The cookieless world: Is your first-party data strategy ready?
Data-driven marketing is at the forefront of an immense transformation. Although delayed until the end of 2024, Google is adamant about stopping its support for third-party cookies on its Chrome browser. Governments around the world are enforcing new privacy regulations, which increasingly complicates the process of collecting and sharing valuable customer data. If you have built your business strategy around third-party cookies, the time has come to prioritize the transition to a zero & first-party data strategy.
In this article, we will guide you through the different types of data collection and help you to prepare for the upcoming transformation to zero and first-party data.
Let’s start with a quick analysis of the different types of data collection:
Third-party cookies store customer data under the control of a third party in an anonymous way. This cookie type is mainly used to track users between websites and display more relevant ads. The biggest problem with third-party cookies is consumer privacy. The collected customer data is owned by a third party, which means that the data, which often contains personal data, is accessible to almost everyone, which takes away the advantage that the data could bring you.
First-party cookies are collected and owned by the party you are visiting. The use-case of 1st-party cookies is to identify customers between pages and remember their specific preferences and behaviour. This form of data collection is compliant with all new privacy regulations and has the advantage that you own the data. Owning your unique customer data offers new ways to boost your business and gain a competitive advantage. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too quickly.
Zero-party data is data that your customers intentionally and proactively share with you. This can include personal context, purchase intentions and communication preferences. This wholly permission-based type of data can for example be collected through surveys, contests, quizzes and conversational pop-ups.
Collecting and implementing zero & first-party data
Now that we have unpacked the different types of data collection, it’s time to focus on shifting your marketing and personalisation strategy towards collecting and utilising first-party data. Doing this effectively can help you:
Deliver personalized customer experiences based on your zero & first-party data
Gain more insights about your customer’s needs and preferences
Increase your conversion rates and revenue in combination with lower media costs
Although time-consuming at first, transitioning to a zero & first-party strategy will be worth your while in the long haul. Let’s zoom in on some practical ways to collect this data:
1. Web Request forms
The most common form of collecting first-party data is to use contact forms on your website. It is the most basic but effective way, enabling you to identify the person behind the data you have already collected.
These forms should not take a lot of time for your customer to fill in. One way to increase the willingness of customers to leave their data behind is to offer a discount, loyalty program, exclusive content and deals, or any other incentive in exchange for data.
2. Google sign-in
The quickest way to identify your customer is to integrate a Google sign-in option on your website. This eliminates the entire (time-consuming) registration process while still offering the benefits of registration and profile identification. Integrating this option gives you insights into first-party data like ID, name, interests and geolocation.
Although this is a third-party service, it is still considered to be a first-party source of data when the customer provides permission to their profile by logging in.
3. Progressive profiling
To increase the chance of your potential customer leaving personal information, you could start with a modest contact form and ask for more data progressively.
One way would be to send follow-up emails with more specified questions, such as a residence or birthday date. By using progressive profiling, you refrain from bombarding customers with time-consuming enquiries or long contactforms. And it also enables you to grow your first-party data over time.
4. Surveys & Polls
The best way to collect zero0-party data is to ask your customer questions that he voluntarily answers. Integrating surveys in return for a discount or free gift is a great way to collect valuable data. And it increases customer engagement as an additional benefit.
This form of data collection allows you to gain highly specific insights in your customer’s preferences and more. The downside is that this requires informed consent and more time.
5. Newsletters, ebooks & whitepapers
Asking for personal information in order for a customer to download your content is a widely-used way to collect 1st party data. However, you have to ensure that you offer quality content that your customer actually finds valuable. If your content is not perceived to be valuable, it can even negatively affect a customer’s opinion of your company.
6. Increasing brand awareness and trust
Although not a direct and short-term way to gather customer data, spending time on telling your brand’s story is increasingly important. Think about it. Why would a customer fill in your survey or even register on your platform if he doesn’t know who you are or what you offer? Do you trust a company you don’t know?
It is easy to offer free webinars, demos and ebooks. The question is whether customers even want to read your free content. Building a trusted brand takes time and effort. It is a long-term game, not a short-term win. But it is sure to increase your ability to collect valuable customer data. Simply because customers trust you with their personal data.
7. Customer reviews
Asking for feedback on your products or services works both ways. Showing customer reviews on your website positively affects customer trust. And it enables you to collect zero-party customer data.
Individual reviews can be linked to specific customer profiles, giving you more insight into a customer’s behaviour and opinions. Overall, customer feedback gives insights into the perceived quality of your goods and services. Enabling you to continuously improve your product & service offerings.
From data to a personalized customer experience
Although important, collecting zero & first-party data is only the first step of the transition. Next to a plan to collect data, your overall strategy should include ways to effectively store and manage the data. With the goal to offer highly personalized experiences that increase your sales and customer satisfaction.
This is where a Customer Data Platform (CDP) comes in. Innovative software that offers marketing teams a bundle of features to effectively collect and utilize customer data in a user-friendly manner:
Store zero- and first-party customer data from various channels on one platform
Create a single source of truth with 360-degree customer profiles
Automate and personalize customer journeys
Improve customer knowledge with dashboards and insights
Increase marketing-ROI and productivity
Create more effective and efficient marketing campaigns
Integrating the use of a CDP into your data strategy takes away the hardships of manually managing and using your collected data. With the help of smart AI algorithms, it helps you to unify your data and collect your customer data and create 360-degree customer profiles. So that you can offer your customers a unique and personalized experience across channels.
Datatrics is an accessible customer data platform that any marketer can work with without being dependent on IT, programming skills or external consultants. It enables mid-sized consumer marketing teams to take control of their first-party data and leverage the power of advanced marketing techniques to deliver personalized customer experiences that drive conversions in combination with lower media costs.