Despite initial scepticism around the phase-out of third-party cookies, marketers in the Asia Pacific region are more welcoming of this imminent shift as they acknowledge the opportunity of building greater trust through the use of other data sources, according to new research from customer engagement platform, Twilio.

Specifically, nine in 10 (90%) marketers in the region agree that the death of third-party cookies could lead to higher use of zero-party data, those that are directly and voluntarily shared by customers – which are potentially more valuable for marketers. Moreover, 92% of marketers in the region believe that phasing out third-party cookies can help strengthen trust in advertising among consumers in the long run.

Amid mounting regulatory and consumer pressure for better control and transparency around data sharing, major web browsers have phased out support for third-party cookies, with Google following suit by 2024.

While this led to an initial panic, marketers in the region are slowly realising how new methods of collecting and using data can potentially build stronger consumer trust, with 84% of organisations in the region advocating consumer data privacy and welcoming the phasing out of third-party cookies.

In addition, three-quarters (76%) of marketers in APAC have observed a decline in the quality and depth of personal information obtained from third-party data sources – among the factors that have led many to start incorporating zero and first-party data in their marketing strategies ahead of the third-party cookie sunset.

Of particular value among marketers is zero-party data – which customers intentionally and proactively share through surveys and other direct feedback avenues – as this allows brands to customise marketing efforts based on preferences and motivations; improve services through consumer feedback on issues; and strengthen relationships.

Based on Twilio’s study, 92% of marketers surveyed in APAC are already collecting zero-party data, primarily through surveys (58%), social media polls (52%), and email campaigns (51%). Moreover, almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers in the region are more willing to engage or respond to brands that directly obtain consumer information from them instead of third parties. 69% of organisations in APAC have also turned to first-party data besides zero-party data, given inadequate visibility over third parties’ data safeguards, security policies, and procedures.

“In the new consumer data revolution, it is critical that businesses rethink their approach to data to drive more impactful customer engagement. Trust is now the underpinning factor for marketing success, so brands need to be more transparent in communicating how they are using data to unlock meaningful value for consumers,” Twilio vice president of marketing for Asia Pacific & Japan, Nicholas Kontopoulos said.