There’s an important change coming in how businesses gather and utilize customer data. For years, marketers have been using third-party cookies to track what visitors do on their websites, collect data that helps target messages and ads, and even learn about where else their customers go online when they aren't on their site.
However, all this is about to change. Last Fall, we wrote about Google's announcement that was following in the footsteps of Apple and Mozilla and phasing out support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2023. That time is now drawing closer, and as a result it's crucial that marketers begin to adjust their marketing and customer data management strategies to address the growing importance of first-party data.
Data privacy concerns really made third-party cookies crumble
Google’s cookie announcement should have come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to consumer privacy regulation over the last few years. Consumers have grown increasingly concerned by the use of third-party cookies tracking their browsing habits without transparency or explicit consent. Ad-serving firm Flashtalking analyzed advertisers and impressions and found that due to privacy concerns, 75% of mobile users and 64% of laptop users have installed software that blocks third-party cookies and ads.
Some national and state governments have also been concerned about online privacy over the past few years and have gone so far as to pass data privacy rights legislation. With the recent enactment of the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA), Virginia joined California as the second state to enact data privacy rights legislation. Both Virginia’s CDPA and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) take effect January 1, 2023. And most websites have already implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a legal framework passed in 2016 that sets guidelines for the collection and use of data from individuals in the EU.
As a result of consumer and legislative action, third-party data collection has become increasingly difficult and far less effective than it was just a few years ago. Ultimately, this has opened the door for first-party data to be the best option for marketers to use in their pursuit of effective data-driven personalization and audience targeting.
First-party data is now poised to take over
First-party data is information your business collects about its customers – via website analytics platforms, social media platforms, CRM systems, and business analysis tools, for example. And it certainly addresses consumer privacy concerns, assuming marketers create user-permission based means of collecting the data, like user registration, progressive profiling, and event-based tracking. Further, research from a variety of sources over the last few years shows that consumers feel increasingly comfortable providing their private data in exchange for a better, more personalized shopping experience.
Far from being a negative, the elimination of third-party cookies presents a significant opportunity for marketers to take better advantage of their own first-party customer data, which is more trustworthy, more valuable, and more cost-effective than its third-party counterpart. In fact, a study by Quantcast and Iligo found that 65% of marketers feel that first-party data is one of the most reliable types of data.
At QuickPivot, we feel that this number could (and should) be even higher among today's marketers if more of them were truly in control of how their their first-party data is collected and managed, as one of the main benefits to using first-party data is its higher accuracy and reliability. This seems to indicate that the challenges associated with customer data management are the main factors as to why marketing teams haven't been using their first-party data to its full potential (or even at all).
Effective customer data management is the key to unlocking the full potential of first-party data
If you have an effective customer data management strategy at your organization, analyzing and activating your first-party customer data for use in your marketing campaigns becomes exponentially easier and more effective. But the reality is that even with proper CDM best practices in place, customer data management will remain a challenging process, which is ultimately why many marketing teams struggle with it and fail to gather meaningful insights from the first-party data they collect (or at least attempt to collect).
So what can marketers do to simplify and improve their customer data management processes? The most effective way to simplify the process is to add an advanced customer data platform (CDP) like QuickPivot's to your marketing technology stack. The QuickPivot CDP integrates with your existing systems tools and provides you with a single, centralized database to aggregate, cleanse, unify, manage, and analyze all of your customer data, giving you with a single tool to support you with all your customer data management needs.
Instead of worrying about collecting your data and checking if for accuracy and consistency, you can focus on using the insights and information contained in it to build hyper-effective, personalized campaigns designed to resonate with your specific customer segments and boost your overall marketing performance. So if you're a marketer looking to unlock the full potential of your first-party data but are struggling to get a handle on it, reach out today to learn how the QuickPivot CDP can help you accomplish this with more effective customer data management.