As Google and other platforms plan to ditch third-party cookies, businesses with a third-party data focus will need to rework their marketing strategy. Surprisingly, only 28% of businesses have a strategy for the death of third-party data cookies. If you’re still navigating the third-party data maze, it’s time to switch tracks to first-party data strategies to transform your marketing.
Markus Nagel, Director of Strategic Data Consulting at Mapp, explained the importance of zero and first-party data for today’s marketers: “Digital marketers who have limited access to first-party data or face challenges in utilizing their existing data may feel uncertain about their strategies. But by embracing the power of zero-party and first-party data, you can position your business for success and gain a competitive advantage.”
Our State of Customer Experience survey found that businesses are prioritizing customer acquisition this year, and marketing teams are strategically investing budgets in first-party data strategies and owned channels. This is because first-party data is a highly reliable source for providing accurate customer insights. You’ll be able to connect with customers better using relevant content on the right channel, at the right time, to boost your customer experiences across the customer journey and improve engagement, conversions, and revenue.
However, when it comes to handling first-party data, you need to strike a balance between data privacy, consent, and user identification. Our Marketer’s eGuide to First-Party Data gives you everything you need to know – from the benefits to strategic activation. But if you’re looking for a quick overview, let’s kick-start this blog with the basics!
First-party data is the data your business collects and refers from CRM, DSP, eCommerce, POS, CMS, and loyalty programs. First-party cookies, created under your domain, are used to enhance the customer experience. They help identify users across pages, store shopping carts, and remember preferences. Additionally, most browsers typically automatically accept first-party data cookies.
Zero-party data is data a customer intentionally and proactively shares with you, such as information from a customer survey, quiz, and more. Information provided here is more detailed than first-party data, such as preferences, interests, demographic information, and more.
By default, zero-party and first-party data are more reliable, high-quality, and cost-effective. But just as for every cookie, you must have the user’s consent.
Our partner Usercentrics found that two-thirds of users consent to use marketing cookies. Nevertheless, there’s still a chunk of users that click on the ‘deny’ button, unfortunately causing you to miss out on valuable customer insights. To address this, many businesses are resorting to anonymous tracking as an alternative solution.
As privacy regulations continue to expand worldwide, marketers are becoming more sophisticated in how they collect, share, analyze and activate user data, while keeping data privacy at the forefront. This is because data privacy compliance not only shields companies from fines, data loss, and harm to brand reputation, but it also enables them to address evolving consumer requirements, for a competitive edge. In fact, to protect their companies from fines and obtain high-quality user data, many businesses are turning to Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) to secure consent more effectively.
Your first-party data collection strategy requires you to be educated about regulations, transparent about the data you’re collecting, and obtain valid consent. This means user consent should be explicit, informed, documented, granted in advance, granular, freely given, and easy to withdraw.
Many companies are turning to cookieless tracking, a technique where information about visits to your website’s pages is captured without storing user-identifiable data. This is used as a safety net for businesses when users decline your requests to store cookies.
But like anything, cookieless tracking has its benefits and drawbacks. Some data is better than no data at all, and it fills in the gaps for anonymous visitors in your campaign and page performance reports. Regarding drawbacks, the data captured is usually less specific and actionable and can make the analysis of customer journeys, cohorts, funnels, and micro and macro-behavior more challenging.
Every business has gathered some form of first-party data over time. Yet this data is simply stored in multiple systems and points, waiting for you to integrate it into your marketing strategy. More often than not, much of this data remains untapped, locked in data siloes across various systems.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) help you bring this data together by unifying and storing your data from various sources, including transactional data, CRM systems, and social media. From there, the data is normalized and structured for better digestion and flexibility, forming unified customer profiles. Over time, these profiles are enriched with first-party data to help give even more accurate insights into your customers.
This enables a 360-degree customer view of each customer and their journey, allowing for precise segmentation and personalized marketing that brings results. In fact, 53% of marketing teams say that the transparency of CDPs enables them to react more quickly to customer or market changes. But how you put these insights into action depends on the type of CDP you’re using, if it even includes marketing automation capabilities in its solution, or if it’s seamlessly integrated with your standalone marketing automation software.
To put an effective first-party data strategy in place, you need to first be aware of the data you collect about your customers. Common platforms and data types include:
Having all this data is a solid beginning. But the real game-changer is when it becomes both understandable and actionable. This is where the type of CDP you choose has an impact on how you draw insights and how you act on them. For instance, Mapp’s customized dashboards can help you effortlessly turn complex data into digestible insights. From engagement metrics to customer behavior patterns, these dashboards mean you’ll easily identify actionable insights and fine-tune your marketing efforts for maximum impact on your campaign performance.
Note: GDPR advises that data collected in the EU can only be processed and transferred to countries where EU-level data protection is guaranteed. If you’re a European business, choose a CDP and data intelligence solution with data centers in Europe to stay compliant.
Consolidating your marketing platforms to simplify your stack makes insights even easier and quicker to act on. For instance, some CDPs offer enhanced capabilities in their stack, including:
With unified customer data at the heart of your marketing, why not embark on a journey to implement an insight-driven approach across your entire company?
A Customer Data Platform empowers everyone in the organization to utilize consistent and reliable data sets for making well-informed decisions. This extends to various aspects of the business, such as marketing, revenue, customer health, data processing, RFM, and more. It breaks down team barriers, fostering enhanced collaboration among different initiatives to expedite goal achievement.
When everyone aligns, you harness the full potential of your technology or approach, igniting growth and amplifying ROI.
Pepsico wanted to refresh their brand image and add a new Cruesli flavor to supermarket shelves. The strategy was simple: collecting first-party data through social ads promoting an offer, using web pop-up overlays offering prizes and raffles to encourage email-sign up, and online games and apps that require email registration.
Using Mapp Cloud, Pepsico was able to create a successful campaign for one of its food brands, Quaker Oats. Ads using the first-party data collected and stored in Mapp outperformed all other audiences and were the most cost-effective. Additionally, the second best-performing audience was the lookalike audience using the known attributes of the first-party contacts.
By partnering with Mapp, Pepsico was able to meet its goal of using first-party data to drive social engagement. The Quaker Oats campaign resulted in the following:
As third-party cookies decline, a first-party data strategy is a reliable way to pivot your future marketing. After all, first-party data is more accurate, accessible internally, and enables the development of long-term marketing strategies that result in a loyal customer base. But, it’s crucial to uphold customer consent, data privacy, and security not only for regulatory purposes but to also maintain customer trust. If you’re looking to make that shift, CDP software and its experts can help you make that shift to transform your marketing. They not only facilitate the transition to first-party data strategies but also empower businesses with rich insights to optimize customer experiences, enhance marketing strategies, and ultimately drive revenue through a more personalized and efficient approach.
Are you ready to delve deeper into the power of first-party data? Our Marketer’s Guide to First-Party Data is jam-packed with insights, strategies, and success stories to help you make your first-party data strategy a success in the long-term.