Part 2. The end of 3rd party cookies and rise of first party data
As previously identified (Part 1. The end of 3rd party cookies and what it means for your marketing endeavours and customer experiences), the end of 3rd party cookies poses some new challenges to be addressed by companies in terms of their customer engagements due to less availability of data and insights. Thus, to stand out in an overcrowded market and to deliver impeccable customer engagements you should let your website reflect your customer journey(s). This will allow you to collect first party insights more intelligently than what a simple and traditionally structured website will allow you to – I like to refer to it as the rise of first party data.
Let me give you an example: Many IT consultancies do not have traditional web shops, because their services and offerings very much depend on the context of the individual customer. If you would compare numerous IT consultancy websites, you would find that they often tend to follow the same high-level structure, where you can read more about products, services, and insights. It is then up to the customer to navigate for the relevant content and if they cannot find what they are looking for – well, hopefully they will place a call to get some clarification, but some might instead check out what the competition has to offer. Even if the customer decides to stay on the website and look for information, the insights you can collect as a company are often limited as you will only know which products or services the customer has shown an interest in. You will not know what stage your customer is in – whether they are only looking for inspiration or if they are in the process of deciding between solutions. You will not know whether they already have implemented a solution and simply are looking for additional support to unlock more value. Simple product- or services sites – though potentially valuable to the website visitor – will never be able to offer you that kind of information, unless your customers’ journey is reflected on it and you can capture information on what situation your customer is in.
Thus, the end of 3rd party cookies poses some not necessarily new but increasingly important challenges in the sense that companies have to rethink not only how to deliver valuable content to the customers, which will spark an interest in your offerings, but also how you as a company can get the most out of your first party data. One might even argue that leveraging customer journeys have never been more important.
Once your website is in a state where it can provide you with the insights needed to truly get to know your customers and their current situation, you need to be able to act on them. This is typically done by leveraging a marketing or sales platform, which not only allows you to capture the necessary insights but to use those insights to enrich customer profiles and subsequently act on the data by delivering personalized customer engagements.