Navigating the post-cookie era: Exploring alternative strategies for consumer businesses
European data protection law has brought about a profound transformation in how customer data is handled. It empowers consumers with greater control while companies face the challenge of meeting stringent requirements. The discontinuation of third-party cookies calls for a comprehensive reassessment. However, embracing these changes will create a more secure and privacy-conscious digital landscape. Trust in the potential benefits as we adapt and navigate this evolving terrain.
A fundamental shift in our mindset
Contrary to initial impressions, stringent data protection regulations offer not just a benefit to consumers, ensuring the respect and safeguarding of their data, but also provide companies with an opportunity to establish trust and loyalty with their customers. Transparency and privacy-respecting practices are valued by consumers, leading to greater customer engagement and, ultimately, elevated sales.
However, this approach requires a rethink in companies. Instead of seeing customer data as a resource that can be exploited endlessly, companies should consider it a valuable asset that must be handled carefully. The aim is to see consumers as partners rather than targets, which can be achieved through transparent communication and conscious data handling. Data protection is not just about compliance with regulations but also offers companies the chance to improve relationships with their customers and sustainably grow their business.
First-Party Data as key to success
Third-party cookies, like Facebook cookie, are still essential for personalised advertising and customer retargeting. However, planning for a future without them has already begun, and many browsers are blocking them by default. Marketers should see this change as an incentive to develop effective strategies that respect consumers' privacy. There are alternatives that marketers can consider to offset the loss of third-party cookies. For example, first-party data tracking, where companies collect data directly from their customers, offers a significant opportunity. With first-party data, marketers can create personalised and relevant advertising based on customers' individual preferences and behaviours, which can increase engagement and, ultimately, conversions. In addition, companies can use so-called zero-party data, where customers actively share information, such as preferences regarding products or services.
Benefits of Zero- and First-Party Data at a Glance
Higher reliability: Zero- and First-Party data comes directly from the company's customers or users and is therefore more reliable than third-party data. It is also technically gathered more robustly compared to browser-based 3rd party data. The data is based on unambiguous identification of individual customers, not (only) cookie-based browsing data.
More relevance: Zero- and First-Party data are specific to the company and its customers. They provide insights into the target group's behaviour, preferences, interests and needs.
Stronger competitive advantage: By using zero- and first-party data, companies can gain a competitive advantage by collecting, analysing and using data to make data-driven decisions. There is no 3rd party in between who is participating in the benefit.
Better data protection: Zero- and first-party data enable companies to better comply with data protection regulations as they have complete control over this data.
Long-term relationship with customers: By continuously collecting and analysing data, companies can better understand their customers, anticipate their needs and offer personalised experiences.
In short, despite the restrictive data protection policy of the EU, companies can still communicate personally with their customers. The answer lies in controlling customer data and rethinking away from third-party cookies towards zero- and first-party data.
First-Party Data Tracking with Customer Data Platforms
Customer Data Platforms like Custobar play a crucial role in first-party data tracking. They act as a centralised database that collects, organises and stores all relevant customer data from various sources. These platforms allow companies to collect and analyse customer data in real-time, providing a comprehensive and accurate picture of their customers which then can be used in targeting marketing campaigns and automations in various channels. This includes behavioural, transactional, geographical data, and other specific customer details. In addition, companies can use the Custobar CDP to execute personalised marketing campaigns and enhance customer engagement by delivering relevant and targeted content. Finally, a CDP aids in adhering to data protection regulations by ensuring that all customer data is securely stored and properly managed.
Deep Dive European Data Protection: A Guide for Marketers
Custobar has published a comprehensive guide on European data protection law for marketers. It explains the various EU regulations on data protection in detail and shows how companies can utilise customer data and balance the loss of third-party cookies.
Custobar is a Customer Data Platform with integrated Marketing Automation. By combining customer data from online stores and physical store touch points within the platform, retailers can analyse customer behaviour even without third-party cookies and initiate personalised marketing automation. Custobar also helps to improve the identification of customers in physical encounters, creating a full 360° view of customers’ behaviour in all sales channels.