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May 4, 2021

First-Party Data, Privacy, and Consumer Trust in 2021

Brianna Conley

We’ve all been there.

You’re online, browsing for something specific (or nothing at all), and check out a few different product pages.

Next thing you know, it seems like there are retargeting advertisements everywhere you go. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, your web browser, etc., there seems to be no escaping an item once you’ve looked at it.

Retargeted advertising has been a staple in every marketer’s tool belt for years, especially in the digital age where it’s easier than ever to connect with consumers near and far in an instant.

The source of growing retargeting campaigns and frequent advertising is all thanks to the rise of third-party cookies.

What are third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are a way for marketers to create profiles around different consumers and target advertisements based on behavioral and transactional inferences.

With third-party cookies, marketers can take snapshots of a consumer’s online activity, and continually promote products, events, programs, etc. until the consumer gives in and makes a purchase.

The most valuable piece of third-party cookies is that they track user behavior across websites, meaning marketers and advertisers can piece together information and create a clearer picture of consumer interests.

While this widespread access to data has in many ways become an industry standard, consumers have growing concerns over how their activity is being tracked, the use of unconsented cookie tracking, and overall privacy.

What are consumer privacy concerns?

There are a number of concerns surrounding the use of third-party cookies in marketing.

For one, the use of third-party cookies makes the consumer-vendor relationship nearly nonexistent.

Companies can learn everything they want to know about their intended audiences without ever having to interact with them. While this makes advertising campaigns and marketing efforts much simpler, there is a much greater lack of transparency and one-to-one relationship building.

The use of third-party data has led to a decrease in trust as many consumers aren’t keen on their every move being tracked online for the benefit of marketers and advertisers.

Plus, the constant reminder to reconsider a product or service can often seem like spam or “creepy” as well.

Some of the largest internet players, Apple and Google, recently announced their growing priorities around consumer privacy and ongoing policy updates towards a cookie-less future.

These announcements are some of the most prevalent privacy regulations made in recent years.

Google announced its plans to shift away from the world of third-party data and create a more “privacy-first” web experience that prevents targeted advertisements based on data that is collected without customer’s consent or knowledge.

Apple’s release of IOS 14, was intended to give consumers more control over their data and how this data is used and shared. For context, about 70% of IOS users currently share their IDFA with app publishers. However, after the implementation of IOS 14, it’s estimated that this number will drop to only 10%-15%.

These announcements come at a time where consumer trust has eroded significantly. Diminished consumer trust means marketers are forced to shift away from their normal ways of working and adapt to the shifting consumer trust and data privacy landscape.

We’re now seeing what is being dubbed the end of the third-party cookie.

The shift away from third-party cookies

As organizations strive to increase customer relevance amid privacy and data challenges, capturing consumer preferences and data with greater transparency is increasingly top-of-mind for marketers.

The use of third-party cookies often makes assumptions based on transactional and behavioral data.

For example, a consumer might look at a pair of shoes and end up purchasing those shoes, only to be continually prompted with advertisements about that item even after the purchase has been made.

Or a consumer might be shopping for someone else in their life, again, only to be prompted with constant advertisements that aren’t relevant to their own personal preferences.

This means many marketers must face the stark reality that third-party cookies are going away and are no longer acceptable as the industry standard.

What do these privacy changes mean for marketers?

Many marketers are looking to adjust their marketing strategy and offer solutions that put customers in control of the data they are comfortable sharing.

Third-party cookies are beneficial to the marketer but often perceived as a nuisance for the actual consumer. The marketer takes all of the data and information, and the consumer has little control over how the data is used.

In short, these interactions often come across far more transactional than conversational. In an effort to increase data transparency, regain customer trust, and power better experiences, companies must increase transparency with their consumers.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, experts believe the growth of eCommerce has been accelerated by as much as five years. This means marketers and advertisers must prioritize digital selling and implement solutions to power more personalized experiences and collect first-party data at scale.

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data can be broken down into a few different buckets. At a super high level, first-party data comes from a direct relationship between your brand and your consumers.

It can be information about actions they’ve taken on your owned channels (inferred) or information they’ve expressly volunteered about themselves (explicit).

Declared data, zero-party data – whatever you want to call it –  is a subset of first-party data and is information that customers explicitly, and willingly share with advertisers and brands.

For example, if a consumer is prompted to enter their birth month and date on a sign-up page, their choice to willingly hand over this information, or not, is entirely up to them.

Declared data differs from third-party data because it is coming from the most reliable source for marketers – their consumers. With declared data, marketers can be sure they are working with the most accurate and reliable consumer data.

In order to collect first-party data, marketers and advertisers must connect on a 1-to-1 basis with their consumers and collect actionable data at scale.

Now, the idea of having genuine conversations with each of your consumers might sound daunting at first. But that’s where we come in to help!

How can marketers adapt to a cookie-less future?

The only way marketers can power more personalized experiences online is through more accurate, relevant data collection!

One way to improve messaging and have genuine conversations with your consumers is to implement a quiz commerce strategy.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the gamification market is predicted to witness a 30.1% growth between a forecast period of 2020 to 2025.

Quiz commerce is growing in popularity, as marketers strive to learn as much about their customers in an efficient and effective way.

The growing use of quiz commerce, often in the form of marketing surveys, is effective in collecting first-party, declared data to power high-quality customer experiences in a way that is fully transparent.

How to collect first-party data

Collecting first-party data at scale is easy with Jebbit’s fully customizable platform.

1. Build

Every successful campaign starts with a game plan, and Jebbit experiences are no different!

The best place to start is determining your value exchange. What do you want to provide to your consumers and what do you hope to receive in return?

For example, you might want to offer your consumer a product recommendation based on where they live. Offering a recommendation in exchange for learning what climate they live in enables your brand to power personalization in the moment and in the future.

Now, before you panic, now is a good time to remind you…Jebbit is a no-code, fully customizable platform. Whether you’re a social media marketer, a demand gen specialist, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Head of Data and Analytics, or anything in between, we can assure you that you’ll be able to build your very own Jebbit experience in no time!

The good news is our pre-formatted templates give you a jumpstart into the type of experience you want to launch.

From product recommenders to knowledge tests, there’s a Jebbit template for everyone. Plus, our vertical-specific templates make building the perfect skincare recommender or CBD product finder quick and easy.

Pro Tip: Don’t limit yourself to only templates within your vertical. Look around, get inspired, and think outside the box!

2. Launch

Whatever first-party data you’re looking to collect, we recommend testing out a few different launch channels. Curate custom launch links or QR codes to a/b test and maximize your engagements!

Jebbit experiences can be launched anywhere your brand would like to engage with your consumers. Whether it’s on-site, across social media, or even on the back of a shampoo bottle (yep, the possibilities are endless), launching takes just a few clicks.

The best part? Jebbit’s builder enables marketers to collect first-party data at scale in an easy-to-read declared data dashboard.

Pro Tip: The more launch channels, the greater reach your experience achieves. Try on-site, through social, via email, and more! Your options are endless.

3. Collect!

Now it’s time to show off your beautiful work and collect first-party data at scale!

Once you begin curating first-party declared data, your brand can push this data into your ESP, DMP, or CRM. Jebbit supports dozens of integrations as well, so we can help you maximize your data collection and connectivity!

Pro Tip: Iterate, iterate, iterate! Once you’ve launched your first experience, be sure to check in on any insights and analytics to continually improve your campaigns!

There you have it. 3 simple steps to start collecting first-party data in no time!

Give consumers power over their data and with more conversational commerce. It’s fun to make, easy to launch, and fully customizable.

Brianna Conley