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First-party data to be at the forefront in the cookieless world Share via

As we are approaching 2022, we are nearing the end of third-party cookie tracking, a method that has been the marketing and advertising world’s mainstay for many years now. Third-party cookies track the website visitors, collect user data and help the marketers effectively target the right audience with highly personalized ads.  It is a well-known development that Google has announced that it will phase out third-party cookies in the Chrome browser by 2023, delaying it by a year from the earlier announced timeline of 2022. In addition, Apple’s privacy changes to its IDFA earlier this year, where every app has to ask users for their consent to share their data with the third party, have also put the marketers in a tight spot, literally. Also, let’s not forget about the GDPR and CCPA regulations.

In addition, the increasing awareness among the shoppers about the data privacy laws has created an atmosphere of uncertainty amongst the brand marketers on how to reach their potential customers efficiently in the absence of this consumer tracking mechanism.

We have been hearing how this will negatively impact the marketing world for the past year. However, the situation is particularly worrying for the brands and marketers who depend solely on third-party cookie tracking to design their customer outreach and have not focused on strengthening their first-party data, which will form the backbone of marketing shortly, once third-party cookie tracking ceases to exist. Therefore, brands should adopt various strategies to reinforce their first-party data collection and be future-ready.

Let us look at an example. A shopper when navigates through the brand’s website or mobile app; their journey is not linear. They will look into hundreds of products spread across several categories, visit various pages, and then buy something or leave that for later. They will read the reviews, add products to their cart, and remove some,  leaving behind a long trail of customer data for brands to work with in the future. In the process, the user effectively generates tons of first-party data, which is the most reliable and relevant for advertising to your audience. It is up to the brands to decode that data to a granular level and make the best use to retarget those shoppers who have interacted with them.

According to various research reports, most consumer-facing companies sit on a humongous amount of first-party data but are clueless about using those effectively. The reason is that most of those data are siloed away in places like the company’s CRM or in website analytics.  As a result, only a tiny fraction of available data is ever used. But with the reliance on first-party data going to increase manifold in the coming time, companies should be prepared to dig in deep into their data points and start making full use of the available resources.

The time has come when brand marketers should also religiously look into the data from their CRMs, which keeps track of the entire customer journey. Thus, the role of CRM will become vital for marketers in the absence of a third-party cookie. Furthermore, since the CRM has details about each interaction that consumers have had with the brand, it will help the marketers better understand their pain points and take measures to get them to shop by addressing their concerns or tailoring the offers according to their liking.

Moreover, brand marketers should look to shore up the company’s first-party data by conducting consumer surveys. It will help the brand understand the consumer’s perception of the products and services, recent launches, and what they should do to make the customer purchase. Since the customer you are reaching out for the survey will have to take time to fill your survey, marketers should incentivize them in return to ensure their participation. You also have to make sure that the questionnaire is to the point and is free from unnecessary questions which don’t serve any purpose. The shorter the questionnaire, the more chances it gets answered.

Besides strengthening their company’s first-party data, brand marketers should enrich it with second-party data, which can help them build a robust digital marketing strategy and understand their target customer in more detail. Second-party data is other company’s first-party data, which is shared with a partner through a mutual agreement. However, since first-party data sometimes lacks scale, companies must add more data from other reliable sources to achieve that scale and increase the campaign’s reach. In addition, second-party data gives more control to marketers, is generally of higher quality, and helps companies to predict future audience behavior.

Overall, as time is running out and all the uncertainty regarding what may happen on the data privacy front, brands and marketers must find ways to help them minimize the impact on the business. And by far, increasing your reliance on the first-party data coupled with other customer targeting mechanisms looks like the best way out for them.

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