How to start preparing for a cookieless future

The dawning of a cookieless future is nearly upon us. As we’ve written previously, Google has been steadily moving away from utilising third-party data, while Apple’s iOS 14 update has restricted the impact of the tracking ability of apps on their devices, in particular the ones powered by the Facebook network. 

Sourcing an audience and, consequently, customers from third party data has been a cornerstone of marketing strategies for the majority of the last two decades. Utilising the information gleaned from user activity stored in cookies has been a powerful tool for businesses. And, crucially, it has also rewarded the consumer with personalised and more accurate product and service discovery. But abuse and privacy concerns are leading us into newer waters, with change afoot.

Whilst this undoubtedly makes it difficult for marketers in the short term, it certainly doesn’t spell doom for your business. Marketing at its most basic is about satisfying your customer’s needs as a means of making a profit, and it’s clear we are in an era where third party solutions no longer have the customer at the forefront. We’ve been helping our partners evolve rapidly to the ever-shifting terrain of their markets for close to two decades, and it’s this agility that can help us to help you move forward into this new era of digital marketing.

Leverage your First-Party Data to get on a first-name basis with your customers

Third-party data is essentially just a bridge to a much better variety, first-party. It’s essential to start consolidating much stronger relationships with your audience, and accumulating first-party data is one of the most direct ways to do that. Not only does it give you a more panoramic vision of what your customers want, but there’s also much stronger intent on their part, which provides a platform for both you and your customers to fulfil each other’s desires.

Here’s a handful of the most powerful of benefits first-party data brings:

  • An improved customer experience through better personalisation increases the chances of conversion both now and in the future.
  • It leads to stronger engagement and brand loyalty. By fostering a stronger relationship with your customers, you can increase the possibility of repeat sales and amplification of your message.
  • The data you collect is unique, so none of your rivals will have access to these findings. This is a clear competitive advantage that third party solutions have been unable to compete with.
  • It also enables you to make smarter use of your existing data. You can aggregate and segment it to deliver a better attribution process across an omnichannel approach.
  • You can use your data to lookalike audiences, or as Google call it, ‘similar audiences’.

How to improve the quality and quantity of your first-party data

While first-party data is undeniably valuable, it’s also difficult to attain. The privacy concerns that have led to the slow death of third-party data are reflected in how wary customers are in giving their contact details up. For that reason, you must reward customers with value in exchange for their valuable personal information.

Whether it’s a clothing retailer releasing inside stories behind the fabrics used in their collection or a B2B email provider offering killer insight around subject line strategy, rewarding your audience is pivotal. Every exchange with your customers is an instrumental moment in developing a deeper understanding of them. By powering the relationship with continually rewarding interactions, you learn more about keeping them happy.

This conversation across the complete journey should be an integral element of approaching your marketing strategy across every channel. This includes better leveraging of your CRM, stronger nurturing sequences across your email workflows, alongside more dynamic and enlightening social media campaigns.

Once you have consolidated the value component for your audience, here are a handful of ways you can improve the amount and calibre of your first-party data:

  • Get smarter with your PPC campaigns. Simple steps such as adding more questions on your data capture forms help you improve the quantity and quality of your first-party data.
  • Explore new channels. If Google and Facebook have been your mainstay, be open to platforms such as Quora, Reddit, Pinterest and more.
  • Utilise purchaser data from your CRM. Are you aware of everything within your CRM? It might be time to undertake a deeper analysis of all the data you currently have to exploit new opportunities.
  • Improve your understanding of your website visitors. It’s not just your CRM that can reveal stronger results through a closer inspection. Whether diminishing the impact of dark traffic or offering solutions for users who no longer allow themselves to be tracked, take a better look at your website analytics.
  • You can offer value-driven email and content campaigns that are of considerable use to your customers. They can be extensive, such as white papers and e-books, or simple tools that assess eligibility for a product (e.g. mortgage calculators), which increase the incentive to provide data.

However you decide to approach this new era of digital marketing, we can support you along the way. Book a consultation call now with one of our experts to discuss the best methods your business can utilise to navigate the new terrain ahead of you.

Written by
Adam Davis
Adam Davis

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