How to Revamp Your First-Party Data Strategy with Privacy in Mind

In a data-centric world, companies are eager to capture insights on prospects and customers in order to drive personalized experiences. But as consumers’ privacy awareness grows and tech companies limit data access, personalization is becoming more difficult. 

Instead of relying on tedious workarounds or shaky inferences, marketers can build zero- and first-party data experiences that let customers tell the brand explicitly what kind of personalization they want. 

Progressive profiling allows businesses to build trust while providing the control and personalization consumers want. This means building a profile of your audience over time, slowly, with data that you gather from each of their interactions with your site. 

With the addition of first-party data to consent and preference management, organizations can use one platform to capture, centralize, govern, and sync data while keeping trust and transparency at the forefront of all consumer interactions. 

The Changing State of Data Collection    

For years, collecting third-party data has been the go-to method to break through to new audiences. But due to increasingly strong data privacy restrictions and third-party cookies disappearing, companies are having to consider new data sources to continue to deliver personalized campaigns. The removal of third-party cookies changes the game for the entire industry. And that’s not a bad thing. As these cookies go away, the most valuable component to your work will be building trust with customers. 

Accurate data is critical for effective marketing activities — from learning about a brand to targeted messaging and taking first action. Privacy-first data collection, management, and storage are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Consumers only want to engage with brands that respect and protect consumer data, and trust is becoming a business differentiator.

As responsible data management and security remains a key buying factor during the transition to first-party data strategies, organizations need to adapt to and uphold privacy-centric data collection standards through trust-based data management. 

Contributing factors to trust-based data management include:  

  • Providing transparency and choice about data collection and usage  
  • Prioritizing transitioning from third-party cookies to first-party data 
  • Establishing a marketing-consented database  
  • Centralizing consent details and customer data  
  • Protecting and appropriately storing the data you gather on your customers
  • Giving customers access to their own data through preference centers  
  • Synchronizing choices across MarTech/AdTech stack   
  • Complying with regulations, standards, and frameworks  

As your organization begins to initiate a stronger relationship of trust with the end user, it’s important to build a program that takes each of the above factors into consideration.   

From Third-Party Cookies to Reliable, First-Party Data 

Rather than depending on data collected by third parties, marketers are pivoting to rely on first-party data and establish trust-based customer relationships. First-party data is data collected directly from your audience, as opposed to being acquired and sent to you by a third party. It includes behaviors or interactions generated through transactions, email, SMS, or CMP on your website or application.  

The move from third-party cookies to first-party data presents opportunities for you to: 

  • Learn about your audience’s interests, preferences, characteristics, and behaviors directly from them
  • More accurately predict future customer behavior, improve your targeting, enhance your marketing campaigns, and hyper-personalize your content  
  • Build transparent relationships about data usage with customers  
  • Recoup revenue lost to third parties in recent years and prepare for the end of third-party cookies 

What Are My Next Steps?  

Your organization can begin by initiating a stronger relationship of trust with the end user. Implementing a consent and preference management platform enables users to have more control over their data and communication preferences. It also equips organizations with the ability to prove compliance with privacy regulations and demonstrate that they are providing value in exchange for customers’ data via personalized online experiences.  

Here are my recommendations on revamping your first-party data strategy while keeping privacy top of mind: 

  • Centralize your data capture and activate first-party data by using one central platform to deliver privacy-first retargeting campaigns and personalized experiences 
  • Future-proof your re-marketing and sales strategy ahead of the deprecation of third-party cookies by being proactive. This will turn marketing consent and first-party data into your competitive advantage  
  • Configure customizable data capture widgets that help maximize your reach, engagement, and overall consumer trust by bringing personalization to every touchpoint of the consumer journey  
  • Automatically centralize and sync marketing-consented data to MarTech tools to meet compliance requirements before launching remarketing campaigns using real-time, first-party data 

Overall, it’s important to capture insights on prospects and customers in order to drive personalized experiences while also employing a first-party data strategy and facilitating a relationship of trust between your company and the end user. Consent and preference solutions in the marketplace can help your team effectively manage your data and establish the level of trust that you desire to establish in all of your customer relationships. 

Zachary Faruque is an Offering Manager at OneTrust PreferenceChoice. In his role, Faruque advises companies large and small on best practices to drive engaging user experiences and build trust while demonstrating compliance across hundreds of global data privacy regulations, including the CCPA, TCPA, CASL, and GDPR. Faruque is a Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/E and CIPM. 

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