Why you need to take advantage of first party data

When the cookie crumbles the gateway to first-party data can keep customers close and have them say "thank you"

Have you heard? The cookie apocalypse is almost upon us. Or at least, it is fast approaching. And for those that don’t know what this impending disaster is all about, the age of the “cookie” (that enables websites to feed you experiences based on browser history/preferences) will be drawing to a close in 2022.  

With Google Chrome joining Apple and other browsers to block tracking cookies next year, it would seem that investment in cookie enabled data and the activities built around them might be best allocated elsewhere. So what exactly are we saying…?

The third party is over people – shut it down!

Let’s think about the impact of what IS going to happen in 2022. Currently, around 85% of digital marketing will be impacted because of its dependence on third party data. Analytics, retargeting, site optimisation, all of that – gone (in terms of value to the client – or at least 85% of it). And let’s face it, the noose has been slowly tightening around cookies for a number of years and many of us have now come to understand that websites require specific permission and active opt-ins to engage cookies. There are those that have tried and succeeded (but only for a while) to circumvent these measures however, the party, it would seem, is over for them as well.

Companies and teams that generate revenue from providing data via analytics and retargeting, even Facebook are, and will be, scratching their heads and with good reason.  This is a huge change to grasp and it will most certainly require an en masse return to whiteboards the world over to figure out solutions for businesses and marketers.

Here’s the problem for marketers… and your business

So, what does the near future hold for digital marketing companies and businesses with an online presence (which is and should be almost every one of them)? Well digital marketing companies that have been able to grow and profit from the hypertargeting enabled by third party data, must now think long and hard about other ways to be of service to their clients. In turn, businesses that were able to rest well at night, comfortable in the knowledge that their remarketed ads would follow their customers around the web even while they slept will be asking for answers from their marketers.

To the problem for marketers then. How do you void what has been a (digital) lifetime of solid earnings, both in terms of revenue and reputation, and replace it with a value proposition/strategy that will ably serve the needs of your clientele? It’s a big question and the answer(s) may be too big for one article however, the direction must surely involve a more meaningful, secure and well-thought-out interaction (dare we say relationship) between business and customer. The thing is that to keep our revenues close, we need to keep our market closer. Businesses need to:

  1. understand customer preferences
  2. make offers at the right time in the appropriate space
  3. communicate with their targets in a somewhat natural way based on the aforementioned preferences or needs

It’s the old pull vs push marketing we learned about in year one marketing. So how can this be achieved?

Solution: join the gated community to secure your connection to customers

First, let me say that there will obviously be more than one solution. But let’s look at the one that speeds most rapidly to mind. Keep in mind that the “cookie apocalypse” was brought about, primarily by increasing privacy concerns. Data was and is and always will be a very valuable commodity and we understand that. We also understand that entities were edging closer and closer to the line and yes undoubtedly, some crossed the line when it came to collecting it. But all those concerns are rendered moot if:

  • Customers volunteered information through logins to gain access to “gated content”
  • The exchange of benefits (still in marketing year one) favoured the customer i.e. you have given us your email address and some details, please, help yourself to this high value content, these premium offers/experiences, those loyalty-based value-adds…
  • Customers decided that this website, and by extension the business, genuinely valued their relationship and in turn recommended others to experience the same

It sounds like a lot of work. And it is and it will be but that’s the way the world is going to work from 2022 onwards. With an increasingly sophisticated and demanding market, we had to have sensed at some point that change was coming. Well now it’s here so how do we adapt and create online experiences that tick the above boxes.

How to remake remarketing that benefits your brand

It’s not 1998 anymore and we can’t just put a gate (username and login password) at the entry of our blog page and hope for the best. That is no way to begin, establish or grow a relationship because it lacks depth of thought and potentially bypasses the exchange of benefits piece referred to earlier. A more thoughtful approach would be similar to the approach that should be considered when creating an engaging digital platform/home for your brand in the first place. Think about:

  • Intended experience and it’s benefits for both the user and your business
  • Unique, value-add content that will genuinely benefit your customers to the degree that they are happy to exchange some data for the advantage that your experience could hand them, and have them utter the words "Thank you"
  • Look and feel, after all, this will be an extension of the brand
  • Dexterity, adaptability and ease of use because if this is the fist ripple of digital marketing’s new wave, the last thing business owners and their marketers need is a nightmarishly convoluted and difficult to use platform
  • Functionality, and this is important because critical to success is whether or not the solution also serves as the answer to the first party data conundrum

2022 is going to be challenging and it will demand that we as businesses (marketing and otherwise) adapt to retain and grow value. 

So now more so than ever, seek expert advice, challenge yourselves and others to think about what enriching value-based exchanges look and feel like because the time to reimagine, remake and reboot remarketing and customer loyalty is right now.

We get it, these changes might be quite daunting but embracing the strategic thinking and exploration of enhanced UX designed specifically for your market is part of the journey. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with you along the way because thinking, designing and building your path to winning with First Party Data is just one of the services that we at BJM Digital offer. Contact us on +61 3 9421 4747 or send your queries to us at contact@bjmdigital.com.au.