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Digesting the Cookiepocalypse and the Future with First-Party Data

Marketers and media owners are bracing themselves for a cookie-less world with first-party data initiatives. Reaching potential customers with lesser data is starting to raise concerns over future marketing efficiencies as Google, Apple, Firefox and others prepare for a phased exit of third-party cookies by 2023. 

Third-party cookies are pieces of code used to track customer online behavior that provide critical data to marketers, helping them personalize ads and target individuals based on their preferences. The price of customized ads is privacy, which customers are taking note of and are standing firmly against it. 

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The post-cookiepocalyptic world gives customers the steering wheel and respects their right to privacy. Customers demand the choice to understand how their data is being used, shared, and exchanged among external entities. This means marketers will have to navigate an ecosystem where customers choose whether they wish to give companies access to their data or not. 

But what does the transition to cookie-less marketing look like? 

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The Decline of Third-Party Cookies

Third-party data is information collected from entities that have no direct relationship with the original source of the data. So far, marketers have been relying on personalizing ads based on data, whose source they know nothing of. 

The cookiepocalypse has spotlighted some critical shortcomings of third-party data. The most important one is that the same third-party data is aggregated by infomediaries and sold to multiple entities, potentially to your competitors as well, making it increasingly hard to compete in the same market landscape. For companies, having highly distributed data means losing control and giving competitors more power in the process. 

The Inception of First-Party Data

First-Party Data, unlike third-party data, is gathered directly from the source point, i.e., the customer, through interactions on the company website, web portals, email subscriptions, surveys, and contests.

Organizations have already begun First-Party Data adoption and are acclimatizing to its mechanism. Consumers will increasingly be asked to identify themselves to access content and services and receive ads tailored to their needs. 

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First-Party Data strengthens a company’s understanding of its customers as it can reach consumers who have already engaged with the brand. By capitalizing on First-Party Data, companies have richer and more solid insights into their customers’ wants. Such accurate data helps Marketers tailor messaging to address customers who are specifically interested in their brand alone.

Additionally, with First-Party Data, you don’t run the risk of distributed data that your competitors could also use. Companies are exposed to new opportunities to be explored with their own customers.

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Cost-efficiency is another hero element of First-Party Data. Because First-Party Data is collected first-hand by your company, it costs much less when compared to purchasing it from a third-party vendor, with no direct connection to the source and lesser reliability of the information.

How should your company gather First-Party Data?

Preparation for a post-cookiepocalyptic world must begin now, with the resources available at our disposal at the moment. As third-party cookies fade out, we can put them to work while they exist to accumulate First-Party Data using the following strategies – 

Omnichannel Marketing 

Companies could use contextual cohort and omnichannel campaigns to find new users, which will help expand First-Party audiences now before third-party cookies are gone.

Online and Offline Surveys, Contests 

Leverage online and offline surveys and contests to extract more information about your target audience. Visit existing data that you might have in your CRM of past campaigns, and hold on to that data. 

Webinars, Online Events, and Lead Magnets 

Hosting online events such as webinars will help you gather data through registrations. The registered individuals have shown interest in the topic of conversation or in your business, which means there is potential to market your products or services to them. 

 

Website-visitor tracking tools 

Understand your website visitors, their demographics, interactions on specific pages on your website, time spent, and more. This data helps refine user experience and focus more on aspects that customers are spending more time on. 

Conclusion 

The rise of First-Party Data could open new doors and birth novel approaches that challenge traditional cookie marketing. Paywalls that request users to subscribe before accessing more content are already being put to good use. 

In the future, we might see companies exploring Blockchain, which gives the ability to share and leverage information in an encrypted fashion without ever decrypting it. Solutions that involve using innovative Machine Learning technologies to build robust simulations and predict the impact of marketing decisions that could be capitalized by Marketers. 

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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