Reimagining Your Data Collection Strategy: 5 Tips to Thrive in the Cookieless World

 In DMP, first-party data, Privacy, third-party data

Cancel culture doesn’t just apply to TikTokers and YouTubers – it also applies to your martech when it comes to third-party cookie loss. And towards the top of the hit list are Data Management Platforms (DMPs) because they rely almost entirely on third-party cookies to collect customer insights. 

However, there is hope that they’ll survive! That is if DMPs can adapt to the cookieless world by finding a different source of data. But you don’t have the time or budget to find out if they will.

That’s why in the second session of our masterclass series on surviving third-party cookie loss, we shared actionable steps to help you transition today. Keep reading to see the key takeaways from the session in our masterclass series or watch the on-demand session here.

Speakers include: Jamie Wells, Director of Solutions Consulting, and Matt Parisi, Director of Product Marketing.

Just to make it clear, we’re not DMP haters. We recognize that they are powerful tools, but times are changing and the rug is slowly slipping out from under them and we don’t want you to get wrapped up in that.

So where do you start? By switching to a first-party data strategy. 

Shifting now will not only help you in regards to DMPs, but it will also help you avoid most of the aftermath of third-party cookie loss. 

So what does that actually look like? Well it starts with these 5 steps. (24:45)

Step 1: Treating Privacy as a Primary Planning Element (25:40)

Not just a tongue-twister, but also a crucial component to building a strong foundation. Think of it as privacy by design meaning you’re collecting consent from the start. However, it doesn’t just stop there. You need to continue to enforce privacy throughout the customer lifecycle over time.

Here are some examples of how you can start doing that today:

  • Making privacy the default setting for customers
  • Being completely transparent about how you’re using customer data and why you’re collecting certain information
  • Keeping the experience user-centric by only collecting what you actually need to deliver a better experience

Step 2: Becoming Browser Dependent (30:23)

This is not only critical to establishing a first-party data strategy, but also to surviving the cookie apocalypse. Why? Because you can no longer rely on third-party cookies to fill even the smallest of gaps in your customers’ profiles. 

That said, you need to first consolidate your data to only what you absolutely need. From there, identify every location, source, and database your customer data may live. You can also leverage your owned identifiers to see what other data you already have available. Once done, you are left with complete control and awareness of your customer data.

With this data governance, you can start to pick up where third-party cookies dropped off. For example, you can create first-party segments to use for lookalike targeting in each advertising inventory pool or network. 

Step 3: Adapting your Data Collection Strategy in Favor of Stronger Value Exchanges (34:54)

The keyword here is value exchange. This is a term that has started to generate some buzz and with good reason. For far too long, customers have been asked to give valuable, personal information to brands and haven’t really gotten anything in return. 

That’s why telling them upfront that you’re collecting certain information in order to better their experience is so important, but may not always be enough. Instead, you can give them something of monetary value like 25% off their next order. 

However, many organizations tend to focus on value exchange at the first touchpoint, but not throughout the entire customer lifecycle. And customers have now set expectations where the cost of not meeting proper value exchange will be very high. So it’s crucial to incorporate this multiple times into their journey. You’ll also be met with benefits like more one-to-one relationships and stronger data hygiene which is another critical building block for your post third-party cookie data strategy.

Step 4: Doubling Down on Identity (36:58)

Understanding the path from anonymous to known is crucial for optimization. So start by recognizing the identity strategy for each ad network and categorize those identifiers accordingly. From there, you can begin to shape your strategy by picking out the best possible first-party identifier for each “surface” or device. Then you can continue to add in PII and form customer profiles.

While the conversation around solutions for identifying customers is still in progress, you can also research and assess proposed “unified ID’s” or universal identifier solutions such as Lotame and Trade Desk. However, these solutions are not the end-all be-all for identity. Instead, they are a temporary piece of the puzzle as we continue to work through the identity crisis.

Step 5: Re-evaluating your Targeting Mix and Staying Nimble (39:39)

The future of behavioral segment-based advertising is incredibly volatile so it’s important to do what you can now to be ready for those changes in the future. So start by evaluating where you stand as an organization philosophically to determine where you should focus first.

When it comes to your targeting mix, it’s helpful to begin by testing and learning from contextual and behavioral campaigns while behavioral campaigns are still available. This allows you to be able to compare their cost and performance. Additionally, try sending first party IDs with obfuscated segment IDs to ad networks. There’s no reason you can’t start building these audiences, regardless if you’re going to use them or not, and testing out different tags. 

Lastly, if you are a DMP user, get familiar with the Federal Law of Cohorts (FLoC) and Google’s Privacy Sandbox today. These will be the big players post third-party cookies in terms of advertising and reaching new segments. They are essentially a commoditized version of a DMP meaning those insights are available and free, however, keep in mind that these are user-regulated.

We want you to be ready for what’s coming next. So be sure to check out the full on-demand session to hear further explanation behind these steps. You can also watch our other on-demand sessions and sign up for upcoming ones here to discover more ways to prepare for third-party cookie loss.

Ready to switch to a first-party data strategy? We can help with that too! Request a demo to talk to one of our team members about your current strategy and learn how you can best prepare for the cookieless world.

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