3 Ways to Build Your First-Party Database in a Cookieless World

Given the fact that cookies are on their way out, you might be tempted to panic. But this is an opportunity to create direct relationships with your customers and focus on better strategies for personalisation and targeting — those based on first-party data.

Fortunately, in the post-cookie world, it will be possible to replicate the capabilities of third-party data using three easy yet effective approaches. But before that, let’s quickly clear the basics about cookies, third-party data, and first-party data.

How Do Cookies Or Third-Party Data Work?

Cookies are tiny bits of information that your browser stores on your hard drive, including the pages you have visited. They can help you return to a site that you were visiting earlier by tracking your activity while visiting. They can also be used to track you as you move around the internet so that data can be used to target ads to you.

Third-party data is information collected using cookies. This kind of data is often used for targeted marketing and for identity verification purposes — like when someone signs up for an online account with a social media site and enters a password that’s been set up by the site.

Cookies and third-party data can be a double-edged sword. They can be used to track your browsing habits and serve you targeted ads but they also allow some websites to save personal information about you.

This means that while they allow you to enjoy personalised content, they eliminate any kind of privacy that you would want to have when using the internet. And privacy is the biggest motivator for consent-based marketing. Businesses won’t be able to enjoy third-party data anymore. Should you wish to obtain any data, it has to be first-party i.e. given directly by the user.

So, What Now? How Would First-Party Data Work?

A person’s first-party data is their own personal information that they willingly share with a business, such as their name, email address and birth date. This data is collected through various methods, including social media accounts and website sign-ups.

The sharing of this information is usually in exchange for a service or product. First-party data is highly valuable to businesses because it can be used to create a detailed profile of each customer, refine retargeting ad campaigns to drive sales or for content marketing purposes.

Now, first-party data gives companies the most control over how their customers’ information is collected, used, and protected. However, it also limits how much information companies can collect about their customers. That’s why it is so difficult to build a first-party database.

Building Your First-Party Database In A Cookieless World

Leverage CRM Data

Building a robust CRM system is the best way to start building your first-party database. You can add a lot of value by centralising customer marketing interactions and leveraging that data across channels and platforms.

A CRM system will be instrumental in building your first-party databases in a cookieless world. For the simple reason that it will allow you to analyse your buyers’ preferences, behaviours, and interests and not just get basic data.

For instance, you can learn about what content a specific user has consumed, what products they have purchased as well as what products they have abandoned in their shopping cart, among more. This is insightful data that can only be obtained by surveying users on their preferences or interests.

Obviously, it won’t happen overnight, but it is an essential step for developing the kind of long-term, high-value relationships that are the foundation of a strong first-party database.

Set Up Lead Magnets

The most effective way for any business to grow its database is by leveraging lead magnets – a piece of content or an offer that you share in exchange for information like an email address. You can use lead magnets across several channels including paid search, social media and email marketing.

The idea is to give people value as they are more likely to fill out a form if they feel like they are getting something valuable in return. That’s why it is important to make sure your content is top-notch and engaging so that it is worth the user’s data.

You can create a high-converting lead magnet by determining the goal of your campaign. Once you know what you want, you will be able to determine which formats perform best among your target audience and create the most effective lead magnet.

Obtain Data Through Lead Generation Forms

A form is a great way to collect information about visitors to your site who have shown interest in your brand. You can set up lead generation forms for visitors looking for a quote or additional information about your product or service.

When using forms, don’t ask for too much information upfront as that will harm conversion rates and discourage people from signing up. To maximise the amount of information you collect from each customer interaction, make sure that your forms are simple and easy for customers to complete. At the same time, only ask for the information that’s relevant for achieving your business goals and use the data you do have to send follow-up emails and collect additional data.

Also, make sure to identify meaningful touchpoints with your customers so that you can obtain data from more than one source.

The end of the third-party cookie is here. It is the first step in a long-awaited shift away from behavioural targeting and toward contextual, privacy-compliant advertising. The death of the third-party cookie, however, doesn’t spell the end for digital advertising as we know it. Instead, it will force advertisers to return to the initial principles – one on one relationships.

For years, marketers have relied on data from third parties that don’t have a direct relationship with consumers. In this new world, advertisers won’t be able to rely on that data. To succeed in a cookieless world, brands will need to build their own first-party databases out of their own direct relationships with consumers.

KOA digital has used our local energy to help countless brands create a space for themselves in crowded markets. Our tailored marketing strategies allow you to pivot and scale even in challenging times. Reach out to us to learn more.

This article was reviewed by our Editorial Campaigns Manager amanda before it was updated, as part of our fact-checking process.

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