Despite the alarming reality of changes in online privacy, fully two-thirds of brands surveyed say they don’t plan on adjusting their measurement strategies this year. Even a year’s worth of stories warning about the impending end of cookies, the collapse of Nielsen, and the already massive ad targeting shockwaves wrought by Apple’s new ID policies (just ask Facebook) haven’t changed their behavior.
More brands are increasing their spending on digital ads, but they still are brain dead when measuring the results. Even as many chief marketers worry about how to effectively navigate the demands of our modern privacy-first era, and the pressing need to accumulate as much first-party data as possible, the IAB found that a stunning 59% of those surveyed are not upping their investment in first-party data. In fact, the report found that investment in third-party data climbed by just 8% over the past year. As the media landscape continues to fragment and access to third-party data becomes more unstable and less representative each day, advertisers and media companies are facing a perfect storm moment requiring decisive change for the future.
First-party data collection is how you obtain data directly from your sources, meaning you own it. This data source is valuable because you get your information firsthand from your consumers, eliminating any misinterpretations and errors. It is, by far, the most effective and reliable form of data collection. But, you have to have an analytics department and people who can translate the numbers into actionable insights.
While first-party data is collected from your proprietary sources, third-hand data is any data you obtain that is not your own. The information you collect is generally the same, but someone else did the work. It typically consists of purchasing data from another company, partnering with a business to gain a mutual benefit, and/or researching available information.
New privacy laws impact the way advertisers target their audience effectively, and it has marketers worrying about how they’re going to do business moving forward. Google announced the phase-out of third-party cookies on Chrome browsers by 2022 at the beginning of 2020, saying that “users are demanding greater privacy—including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used—and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”
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Your customers; your data = better online marketing
In-house digital marketing analytic teams are a valuable asset to your brand. They don’t rely on Google, Facebook, or others to analyze data, but the team has to understand how to translate raw data into actionable insights for continuous improvements.
The other challenge for in-house analytic teams is to ensure that fraud is limited. It’s estimated that up to 50% of online paid media is fraudulent. In-house teams can quickly identify fraud and terminate relationships with online sites that allow fraud.
One of the brands’ most prominent digital marketing mistakes is that online marketing plans are “put to bed.” They’re not. It would be best to have continuous optimization to refine and narrow your digital marketing.
First-party data is a brand asset as well. YOU own it, and it’s relevant to YOUR product and audience.