Heineken USA Launches First-Party Data Strategy To Prepare For A Cookieless Future

In 2016, Heineken USA embarked on a customer data strategy to understand more about its consumers and to help drive brand awareness.

Since that time, privacy regulations in Europe, California, Virginia and elsewhere have rolled out, and Apple will soon make IDFA opt-in, likely limiting its use for advertisers.

The world’s second-largest beer maker was looking for ways to “future proof” its data strategy around identity, privacy and consent, and use data across its brands — Heineken USA also owns Dos Equis and Tecate — to ensure it can segment and target across channels.

Initially, the company relied on a data management platform (DMP).

But because DMPs are built on cookies and aggregate third-party marketing data, Heineken USA was limited by using DMP segmentation and needed a more sustainable solution, especially after Google announced that it would block third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2022 and wouldn’t support alternative IDs.

As a result, there is a sense of urgency among brands to shift away from third-party data, Rebekah Kennedy, Heineken USA’s director of consumer insights, told AdExchanger.

“An issue we had with DMP-based segments historically was that we lacked a lot of insight,” Kennedy said. “DMPs are built on those more anonymous identifiers, and that will become a lot harder to use once these browser changes come. We needed to really look to replace the anonymous identifiers with a more sustainable solution that was built on identity, which we think is used more consistently across channels.”

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