Do you work in data-driven marketing? Or do you depend on it to create results for your company? Then your arena is in transition. Because right now, the digital world sees an unprecedented paradigm shift as one of its fundaments – cookie management – is undergoing radical change.
We’re transitioning from a digital world with third party data, to a new digital reality where you to a much larger extent will have to rely on your own first party data.
What is first party data and third party data?
First party data is data you have received consent to collect through e.g. CRM, your website, events etc. Third party data is data you purchase from a third party such as Facebook or Google. If you, for example, use one of the strongest segmentation tools within digital marketing – Facebook’s lookalike audience – you are using third party data.
What is driving this development?
There are two main drivers:
1) The European Union focusing on transparent collection of personal data, and only if users give their consent (through GDPR).
2) Apple focusing on securing user integrity through removal of third party support. In 2017, Apple introduced ITP – Intelligent Tracking Prevention – and Firefox followed suit with a so-called cookie blocker. Those who suffered most from this, financially speaking, were companies with advertising revenue as their main source of income – companies such as Google and Facebook.
What has happened since 2017?
When Apple had introduced ITP, Google and Facebook quickly realized that their entire advertising business was in jeopardy – unless they took immediate action. Hence, they did the following:
- They implemented disguised third party cookies, which behaved as first party cookies but sent data to Google and Facebook.
- They implemented so-called decorated links, which also sent data to the tech giants.
Apple reacted to these measures with increasingly aggressive counter-measures. In early 2021, they released the iOS14 update, where users must give their active consent to app tracking, for iPhone and iPad. This has put enormous pressure on Facebook in particular. Since they rely on sales of third party data to advertisers, they need to get their segmentation tools such as retargeting and lookalike to function optimally. It has come to the point that even Google openly admits that the third party era is over. In 2022, Google will be phasing out third party cookies from the Chrome browser.
Can I no longer use lookalike, retargeting and all the other things that have generated such great results over the years?
Yes, you can, but you need to do it through first party data that you have collected and received consent for yourself.
How do I do that?
To start with, you should now focus on your own first party data. Be transparent and clear about which data you collect, and why you collect it. Then consolidate your data from all touchpoints to make it consistent and to enable segmentation of your customers. And as a final step, you must set up an API to be able to activate your first party data through a third party.
The main difference is that you in the past could rely entirely on third party data. In the future, you will most likely be able to do the same things as before – but now, you’ll be doing them with your own first party data. Consolidating and activating your first party data also have other advantages: you can give your customers a more personal experience, as offers, recommendations and ads can be behaviour-specific based on all your touchpoints.
Is this change a bad thing?
Even if the transition is challenging to advertisers, we support this development. It creates more transparency to how our data is collected and used – and that is beneficial to all.
We help you navigate a world without third party data
Get in touch if you want to learn more about how to consolidate and activate your first party data, so you can continue to reach, engage, attract or serve your target audience optimally – in a world without third party data.