Future of Marketing: First-party data

Google has announced a further extension to the collapse of third-party cookies – making them obsolete in 2024.

Although there’s another 12 months preparation time for the exclusive use of first-party data, it’s still very much going to happen. Starting now means that you can even be further ahead of your competition.

First-party data

First-party data (also known as 1P data) will be your new best friend in 2024 – the information your company collects directly from your customer. 

Think: CRM data, purchase history, demographics, time spent on your website, email interactions, customer surveys… 

Your 1P data provides an exceptional privacy-first foundation, to deliver meaningful, relevant and measurable campaigns. 

Top tip: Data compliance is a vital foundation to your strategy. Ensure your Privacy Policy is up to law standard.

6 steps to create a future-ready first-party data strategy

1. Engage the entire senior leadership team in key data issues – get their buy-in and make it a core part of your business strategy

When it comes to noting the importance of first-party data, C-level sponsorship is necessary to ensure full alignment across the business – and to set clear direction for your overall strategy. The process may involve resetting the company measurement agenda, and developing a new understanding of how sales through digital channels are driven through the organisation in order to allow you to achieve your goals.

2. Collaborate across functions to rethink how data is collected, stored, and processed

It’s important to assess how you currently use and collect data as a business. This assessment will help you build a plan of action to ensure that the sharing of first-party data between internal teams and across your advertising and martech platforms is seamless. 

Whilst this might seem overwhelming, we recommend starting with smaller use cases. Proving the value of executing quick wins and sharing cross-team learnings can really help to build momentum in developing your first-party data capabilities.  

3. Exceed the minimum privacy requirements to meet changing consumer needs – and build trust

In general, customers are happy to share their data with brands if they get something valuable in return. It will be better to focus on getting explicit consent from a smaller number of customers who are happy to volunteer their data in exchange for more information or a better or more personalised service. A smaller quantity of high quality data will likely create a better basis for modelling and analysis than a larger, lower quality collection.

4. Consider the legal and ethical risks of handling first-party data – adapt your infrastructure and policies accordingly

While it is not clear exactly what methods of handling first-party data are going to be legally permissible today, the most effective advertisers have clear policies on how they collect and use first-party data, ensure they have customer consent when collecting this data, and obsess over delivering a great customer experience with the data available to them.

5. Act fast to avoid risking the loss of valuable data

We may be 2 years away from the Chrome cookie update, but lack of action now leads to risk of being left behind your competitors. Not acting now could mean that clients are in danger of having loss of conversion data, reporting voids and could leave them starting from first base when their competition is already at third base. This could result in an inevitable loss of market or volume share as well as audiences to their competition.

To add to this, the entire process of connecting first-party data can require collaboration across your whole organisation and take months of planning and development, so acting quickly is key to success.

6. Work with accredited agencies who can offer best-in-class solutions and talent to help you prepare for a privacy-first world, while helping you boost business performance 

Your agency needs to possess the skills and talent to support this journey effectively over the coming months. This applies to both in-house teams and agency partners to align all teams by setting clear and accurate goals for the business and ad campaigns. 

Work with your agencies to create a solid and durable technical foundation that’s accessible for all parties and understand the skill gaps you may have in your organisation and ask your agency to help plug those gaps either permanently or temporarily. Finally, work with your agency to identify where gaps exist in your data strategy to drive performance gains and devise a roadmap to make that accessible. 

Any further questions? Get in touch.