Sometime in 2023, third party cookies on the world’s most popular web browser are going away.
But for some reason, I don’t see the marketers of the world making a big deal out of this. Why?
Frankly, I don’t think they get it.
Without third party cookies, digital marketing teams at thousands of major companies will have to alter their entire marketing strategies, tactics, budgets, and operations from top to bottom.
The cookie-filled world of micro-targeting vast audiences of highly niche consumers across every corner of the internet, is over.
What marketing teams are doing right now will no longer work one year from now.
I whole-heartedly believe in a cookie-less, privacy-first internet. Not only is cookie-less browsing better for people as a whole, it also forces marketing organizations to adopt not only new, but smarter, and more customer-friendly tactics.
Fortunately, most companies are sitting on mountains of first-party data. This is data generated by individuals who have opted-in to have information about them collected by your organization. The benefits of first-party data are two-fold:
1. This is data customers provided (hopefully) willingly. Which means it is data that is far more trust-worthy than the data Google used to be willing to provide you behind the scenes (when Google controls the data, they can define an audience any way they want).
2. This is data that your organization has control over. With some technical help, you can determine how, where, and why it gets leveraged in much more dynamic ways.
If those are the benefits, what are the problems?
1. Most organizations first-party data is either a) highly unorganized or b) highly inaccessible – or both.
2. Most organizations, especially marketing teams within those organizations, don’t know how to properly leverage first-party data as part of a cookie-less marketing strategy.
If you already understood the benefits and challenges of first party data, or you’re just now learning in this article, how can you actually take the steps to forming a complete strategy?
Here are three specific suggestions to get you started:
1) Identify the systems that have valuable first-party data
Every marketer I know is obsessed with personalization–but doesn’t quite know how to actually achieve it. Most marketing teams don’t have anywhere near enough access or understanding of data to be able to support an intelligent personalization strategy.
Before you can even begin to discuss personalization, you need to create a map of all the systems your customers use and the data points (or potential data points) collected by those systems.
Examples of systems where data is gathered on your customers:
- – Your website
- – Your app
- – Your CRM
- – Your CDP
- – Text
- – Call Center
- – VoC platforms