Honcho

Established in 2008, Honcho is a Search marketing agency that powers growth for ambitious brands through advanced SEO, PPC, Paid Social, Content and Digital PR.

Hertford, United Kingdom
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How marketers can start collecting first-party data

by Jade Halstead

September 8, 2022

Google starts phasing out their third-party cookies in 2024 and it’s going to have a huge impact on how marketers track and use data.

To prepare for this change, marketers should start building out their first-party data infrastructure for a privacy-first world. Or, to be completely honest, need to!

Brands that adapt to changing circumstances within the market are the ones who succeed. Brands that fail to adapt get left behind. (Think Blockbuster in the age of streaming.)

Firstly, having a clear understanding of where you currently get your data from and what you might lose moving forward, is where you should start. This will help you understand the impact and consequences of not focusing on a first-party data strategy now.

44% of marketers predict a need to increase their spending by 5% to 25% in order to reach the same goals as 2021.

Assess your current situation

You should assess what databases you currently hold and with what data.

How many emails?

How much do you really know about the buying habits of your consumers?

Their personalities?

What makes them buy?

With this information, you should create a strategy on how you can increase the amount of consumer data you hold and how to make it stronger.

First-party data strategies for brands

Brands need to get creative with their solutions to this problem, but the sooner they start, the bigger the advantage they’ll have moving forward.

Here’s a checklist of tools brands and marketers can use:

∙ Migrate to GA4

∙ Implement server-side tracking (back end of a website, not front end)

∙ Introduce zero-party data collection methods

∙ Create Customer profiles - Get people to create accounts into things. Customer profiles get the signals - You get the details - match profiles to email addresses etc - to retarget

∙ Design better ads to encourage sign ups (to website & email list)

∙ Integrate CRM to get data ready

∙ Build email list

Although some of these tasks may seem time-consuming, you could be left in a tricky situation if you don’t start asap. You need the data! Trust me, you’ll be grateful you did it early when the time comes.

How implementing GA4 will benefit businesses in a cookieless world

GA4 is privacy-centric and Google designed it to work in a world with or without cookies. GA4 uses machine learning and modelling to fill data gaps to improve performance when cookie data is unavailable.

Third-party cookies are nowhere to be seen within GA4 as it only uses first-party cookies/data.

Google Tag Manager allows GA4 to track users (when the user is logged in to the website) with a randomly generated user ID rather than cookies. GA4 can then monitor actions and behaviours on your site to gain insights whilst maintaining user anonymity.

If users are also logged into their Google accounts, GA4 can track across devices to give a clearer picture of user behaviour.

If you haven’t already, set up GA4 alongside your current Universal Analytics account. This will allow you to collect data within GA4 without losing any data currently held.

What is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is information that is voluntarily given to brands by the consumer when brands ask questions about the user and their preferences. The user is willingly handing over their information rather than having their online behaviour tracked

An example of zero-party data is membership sign-ups where the customer inputs all of their data into a signup form and grants the website permission to store it.

This gives consumers control over who does and does not have their data.

When planning your zero-party data strategy, think about asking questions that a sales rep in a store, or on the phone would ask when helping a customer find the perfect product.

How to collect zero-party data?

Collecting zero-party data is easier than you may think!

A great way to collect zero-party data is through quizzes, surveys or feedback forms. You can design them around gathering the information you will find beneficial for marketing purposes whilst also being of value to your customer.

Skincare brand example: Create a quiz ‘What skin do you have?’. You can ask users about their skin type, the problems they face and what they look for in products. The results: You will give them their skin type and recommendations and also gain a lot of valuable information.

Other examples include:

∙ Personality tests

∙ Fashion styles survey

∙ Product recommendation quiz

∙ Price quote calculator

You can use widgets, plugins or no-code builders.

This data can then be used for advert targeting and communication.

Benefits of building an email list for your brand

Email is the most effective marketing strategy available. Even more so than social media. Why?

It has the potential to have a ROI of £36!

47% of users sign up for an email service to get discounts.

91% of marketers rate email as the most important marketing channel.

63% of companies believe that they will increase their email marketing budgets in the future.

6X more likely to get higher click-through rates via email than you are on Twitter.

Email is 40X more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

There are many ways to grow your email list but the first one is to make people know you have one, and ensure they know the value of signing up.

When you start building your email list, don’t forget to create segments so you can personalise your messaging.

How to grow an email list

∙Create lead magnets (Valuable content in exchange for an email)

∙Via zero-party data collection (think quizzes and surveys)

∙Referral programs

∙Giveaways

∙Create free tools that require email sign up

∙Host a free challenge

Hopefully, this is enough information to get you started. If you have any questions or require support to start preparing for a cookieless world, get in touch and a member of the Honcho team will get in touch.

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Tags

Google
Data & Privacy
Data
google ads
data collection