Not everything will change when third-party cookies are retired, but digital marketers are scrambling to solve for an uncertain future. Brands focusing on building and managing first-party data solutions will not only be ready for the so-called “third-party cookieless world”, but also be positioned to look smart by acting on customer intelligence they own. When brands use their own data to know customers and prospects better, wonderful things start to happen.
Without a solid plan, the ability to see anonymous site visitors, retarget messages and measure campaign performance, for example, will diminish as third-party cookies fade from the mix.
This is really about identity – not cookies
Successful data-led and personalized marketing hinges on getting identity right to make meaningful connections with people. These are people you already know – customers or prospects in your marketing database – as well as audiences you don’t know but would like to understand better.
The process of recognizing who is, and who is not, that unique person across devices, understanding how you want to react and interact with that person, and associating all of the variations of who that person might be across all channels informs a brand identity graph.
That graph, to be useful over time, must be constantly evaluating, adding or rejecting information (data) about that individual. It also needs to be accessible and easily integrated into all the touchpoints between the person and the brand.
We are not suggesting brands embark on a “build it ourselves” strategy. This is not about divesting all partnerships. This is about creating a robust and real solution. Here’s a possible path:
1. Assess your current state
Examine where you are and where you would like to be related to being able to build meaningful connections with people. And then you likely worked backward to figure out what you need to understand about people to make that happen. Where does that information come from now, and what of that will go away without third-party cookies? You need to know who is engaging with your brand at each intersection of your outreach and customer interest. If you count on third-party cookies to do it, the party is over. For example, if someone visits your site but has not set up an account or authenticated as a customer, you will not be able to retarget the person with an offer to drive growth or retention.
2. Embrace the first-party future
First-party identity is the new currency of the marketing ecosystem. Combining identity, data, and technology with a privacy-first approach creates a foundation on which brands can build a customer-centric business. The foundation of the relationship between the person and the brand or publisher is first-party engagement.
3. Take ownership when it comes to identity
Industry regulations are driving a growing trend where brands are taking control of their own data and only allowing processors (companies like identity providers or adtech partners) to have access to the data as needed, with strict privacy and security policies governing any sharing or access outside their firewalls.
4. Do not settle for less than a complete customer view
Brands need a private identity graph, the technical infrastructure to store known personally identifiable information that is collected through the normal course of a person becoming a customer, things like email address, postal address etc. This known information is valuable and can also translate to a great benefit for a brand’s digital marketing.
5. Prove the value
First-party tags can be operational in a matter of weeks and begin to provide a proof of concept. A first-party universal tag is placed on owned and paid media. It extends matching and brings data, including exposure, click and site activity, back to a scalable private identity graph – in real time. Real-time capabilities pairing the tag with a data store and an API can deliver decisions in less than 10 milliseconds, empowering platforms with the information (and precious time) needed to deliver customized, relevant and engaging messages.
Now is the time to begin the journey to take control of your private identity. Click here to join us for a free 45-minute consultation. Our data experts will talk you through how you can plan to adjust and adapt to keep digital marketing productive and efficient through the cookie crisis and continue to leverage crucial data while still respecting new privacy legislation.