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How to reach customers in 2023 using first-party cookies
May 24, 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses looking to connect with their customers effectively. And with the cookieless future fast approaching, brands should be looking to rebuild and future-proof their advertising and marketing strategies with alternatives sooner rather than later.
The use of first-party cookies has emerged as a crucial strategy for understanding customer behavior and delivering personalized experiences. This article will explore how brands can leverage first-party cookies alongside Deep Learning technology to forge meaningful connections with their target audience.
Why are third-party cookies being phased out?
Third-party cookies track users every time they browse the internet which allows companies to collect vast quantities of data.
Data is the 21st century oil, and this valuable commodity is sold, often at great profit by large data companies, to help brands understand the intricate details of what products or services a group of users may be interested in and enable heavily personalized ads.
However, as people spend more time online, the sheer scale of data collection has led to significant privacy concerns, which brought about this gradual third-party cookie phasing out.
How do first-party cookies differ?
First and foremost, all cookies, whether first- or third-party, serve as small text files stored by websites on a user's browser, enabling them to collect and retain valuable information about visitor interactions and preferences.
However, unlike third-party cookies, first-party cookies are limited to the website the user is visiting, and can be used to collect data about that user's interaction with the website or app, such as keeping the shopping basket filled across several visits, or product searches, which can give a business unparalleled access to valuable insights without relying on third-party data sources.
Ultimately, this makes first-party cookies a powerful marketing tool and enables brands to tailor content and deliver personalized ads on a specific website with a given first-party cookie, but at the same time respects user privacy.
First-party cookies and retargeting
When it comes to targeting and retargeting campaigns with first-party cookies, this generally means using information about user interaction with the brand’s website, which helps the brand determine which products a user is looking at, what their potential order value will be and where they are in the buying life cycle.
Unlike third-party cookies which can help brands personalize ads across the internet, first party cookies can’t. They can, however, use the Protected Audience API to help create privacy-preserving interest groups which can then be targeted ‘web-wide’.
For example, your first-party data lets you know a user has looked at ‘high performance laptops’ but hasn’t yet bought one. Using the Protected Audience API, you can create a ‘high performance laptop’ group and show all users in that group adverts showing the benefits of different products to help them make a final decision and convert interest to purchase.
Where does Deep Learning fit in?
Deep Learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on training neural networks to learn and make predictions based on vast amounts of data. This ability to process data at supersonic speed and then learn from every new piece of information has opened up endless possibilities for advertising.
Currently, utilizing Deep Learning boosts ad effectiveness up to 50%, and this percentage is only set to increase in the future.
But what makes Deep Learning so powerful is its capacity to continuously improve the personalized marketing experience for users. It can:
- Analyze user behavior with precision
- Accurately predict purchase intentions
- Determine which specific produce and creative a user will be most interested in
All of which means that brands can unlock valuable patterns and trends using first-party cookie data, enabling them to develop highly targeted and personalized campaigns.
Why Deep Learning is the best post-cookie targeting solution to unlocking insights
Deep Learning’s primary key advantage in a cookieless future is its ability to understand diverse, non-standard, anonymous data sources, and generate valuable insights from less data.
It can effectively determine an individual’s position in the sales funnel and provide relevant content, which can help increase a brand’s visibility among interested users and drive more sales through personalized, privacy-safe retargeting at scale.
The second key advantage that sets Deep Learning apart from other technologies, is its ability to predict user interest without compromising privacy.
Deep Learning goes further than simply analyzing data to determine what product a user is interested in, it can ascertain how much time a user spent looking at certain products and the sequence of pages visited to precisely interpret user actions to forecast actual purchase intentions. This means that brands can target and retarget users with relevant and personalized content and share customized offers to encourage sales without violating privacy.
How Deep Learning maximizes the benefits of first-party cookies
Deep Learning’s ability to analyze and learn from data in real time means its competencies go far beyond classic retargeting techniques to ensure products that appear in ads are highly personalized to that moment in time.
This means it works well with first-party data because it can break down complicated, unstructured data sets, even if the data sources are fragmented or differ in terms of metadata and labeling, maximizing the first-party data’s value to derive optimal user groups.
The key to success with first-party data and Deep Learning, is to start with a large amount of data and then slowly generate more granular results based on the initial results
The need to understand and interpret data from diverse sources is just as great as ever and the loss of third-party cookies and the rich data they provide presents a major, but not insurmountable challenge for brands.
They should think about how to leverage the advertising potential for first-party cookies and Deep Learning sooner, rather than later, and seek to partner with a service provider, such as RTB House, who can help them thrive thanks to new technology and make full use of the data they have available.
To paraphrase a famous Chinese proverb: “The best time to adapt to the cookieless future was yesterday, the second best time is right now.”