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While it feels like Henny Penny has cried, ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” for a few years now, the inevitable end of the cookie is fast approaching. Yes, the biscuit is indeed crumbling and by 2023 the biscuit tin will be empty.
So what now? Should marketers panic?
No. But marketers now need to prepare for a different approach to how they execute their marketing strategies. Marketers need to be ready to improve their first-party data strategy.
With big technology embracing privacy and ditching third-party cookies in the coming year, marketers who have put their data strategy on the back burner — or haven’t thought about data in a post-cookie world — will face major problems.
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Why? Because she shall must rely on first-party data to deliver the personalization consumers have come to expect as a standard of service. Not all marketers are comfortable — or have already developed the know-how — to maximize the potential of first-party data to target specific customers. Marketers unfamiliar with first-party data strategies will face major problems as consumers expect personalization as a standard of service.
although almost 90% of marketers Recognizing the importance of first-party data, more than a third report that it is difficult to maintain its quality and accuracy.
Addressing consumer privacy concerns
On an individual level, and certainly in B2C transactions, consumers have become increasingly privacy conscious. While 63% of consumers expect personalization in their brand interactions, 83% are concerned about sharing personal information online. The high-profile data breaches of enterprise-level companies do not allay their concerns.
These concerns have also influenced B2B buying behavior. When customers worry about how vendors will use private information — or whether companies have robust systems in place to protect data — they become more reluctant to participate in engagement efforts designed to collect valuable information.
Because first-party data is collected directly from audiences through proprietary channels, it is built on trust. This data enables marketers to deliver accurate, intelligent and targeted marketing. As a complex, continuously evolving data set, first-party data offers tremendous value.
Add a little spice to the marketing mix
With the right approach to first-party data, marketers can use these insights to reach even more customers than before. And they can not only identify customers, but also find customers who are the best fit. First-hand data such as demographics, email engagement, purchase history, sales interactions, and website activity do the following:
- Better reflect customer’s core needs, intentions, and preferences over time.
- Generate accurate insights to shape marketing strategies more effectively.
- Empower go-to-market teams to build stronger customer relationships.
- Help marketing teams prioritize accounts.
- Personalize content more precisely to create messages that resonate.
While third-party data once did the heavy lifting to collect customer information, first-hand data can get you started, especially when combined with a holistic ABM approach. For example, when first-party data is linked to your CRM, you can collect accurate, compliant customer data. Then you know which prospects have voluntarily contacted your company – and you can continue to target them with personalized messages.
Marketers can also associate a prospect’s IP address with their email domain, allowing companies to target prospects wherever they are. Another strategy for achieving more precise targeting is an open-source consent-first framework, which uses email addresses that are converted into privacy-compliance formats that are exchanged between ad providers and publishing sites. This tool maintains customer privacy and compliance as it collects data from customers who have consented to the collection of data on websites.
To dig deeper into customer identities, you need contextual data—the data about topics a customer is researching and reading about. This data creates a more complete picture of needs, purchase intent, and more. ABM allows marketers to combine location with content they research to further refine the targeted ads.
Transform first-party data strategies
Here’s the thing about cookies: they provide a snapshot of momentary activity — but it’s a frozen image. Once you have the data that a cookie has collected, it will be old and outdated.
However, first-party data is updated over time. This enables marketers to build and maintain more complete prospect profiles. First-party data doesn’t have time to get old as it is constantly being refreshed with new insights and information. First-party data also helps keep your CRM records clean and up-to-date. Good data gives you a competitive advantage.
You don’t need magic to create a winning first-party strategy – just some strategic planning with intent.
Take advantage of email as a data source: Add a call-to-action (CTA) to your email signatures and invite visitors to, for example, chat with the account manager online or view a specific feature of your company. An underrated resource, business email is a good data source. Multi-channel ABM enables organizations to use employee email channels to collect unused data.
Fully optimize your websites: Optimizing your website creates opportunities for visitors to willingly share information. From form filling and live chat to engagement and website traffic, your organization’s website generates a wealth of data. Information collected by these methods does the following:
- Connects traffic to accounts.
- Helps sales and marketing teams target current and potential customers more effectively.
- Generates timely interactions and best-in-class account experiences.
Turn chatbots into data machines: More over 40% of consumers prefer chatbots over virtual agents for answers or additional information. The real-time information they provide provides deep insights into consumers’ buying intent and willingness to buy – helping you build their identity graph. The ubiquitous first-party chatbot pulls information from your database and provides a simple approach to turn all chat sessions into personalized experiences. You can extract the chatbot’s data from those conversations and use it to send more messages to keep customers engaged and moving down the funnel.
Each of these tools provides easy, convenient ways to collect data voluntarily provided by audiences, as well as analyzing visitor behavior on your website to identify customers and their specific needs and build ideal customer profiles (ICPs).
First-party data strategies provide marketers with a unified view of every account. The best way to make your first-party data work for you — to identify priority accounts, capture critical intent information, and take appropriate actions that deliver results — is to combine it with a holistic ABM approach. Then your marketing teams are best equipped to understand the engagement of target accounts across the funnel, from who used the website or filled out surveys or forms to who used the chat feature.
It doesn’t matter if the cookie has crumbled, this solution provides insights to inform and direct marketing, cultivate valuable customer relationships and achieve strategic business goals.
Tim Kopp is the chairman and CEO of end point. He is a recognized marketing and technology leader with over 20 years of experience working with global B2B and B2C brands such as ExactTarget and Coca-Cola. During his time as Chief Marketing Officer at ExactTarget, Tim led a team of more than 300 marketing leaders to scale revenue from $50 million to $400 million, through an initial public offering, and eventually to a 2013 acquisition by Salesforce for $ 2.7 billion.
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