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Consumer Ad Tech Cookieless

How to maximize first-party data to succeed in a privacy-first cookieless world

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November 5, 2021 | 4 min read

We are living in an era of increased data privacy and permission-based marketing

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and other regional regulations are limiting how companies can leverage consumer data. Apple is enacting ever more restrictive privacy updates to its mobile operating system, and of course, Google plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023.

These new realities of identity are forcing marketers to rethink practices that have been in place for over 20 years. Industry, regulatory and technology trends are fundamentally shifting the way that data is permissioned, accessed, and used for marketing purposes. These changes are driven by consumer demand for more transparency around how their data is collected, used, and managed.

The pace of change in digital marketing has always been frenetic and the reality is this change is only going to accelerate even faster in the years ahead.

Future-proof your data strategy

Marketers have to future-proof their data strategies, especially amid changes in cookies and third-party identifiers, so they can continue to create sustainable and consumer-friendly data activations. Data onboarding and cohort-based targeting puts data power back in the hands of marketers.

Simply put, cohorts are clustering of large groups of people with similar characteristics in a way that protects individuals’ privacy by default. As brands and agencies look to bridge the gap that the loss of third-party cookies will leave in their existing data-driven marketing plans, they’re simultaneously awakening to new opportunities to expand the scope and function of their first-party data.

That means using varied sources of first-party data to create powerful audience cohorts. The onboarding process can leverage a variety of data sources, both offline and online, that hold the value of the behavioral patterns of current and future customers.

Size doesn’t matter

Cohorts can also be started with relatively small amounts of data records too, which means smaller organisations that are starting out on building their data strategies for the future can still create a useful set of signals for dynamic and scalable audience segmentation as they grow.

The important thing to remember for brands, large or smaller, is that implementing a cohort-based approach to onboarding data takes planning but doesn’t require major investment.

You don’t need to invest in new systems or platforms

The beauty of cohort-based onboarding is that it doesn’t require investment in a data management platform or implementing a new system to use it.

By leveraging trusted data scientists on a consultative basis, brands can optimize their assets and build addressable audiences that seamlessly integrate with any data management, activation and social platform for acquisition, prospecting and user experience tactics.

You should think of it as an important strategy to develop now for the future.

No matter what size of a company, the essential thing for marketing teams to understand is that now is the time to get started with cohort data onboarding, finessing data strategies, and ironing out any kinks before third-party cookies finally disappear for good.

Cohort data onboarding is a future-proof, privacy-safe process that businesses of all sizes are exploring. The key to their success has been understanding the value of and harnessing the power of existing first-party data, both from online and real-world sources.

As they solidify cohort-based plans, marketers are mitigating the disruption that comes with the loss of third-party cookies and increasingly using the same strategy globally with the assurance that they’re complying with further data privacy regulations as they come into play.

What are your data challenges? Get your copy of The Marketer’s Guide to Audience Data and start finding solutions.

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