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The Battle Between Third-Party & First-Party Cookies

Quartz Network - CONNECT CMO

Quartz Network - CONNECT CMO

Cookies – a buzzword in the marketing world that has become prevalent in the soon to be cookie-less landscape. The importance of cookies is to better understand the consumer and their buying journey, to improve marketing functions and ultimately generate more revenue for the business. Typically, most companies rely on third-party cookies to do this because it is the most accessible, less time consuming and largely supported solution by Chrome. However, things are changing, and Google have decided to scrap third-party cookies all together. This change is due to come in to play in the latter half of 2024 and has meant that many organisations are now fumbling to put a new data collection strategy in place. Cue first-party cookies! 

With the timeline for the demise of cookies now due to extend into the second half of 2024, it buys organisations more time to put in to place new strategies. This is certainly by no means the end of tracking the consumer, but it requires new workarounds and technologies. 

Is the loss of third-party cookies really a huge advantage for organisations? Although it will require some discomfort and adaptation at first, the benefits of first-party cookies hugely outweigh those of third-party. This is the perfect opportunity for organisations who are looking to gather better quality and more authentic data, particularly if this data can generate economic value for the company. As most of us are aware third-party data comes from an external source and oftentimes can be completely irrelevant and of questionable quality. Undoubtedly, this can mean wasted spending and targeting an entirely wrong audience. First-party data however is gathered directly from the specific audience of that organisation through means of CRM systems, email marketing, social platforms and interactions on apps or websites.  

It’s tricky to know where to start especially after so many years of third-party cookies being at marketers’ fingertips. There are a couple of approaches here… organisations can develop their own first-party data collection processes in-house or they can outsource this function to a technology provider who specialises in customer data solutions. Planning is key and so knowing when to collect data, what kind of data is needed and how to segment this data is vastly important. Simple things like incorporating consent forms into an organisation’s website shows that there is consideration and care around the data requested which in turn usually means the consumer is more willing to share. Those who have already adopted a first-party strategy, are able to better listen to their consumers which inevitably triggers growth in marketing ROI. 

For the time being, third-party cookies will be at marketer’s disposal until at least 2024, but now is the time to set the wheels in motion and get on top of a first-party data collection strategy to get ahead of the curve! 

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