Take control of your first-party cookies to empower human-centric communication and create successful campaigns in a privacy-first world.

We’ve all been told the death of the third-party cookies will suddenly catch us off guard, and there’s no denying that marketers face significant challenges this year as they prepare for Google’s planned phase-out. However, we have to admit this demise also gives us an opportunity to get back to excellent, customer-focused, human-centric communication.

Now is the time for marketers to take control of what they already have − first-party data. This is the foundation on which well-orchestrated customer experiences are created. However, during the third-party reign, companies somehow neglected the first-party data importance. We are here to witness its uprise again and showcase the crucial role of first-party cookies in building a customer-oriented business strategy.

What’s the difference between first and third-party cookies?

Let’s start by answering this burning question. The difference between first and third-party cookies is easy to understand but not well known among marketers.

First-party data is real-time information coming directly from your customers. This information users actively share while using your app or website. For example, when users open push notifications, they willingly share the data with you. They can choose to either do it when signing up for the app or refuse to give information and exit the platform altogether.

Many consumers are happy to share the details when they can get more relevant information from their favourite brands. In fact, 90% of consumers are willing to give their behavioural data for a more seamless shopping experience.

Meanwhile, things with third-party data are a tad more complicated. Third-party information tends to be anonymous as it’s collected by an entity that doesn’t directly link to the customer. Pages all across the web gather the customer behaviour and feed the data back to brands. That means third-party data is able to give marketers a broad understanding of a large audience, but I argue it can never come close to providing the deep personalised connection you can get from first-party data.

The benefits of first-party cookies: building a human-centric campaign

A great example of leveraging first-party data is Grub, the leading food delivery brand. They created a year in review customised email across different attributes intending to offer their customers an engaging rundown of their past year orders.

GrubHub saw a massive increase in social media mentions year-over-year and an 18% lift in word-of-mouth referrals to the app – all from a campaign based on first-party data from company members.

GrubHub is not a lonely case. We have seen many brands utilizing first-party cookies to build a more relevant and memorable human-centric campaign before the third-party data gets out of the picture. If you want to do it on time and do it right, here are my five golden rules for building a successful strategy:

  1. Make meaningful connections.
    First-party data is all about building strong emotional experiences across different touchpoints. You achieve this by speaking with customers as an everyday person to create relevant and meaningful experiences.
  1. Focus on real-time needs.
    To meet the first-party-centric moment, brands need to get their information end-to-end and act on data in real-time. This will orchestrate a dynamic messaging strategy and allow brands to listen to consumers, understand them, and act on the gained knowledge in real-time.
  1. Design tangible data.
    Brands also need to use the right technology and make first-party data tangible. By simplifying the data, marketers can test campaigns at a speedy pace based on customers’ continuously evolving needs, demands, and behaviours.
  1. Collect information with purpose.
    Brands shouldn’t collect data just because they can − they should use it to build better relationships with their customers. A thoughtful data collection strategy is transparent, so brands need to let their customers know how their data is being used and give them control over it.
  1. Foster hard-earned loyalty.
    Customer retention is less expensive and challenging than acquisition, which means business should invest in developing loyalty. Brands need to build customer engagement strategies that reflect each customer’s lifecycle journey. Yes, it’s a journey, and brands should use the collected data to create meaningful and harmonised experiences if they want to retain customers and foster loyalty.

Prioritising first-party data in a privacy-first world

To draw a conclusion, first-party data is a powerful tool for customer engagement and business growth. Use it correctly, and you’ll have a competitive advantage and differentiate yourself from competitors. First-party data delivers valuable insights that can help you engage with target audiences and provide high-quality services.

We all know customers expect personalized engagements, and that’s something you can achieve only through first-party cookies. Therefore, instead of lamenting over the death of third-party cookies, businesses should focus on utilizing the first-party data in the right way. The benefits will turn out to be more valuable than anticipated.

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