Surviving in a Cookieless World: How to Collect First-party Data

If you’ve read any content in a marketing news platform lately, you’ve likely run into an article (or five) that heeds a warning about marketing in a ‘cookieless’ future. This is stemmed by Google’s announcement that they will no longer allow the use of third-party cookies in the Chrome platform in 2023. The industry is ‘pedal to the medal’ trying to find the next viable way to identify audiences across the internet (and beyond) and continue driving strategic marketing.

Google’s decision to stop supporting third-party cookies results from a larger privacy trend. Consumers are demanding more control over how their data is being used – and sold. That’s fair. “Let us opt into the tracking parameters that we’re comfortable with, rather than having default tracking options that we have to actively disable.” It’s also reasonable to put brands on the hook for creating a value exchange that compels customers to opt into that tracking. Brands will need to acknowledge the worth of consumers’ personal data and provide individuals with a value-filled experience of equal significance.

While experts are developing best practices for creating value exchange, everyone’s list includes building a robust first-party data list. Assembling this list of engaged prospects requires a balance of organic and paid outreach to targets.

As you explore your paid marketing strategy, here are some things to consider:

Paid Social Lead Gen Form Ads

Lead Gen ads offered by both LinkedIn and Facebook prepopulate with member profile data. This removes the barrier of completing the form and can be a cost-effective way to bring in new contacts. These platforms connect to—and deliver leads directly into—several CRMs and marketing platforms, providing a turnkey way to manage the list data. Be sure to keep the value exchange top of mind to maximize performance when laying out your content strategy.

Event Sponsorships with Industry Publishers

Sponsoring webinars, virtual tradeshows or thought-leadership roundtables (created and managed by trusted industry publishers) can be an effective way to capture a large volume of opt-in leads to incorporate into first-party data lists. These contact sources are highly targeted and provide useful information about the interests, intentions and behaviors of targets.

Contextual Advertising

Find prospects that are researching topics or solutions related to your business and promote thought leadership content that assists buyers along their consideration path. Content can be delivered through video, native or banner ad units within that relevant environment.

And, while it might take more time, there are ways to grow your list organically through owned channels like your website, blog, and social media pages. Even though prospects are on your channels you still need to ensure a value-based exchange. Prompt social followers to sign-up for blog updates or add a pop-up on your website promoting a piece of high-value content like a research-based white paper. Ensure your calls-to-action are contextually relevant based on the content of the current blog post or landing page. And make sure your CTAs convey brand personality.

A marketing strategy built around first-party data leads to campaigns far more accurate and relevant than a third-party data approach ever provided.

Are new processes, new programs and new methods hard? Sure. But as Arthur C. Neilsen, the pioneer of marketing research said, “The price of light is less than the cost of the darkness.” Here’s to the light.