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What You Need to Know About the Death of Third-Party Cookies.

by: Emma Harris Marketing

Understanding the types of data affected by tracking cookie policies. 

The past years have been riddled with discussions regarding online user data and security. Namely, we’ve been hearing about the death of the third-party cookie. SilverTech prospects and clients have asked us what the phasing out of third-party cookies will mean for their marketing strategies. We’ve guided many through avoiding data breaches, GDPR, CPPA, and other privacy changes that impact digital efforts without the loss of prospects, users, or members to our client's organizations. Although the impending cookie changes are important to be aware of, we can help you navigate this shift. Let’s start with understanding user data. 

The Types of User Data

As a refresher, cookies (text files on your website that hold visitor data) were built to track user information and behavior on a particular website. There are various types of data, each defined by how it is collected.  

  • First-party data is information your organization has collected on its own website(s), such as a form fill or purchase history. 

  • Second-party data is data an organization collects on its own site and then sells directly to another organization. 

  • Third-party data is an aggregate of data collected on a range of organizations' sites. One way third-party data is collected is through a vendor placing a cookie on a particular business' site to collect that website's users' data. These vendors then compile the user data they have gathered on a multitude of sites, aggregate it all into one place, and resell it to marketers to use for enhanced targeting.

  • Zero-party data is data that a user or consumer proactively offers to your organization. It doesn't rely on analytics but on a consumer volunteering information or dictating preferences on the site (for example communications preferences or product preferences).  

The one thing your organization can do to mitigate privacy concerns and tracking cookie changes in the coming years is to utilize your first-party data to its full potential.  

“On average, marketers are only using 47% of their first-party data potential. This is essentially leaving money on the table, and with third-party cookies being phased out, it’s more essential than ever to start monetizing your most valuable asset.” 

- CallTracking Metrics. 

How to Monetize Your Most Valuable Asset

Whether you have previously relied on third-party data or haven’t utilized your first-party data to its full potential, here are ways you can take a step towards monetizing the data you already have at your fingertips. 

  1. Increase your opportunities to collect data. Increase the ability for your site visitors to sign up for your newsletter, add a survey to your website (especially for new visitors to better understand their needs), or add gated downloadable content like a whitepaper or case study.  

  1. Make your cookie policy on your site clear and transparent about how you plan to use your users' data.

  1. As you collect more data, incorporate personalization with the data your cookies collected for a customer-focused experience each time they visit your site. Download our whitepaper on personalization to get started. 

  1. Get creative with how you are targeting. Move away from third-party segments and focus more on contextual display or systems with user data like social media platforms and search engines. Remarketing can also be a terrific way to capture audiences. 

While the death of the third-party cookie sounds scary, it’s actually a great opportunity to build up your own data and therefore enhance your relationship with your customers by better understanding where they live, what motivates them, and what challenges they face. Furthermore, policies to better protect consumers will continue to be a factor in years to come, so it is important to take proactive steps now to prepare for these challenges. If you are unsure how to move forward with your team's data capture, contact us for a short consultation.