Considering the systematic disappearance of third-party cookies, companies need to use other, closer and more personal data strategies in order to effectively target or engage with their customers. The trend is leading us to first-party data. Learn more about the new “cookie-free world” and what it means for your business in this blog post.
New path, same goal
The last decade was marked by the application of data collected and used by third-party websites. This served to strengthen the brand-customer relationship and was used extensively in B2C as well as B2B. Big Data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence enabled marketers to personally target customers, and it became possible to measure this impact on the customer base. This approach will continue to be of great importance, and in the future, third-party cookies will be given a run for their money. Experts assume that there won’t be a single technology to replace third-party cookies, but a broad portfolio, at the center of which will be first-party data.
Data protection is a priority
Recently, the tide has turned toward data protection. While consumers prefer personalized and relevant advertising to traditional advertising, they are also expressing concerns about how that same data is used. Among the best-known risks are the theft or loss of customer information, as well as unauthorized access to customer information. As a result, regulations on the use of third-party cookies have been tightened in many places, and web browsers and technology companies have given their customers the option to disable cookies.
What are cookies?
Cookies were invented by Lou Montulli in 1994. He was a 23-year-old engineer at Netscape with the goal of improving the customer experience and facilitating web analytics. Thanks to the cookies Lou invented, you finally didn’t have to log in again after every page refresh. Login information could now be captured and stored in the form of cookies. Soon after, marketing cookies emerged, which stored information about user behavior, preferences, and demographics in addition to login data.
Big players rely on first-party data
As can be seen in the trend above, first-party data is gaining a lot of importance. Personalized marketing is powerful as First-party data is increasingly becoming the way of the future. High-growth brands are taking the lead in moving to a first-party data environment. For example, a Deloitte Insights survey explains that 61% of high-growth companies are moving to a first-party data strategy. Only 40% of negative growth companies support this strategy. Even established companies are losing business to young companies equipped with superior analytics and collection tools.
The two cookie types
Third-party cookies shaped the last two decades and played a key role in the rapid growth of digital ad spend. In the future, third-party cookies will lose importance, paving the way for the first-party cookie. But what are the differences between the two cookie types?
First party cookies are set by the website a user is currently browsing and are blocked by browsers from other domains.
Third party cookies, on the other hand, are set by an external provider (third party) – i.e. not by the actual website one is currently on.
Collect your data carefully
First-party data needs to reveal the demographics of a customer and what they are buying. You need to know in advance how, where and what data you want to collect. The data must be maintained, clearly sorted and always ready for use, and this requires some capacity and effort (especially when not using appropriate software). Be aware of this. At the same time, you can build a more honest relationship between companies and consumers. The benefits far outweigh the effort in the long run!
How to get first-party data
The first step to building a first-party data environment is to create concrete incentives. This incentive must get your website visitors interested in sharing their data. Access to premium content, additional services, or chances to win a prize are just a few ways to get customers to trust your company more. Speaking of trust, you should allow users to revoke their data consent without much effort and any time, so they don’t feel cheated into giving it away. Offer your customers an option to change their data policy at any time.
Below, we present some strategies and tools that demonstrate the added value of first-party data collection.
Email subscriptions and newsletters
The days when companies managed a single email list are long gone. Today, users expect to receive personalized content, so make sure you offer options during user registration that cater to your customers’ individual needs. Customers will feel valued, and the trust mentioned above will be strengthened. In addition, it makes it easier for you to bundle these target group segments according to their interests and own goals.
This results in two significant advantages. First, users sign up out of their own interest and give consent to data use. Second, newsletters enable the activation of additional marketing opportunities. Display campaigns or sponsored content, for example, can be integrated into the newsletter.
Content wall and premium offers
In addition to registration on one’s own initiative, there is also the option of a blocked incentive. In this case, access to certain content is blocked, which only becomes visible when the e-mail address (or other user data) is disclosed.
Use existing analytics data to decide which content to block. Initially, this method is a tightrope walk and should be tested carefully. As a provider, you need to get a feel for how this approach affects the visitor behavior of your website, as well as your community.
Interactive content and gamification
Internet usage has been redefined with the advent of mobile devices. More than half of all Internet users now use mobile devices. Entertaining, engaging, and easy-to-consume content is trending and enticing users to consume excessively. You can use this insight to collect first-party data!
Interactive formats such as quizzes, listening actions, challenges or puzzles are the first choice to encourage users to interact. Gamification is a powerful tool that allows you to collect data first-hand and in real time. The approach is subtle, and data sharing is less painful for customers. Added value is provided and implemented well, it even brings joy to the user. Dynamic data about products or customer preferences is collected, along with valuable demographics.
A campaign in the form of a personality test could provide insights that offer your company and your customers unique opportunities. For example, Brame worked with Seat to create a personality test that matched potential customers with the right car based on their personal information. With the help of this fun survey, SEAT found out more about the needs of the community, gained insight into the popularity of the models, and collected additional first-party data.
How you use first-party data
You must know in advance what goals you want to achieve with the collected data. Try to play out your marketing activities based on the collected data (where possible). Approach your customers personally and be careful not to be perceived as part of the data overload. Once you have collected enough first-party data, there are more opportunities to build long-term customer loyalty. For example, you could surprise your most loyal customers with a customized contest, discount vouchers, or an entertaining survey.
If you have any questions about first-party data or marketing trends for 2022, the Brame team will be happy to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us.