing a fuller picture of your audience, you can build new customers off the back of your existing ones and refine your targeting of existing customers. Don’t waste marketing spend on people who aren’t likely to buy from you when you could target those who actually care about what you’re selling.

As shown in the MAIDs vs. Cookies table below, MAIDs offer an effective way to find these customers by tracking users within mobile apps where cookies are not available. That’s why they’re particularly useful for Australia’s mobile-first environment, where 91% of the population own a smartphone and mobile is the fastest-growing device for e-commerce payments1.

MAIDs vs. Cookies

It’s the connection that counts

With MAIDs, it’s now possible to match up a customer’s habits across their smartphone, tablet, connected TV, desktop and offline channels. By doing so, you can track their behaviour over the entire digital landscape, learning how best to communicate with them across digital channels. 

But MAIDs can’t achieve this job on their own. Their value comes from the information they’re attached to, which is why third-party data is so useful for enriching what you already know from data you have in-house. MAIDs connect user online and offline behaviour, delivering access to a depth and diversity of valuable data that allows data scientists and marketers to build detailed user profiles. 

Using Equifax’s unique offline marketing compliant universe and data-driven marketing capabilities, marketers have the opportunity to enrich their data to inform decisions on location-based marketing, media buying, marketing strategies and more. By leveraging MAIDs to understand your customer types, here are some examples of what Equifax can help you achieve:

Find prospects online who meet your acquisition strategy

No marketer wants to waste time chasing prospects who don’t match the target customer profile. Prospecting is about communicating to the right people, so it’s vital to create a lookalike audience to target your marketing campaigns to. Using digital attributes like age and purchasing behaviour, we can build the type of audience you plan to attract through your acquisition strategy (without matching them to a level that may create personal re-identification risks for individuals).

Suppress users from ad campaigns

When running a customer acquisition campaign, you don’t want to risk targeting existing customers. We can match and suppress your existing customer data to exclude specific users. Removing users less likely to convert reduces your overall ad spend and improves the conversion rate.

Remove credit-risky individuals 

As Australia’s largest data analytics and technology company, our unique financial data foundation enables us to pre-screen information for direct marketing by credit providers that can identify a customer as more or less risky, thus maximising marketing investment efficiency. For example, by analysing demographic data, mortgage status, job changes, address changes and previous bankruptcies, we can help credit providers build audiences with the ability, stability and willingness to pay for a suitable financial product, without disclosing a customer’s credit information during that process.

Deliver relevant customer messages for a retention campaign

While it’s not always possible to cater to every customer on an individual level, customer segmentation allows you to fine-tune your product or service to meet their specific needs. We can segment your existing audience into specific subsets using digital attributes. In doing so, you have a better chance of providing the type of content that will catch their attention, help them stay connected to you and increase their likelihood of returning. 

Connect with our Marketing Experts using the form at the top of this page to learn more about how MAIDs can help you build strong customer identities and profitable relationships with the right customers. 


1Deloitte’s 2019 Mobile Consumer Survey

Disclaimer:  The information, materials and opinions contained in this article  are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal, financial, privacy or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. We give no warranties, representations or undertakings about the Australian financial services industry (including, without limitation, any as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of a product or market segment in the context of your requirements or needs). Except as required by applicable regulations or law, Equifax does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any statements, whether as a result of new information or future events.

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