As The Cookie Crumbles, First Party Data Gets A Fresh Look

Permission-Based PII

Marketers are finally coming to terms with the fact that they can’t have their cookies and eat them too. 

Big Tech has begun maneuvering to escape the crosshairs of regulators, lawmakers, and privacy advocates alike, beginning with Google’s announcement that they will be disabling third-party cookies in 1% of global Chrome users. 

Good riddance. 

In the absence of more effective, cost-efficient alternatives, cookies rose to prominence in the mid-aughts with a collective industry shoulder shrug. Why try to standardize on a better approach if cookies were cheap and good enough? 

Well, with the rug suddenly being pulled out from beneath stakeholders, the fallout from years of merely making marginal improvements on a “good enough” system is becoming clearer than ever. 

After decades of reliable, postal-based data collection, going all-in on cookies has resulted in marketers losing a generation of quality identity matches. In reality, cookies represented nothing more than a dizzying number of zombie-like, digital representations of who a consumer might be. There could be dozens of these for just one actual human. Hardly the foundation for smart, transparent, and relevant targeting.

Plus, using this low-quality data has required dealing with multiple identity vendors and a heavy lift trying to manage the opt-out preferences of all those various personas everywhere data about them has been stored. 

It’s no wonder 21 cents of every media dollar marketers spend is wasted due to poor quality.

Transparency for the win

Consumers understand that their data will be collected. And a growing number are happy to offer it in exchange for cool services, free content, and more relevant advertising. What’s becoming more important, however, is having a better understanding of who has their data and how it’s being used. 

It’s on these fronts that people-based, first-party data is demonstrating its strength as a superior successor to cookies. Especially as advancements in encryption and cyber-security processes prove ready to address critical security concerns around storage and access. 

First party data represents a preferred path forward for a host of reasons:

  1. One true profile of an actual person is managed by just one data provider that can manage preferences. 
  2. The ability to have a true, accurate view of the single person you are targeting 
  3. Better protection over the consumer’s choice to opt-out in some places and opt-in in others with more simplicity around how those preferences are enforced. 
  4. Better security against persona-based, anonymized data that is shared and passed around ad nauseum.

So why aren’t more industry folk shouting from the rooftops about people-based, first-party data? 

Well, because it’s a lot harder to stand up deduplicated, PII-based digital profiles for consumers. The old, “cookie world” stalwarts recognize that there’s about to be a major shift in the digital identity playing field. Those who haven’t been preparing for this moment will find themselves flat-footed. 

But for marketers? Costs will be optimized. ROI will increase. Simplicity will become the rule, not the exception. 

BRIDGE is committed to only using real-people-based, first-party data strategies to help businesses and marketers achieve long-term success. We will never rely on cookies to distribute ads to their target audience. So what are you waiting for?  If you’re looking for personalized targeting and expert guidance in the post-cookie world, reach out to us. 

For additional information on how to go to fully cookie-proof, check out our premium guide. 

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