Debunking Myths Around Data privacy, First-Party Data & Third-Party Cookies

Though first-party data has numerous benefits, there are certain myths that prevent marketers from using it. Below are a few…

The deprecation of third-party cookies has left marketers with zero alternatives

Marketers have relied on third-party cookies and website tags to identify customer activity and infer from conversions. Now that third-party cookies are going away, there is an air of anxiety around how marketers will measure conversions, let alone optimize campaigns. Third-party cookie deprecation will surely bring about a change in the way marketers carry out their tasks, and measure and target conversion on their digital efforts. Accurate measurements come from a strong infrastructure that works with first-party data. Marketers need to adopt advanced solutions to survive across the industry.  

Concerns around the accuracy of data

The concern has raised another misconception that if we stop using cookies, it will leave us with inaccurate data. That isn’t the real case though. All we need is the willingness and to adopt a more complaint solution that will not hamper processes. With first-party data, accuracy is never a concern. When B2B marketers invest in a first-party data strategy, they can satisfy their customers with privacy preferences and also gain helpful insights.

Marketers create a two-way relationship with the customers. They demand their data and offer personalized product recommendations, special offerings, or deals in exchange. With the right tools and permissions, first-party data can deliver actionable insights unique to the business and customer interactions.

Privacy and personalization are at odds with each other

While data privacy concerns are ticking upwards, research reveals that 80% of consumers are still willing to give out their information in exchange for more value and better experiences. They just don’t like most companies’ approach to relevancy today; only 22% of consumers indicate the information companies collect about their behavior makes their online experiences better.

To personalize experiences without crossing into invasive territory, companies need to focus on three key pillars: transparency, meaningful choice and fair value exchange. That means being clear about what types of data they’re collecting and how they’re going to use it; offering consumers granular choice over how much information they want to share and when; and ensuring the trade-off data to value is balanced and fair so consumers are willing to share more information over time.

Marketers are out of options

While throwing your arms up in frustration over the chaotic, complicated privacy landscape maybe tempting, there are ways to move forward. Privacy regulation and the death of the third-party cookie are creating opportunities to increase the size and value of privacy-compliant first-party data. In fact, 76% of companies now say they’re investing in a first-party data strategy.

Instead of simply collecting ever greater amounts of data, companies need to make sure they’re taking advantage of the data they already have. Since first-party data is unique to each company, it can be used to create personalized experiences that no competitor can replicate. As such, companies should be prepared to tailor their communications based on as much—or as little—data that consumers are willing to provide. That means leveraging the signals you get from consumers and what you know about their common buying journeys to deliver highly valuable and relevant messages at each stage of their journey.

Like it or not, data privacy will be the most important issue in the next decade. Companies can either be pulled along against their will, or they can be proactive. Instead of thinking about how to collect data and offer personalization in spite of privacy regulation, companies need to harness privacy practices as part of their customer engagement strategy. The time for change is now.

Protecting privacy and driving business results are mutually exclusive

As marketers are compelled to move towards a privacy-first solution, there’s always the fear that measurement gaps may set in and therefore disrupt and hurt optimization. The fact is the longer it takes to transition to a first-party privacy-first and compliant solution, the larger the gap in measurement and performance delivery. Both a privacy-first approach and driving business results are crucial to the smooth functioning of businesses, these will be interconnected in the future and will be crucial to success.

The journey towards a cookie-less world seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s keep myths aside and build a strong measurement foundation based on first-party marketing data. A first-party data strategy allows companies to satisfy customers’ privacy preferences while also gaining more helpful insights.  

The shift to first-party data is happening, so it’s time for marketers to rethink their strategies and opportunities to build stronger relationships with people. Learn how Jaylen Baca, global product lead at Google, thinks about building a first-party data strategy, and why delivering personalized ads to customers is important.

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