How Brands and agencies can harness the power of 1P data in the face of a 3P cookie crisis

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We are halfway through 2021 and ever closer to a new advertising era where 3P cookies will be obsolete.

Although 3P cookies had been disappearing for some time even before Google’s big announcement in early 2020, Google’s “two-year” timeline undoubtedly sent publishers/marketers alike into panic mode. From audience profiling, targeting to optimization and measurement, the advertising industry as we know it is indeed built on 3P cookies.

“so, we have to pivot…but how?”

Epsilon’s research shows that 69% of advertisers think the death of the third-party cookie will have a bigger impact than the GDPR and CCPA, and 70% feel that digital advertising overall will take a step backward. But despite the understanding of importance and concern, fewer than half (46%) feel “very prepared” for the change.

This sentiment comes as no surprise. Although numerous solutions were put forward in the past year, whether it be Google’s privacy sandbox or other ID solutions spearheaded by key players in the ad-tech world, contradiction and skepticism never failed to follow.

The only thing we can all seem to agree on is – 1P data is king now. It is time to look inward and maximize your 1P data if you haven’t done so already.

This past week, Adweek Europe brought together experts in the industry to shed light on how agencies and brands can harness the power of first-party data while building deeper and better relationships with customers. MediaCom’s very own Mebrulin Francisco, Managing Partner & Lead of the Audience & Data practice, Saul Lopes, Head of CRM at Dixons Carphone, an electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company based in the UK, and Owen McGrath of IV.AI discussed.

Collect and grow your 1P data by creating fair value exchange with your customers

Brands need to pivot from a “demanding” position to “trading” when it comes to 1P data sharing. After all, data is currency and savvier consumers today are increasingly more aware of how their data is being collected and used by marketers, both online and offline. As a result, privacy concerns are ever more heightened, and consumers have grown more reluctant to share their personal information.

Saul shared how Dixons Carphone was able to increase their addressable customer base by 150% through a 30-day bespoke welcome program, which helps address all the pain points customers face when buying new technology. Furthermore, new customers are incentivized with free subscription services in exchange for their data.

He believes gone are the days when brands could afford to take customers for granted. “now we have to really explain the benefits for customers to give an email address,” he said.

1P based audience planning is imperative to your media strategy

Media strategists should work closely with data science and CRM team to gain a deep understanding of who they are trying to reach at the very beginning of the media planning process. More often than not, marketers’ first instinct is to turn to 2P or 3P data for audience insights, forgetting they are already sitting on a goldmine that is 1P data, which offers insights that are both more unique and precise. “You can’t personalize at scale or evolve your communication without knowing everything about your customers.” And that is why, as Meb explained, MediaCom is heavily invested in our Audience and Data practice because a winning media strategy should always be rooted in data-driven audience insights extracted from your known customers, if possible.

Get creative and unlock the full potential of 1P data using technology.

When it comes to 1P data activation, most marketers only think of lower funnel remarketing/site retargeting tactics, not realizing they are losing out on opportunities to court their most valuable prospects! In a soon to become reality devoid of 3P cookies, marketers must get innovative and maximize 1P use cases. Technology might just be your best friend!

For example, brands can benefit tremendously from AI, such as natural language processing, to transform their entire marketing communications based on email clicks/opens, social media posts, live chats, etc. Are you utilizing all your 1P data? If you have to pause and think, time for a strategy check!

Agencies have the advantage to always be in the front row when it comes to ad tech innovations, which gives us an enormous edge when it comes to testing. MediaCom recently partnered up with GroupM’s data strategy team and leveraged Google’s data clean room to build sophisticated and future proof prospecting models off the client’s 1P segments. The result was a significant consideration lift from the test group vs. the control group.

Transparency and honesty go a long way in the cookie-less future

Every successful marketer knows putting the customer first is the key to a sustainable and successful brand, and that’s probably why the death of 3P cookies is not bad news after all. For advertisers and marketers, this is an opportunity to show your customers that you are a brand worth their trust.

As Meb eloquently put it, “People want culturally relevant, meaningful purpose-driven brands, and they want to have a conversation. We just need to extend the invitation.”

Event Reporting By Charlene Cai, MediaCom U.S.

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