The era of third-party cookies is nearing its end. Numerous privacy concerns combined with changing regulations mean that marketers will need to pivot their strategy to ensure they’re still able to deliver targeted, personalized experiences.
Major browsers, such as Google, Safari, and Firefox have already started to phase out third-party cookies, and Apple’s recent iOS features allow users to opt out of app tracking. So how do we tackle the loss of third-party cookies? By carefully planning a first-party strategy.
What is First-Party Data?
Before we dive into a first-party data strategy, let’s review what first-party data includes. First-party data is the data your brand gathers directly from the consumer. This can be as simple as prompting a customer to submit their email address on your website or app. It can also help you gather valuable information such as purchase history, interests, and even how much time they spend on your site.
Companies can use first-party data to better understand and target consumers with marketing, advertising, and content. This also benefits the consumer, as the added transparency can help you build more trust. Additionally, this data is derived from actual customers, who have already given you their consent, and can provide you with more insight into real behaviors.
Incentivize Your Customers
We’ve already discussed the hurdle of consumer privacy concerns, so finding a way to give your customers an incentive in exchange for their information is important. Promising top-tier content, personalized newsletters, and discounts not available to guest users can be a lucrative way to gather the data your company needs. It’s also important to ensure that you are providing a simple way for customers to fill out their information and for them to just as easily be able to withdraw their consent.
Gather the Right Data From the Right Sources
We know that consumers are more likely to interact with a brand on multiple channels, so meeting your potential customers where they are will give you a more comprehensive look at first-party data. Gathering information from a website can provide you with not only names and email addresses, but help you to track behaviors, which may help you with retargeting. Emails can give you data such as open and click rates, helping you to assess different levels of engagement. Other sources can include mobile apps, point-of-sale, and even customer interactions at call centers.
Don’t Be Afraid To Test Out More Channels
The options for data sources can seem endless, so there is something to be said about emerging from the comfort zone of your typical marketing strategy. Exploring other platforms where your audience is spending time can prove to be beneficial. Keep in mind that your audience who spends time on one platform may not necessarily be spending time on another. Having the courage to test and explore all of your options may seriously pay off, as there are likely new users just around the corner (of the next platform.)
Continue Building Your Brand
Finding ways to collect first-party data can be time-consuming, but if you aren’t re-examining your branding along the way, you may not live up to your customer’s expectations. Providing a seamless and consistent experience on all of your platforms, as well as ensuring you are delivering on offering relevant content to your customers, can help increase consumer trust in your brand. In this day and age, we know customers are becoming savvier about where they are spending their money, so if you’re missing the mark, you may be missing out on that customer for good.