In 2020, Google announced they would end support for cookies in 2022. In a newer plan it was announced the date would be pushed back to 2024, prompting a collective sigh of relief from marketers. While this delay has given companies more time to prepare, it’s no time to get complacent. Prioritizing first-party data has never been more important, and businesses that do so will experience immediate benefits beyond future-proofing their business.
In a recent study conducted by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), they found that brands who are prioritizing and utilizing first-party data for key marketing functions saw their revenue increase by 2.9 times.
The following strategies will help you acquire more first-party customer data, helping you to drive personalization and set your company up for long-term success.
First party data examples
1. Single sign on
Also used as the acronym SSO, it’s the process of offering the option for customers to sign up using their Facebook or Google accounts.
This option benefits everyone. The user is provided with a fast and straightforward sign-up process without having to think up (or reuse) another password. The advantage for the company is that they gain access to first-party data including name, ID, profile URL, interests and location.
2. Use identity resolution software
Identity resolution is the act of consolidating all data points into a single profile. Software like Ortto makes this easy.
In Ortto, you can nominate a unique customer identifier and fallback identifier to capture customer activity under an ID that makes sense for you. For example, companies with a loyalty program, banks or insurance companies with customer ID numbers may wish to unify their customers' identity under that number to capture both offline activity (i.e. scanning a loyalty card for an in-store purchase) and online.
3. Custom domain session and click tracking
This is a huge breakthrough when it comes to the impact of ad blockers on digital marketing.
Content blockers will broadly block scripts to all third-party URLs, causing problems like website sessions being missed, widgets being blocked, and forms not being captured. This is the first-party information your company needs to do things like personalize customer communications and convert leads.
Ortto’s custom domain sessions and click tracking functionality can help your business overcome this. It allows you to use your own domain to send this data to Ortto, eliminating any of the tracking issues mentioned above. Now you don’t lose out on any important customer data, plus it is automatically updated on your CDP.
Find out how to implement this in your Ortto account today, by following the steps in the video below or read our guide.
4. Register website visitors
Forms and pop-ups are one of the best ways to have your website users register their visit. They tend to be far more successful when you offer the visitor something in exchange for completion.
For example, this could be as simple as a sign up to a weekly newsletter, or access to a whitepaper or ebook. Ecommerce companies could offer a discount or promotion for the first order or a personalized recommendation of products.
The key here is to keep the pop-up or form as short and simple as possible, while still retrieving the information needed. Asking too many questions may deter people from registering their details. However, if the visitor sees the benefit from handing over the extra information (e.g. completing a quiz about their skin type to get personalized recommendations or nominating their business type or goals to receive an ebook), they will be happy to complete a longer form.
This method of first-party collection will require testing to ensure that the discount or content is compelling enough. It’s also worth testing the way the offer proposition is served to the customer - both the call to action itself and the type of widget (for example, a bar, notification, or spin wheel).
5. Utilize custom fields
Manage and track customer data that’s important to your company using custom fields. This strategy will help you create comprehensive records associated with customers and organizations.
Ortto is set up so you can create your own custom fields that can be automatically updated by connecting them to custom activities.
Let’s say you’ve seen a spike in churn or unsubscribes, by asking these customers the reason for leaving, the information submitted can be attached as a custom field to their profile. This layer of first-party data becomes incredibly valuable when personalizing follow up content, optimizing your product, or tweaking your onboarding journeys.
When in doubt, just ask. There are going to be certain holes in your customer data where the best option is to simply ask your customers. This could include the type of content that interests them, their birthday (for special promotions), to asking a custom business critical question that helps categorize them as a specific persona.
The platform Typeform is an amazing tool to use to create surveys, polls and even quizzes, where the responses submitted can be recorded as attributes in your Ortto account and updated automatically. It is synced to the customers profile enriching the data already collected.
This automation will help you further understand your customers, and set you up for success when segmenting your audience for future hyper-personalized campaigns.
For example, you’ve found a new insurance provider for your car. After signing up and receiving your new policy, you're sent an email that asks you to fill out a survey to indicate other policies that may be of interest to you in the future - home and contents, travel or business - and when they are up for renewal.
Now this insurance company has your preferences and can target you with emails and promotions, say when your home and contents policy is coming to an end at a competitor. Giving them a head start of who is likely to be interested rather than cold-emailing, and seeing what sticks.
7. Create valuable tools
This strategy allows you to better your customers' experience, build on brand trust plus can gain you access to first-party data based on the wider customer experience.
For example, Nike has created a Run Tracker app where you can create a run club, plan a running route, track your personal progress and even add your shoe mileage. The shoes can be from other brands, and is set up to send notifications when the shoe owner achieves a set mileage.
This is a clever way to see who the competitors are, the durability of the shoe, plus can help with personalizing the customer's experience. If they seem to be doing more trail running, then target the customer with trail running shoes.
8. Tap into your customer support channels and reviews
These channels are often forgotten or not used to their full capacity. In reality they can provide you with a wealth of first-party data. Your customer support team engages in one-to-one conversations where customers are more likely to offer additional information. This information can be manually tracked in platforms like HelpScout or Zendesk by your support representatives, and automatically updated into your CDP via Ortto’s integration.
Reviews can also be a great channel to collect first-party data. They can be linked back to your CDP and act as another layer of data for your customer profile. It can be a way to tag customers as brand advocates as well as prompt other customers (with 5 star engagement) to leave their own review.
With the strategies mentioned above, you can gain a head start on the imminent changes to come. Unlock tools like identity resolution, custom domain tracking, easy-to-build widgets, and more by signing up or signing in to Ortto today.