“Not just marketing’s problem.” How the deprecation of the 3rd party cookie affects your entire business

And why that’s a good thing for everyone.

The deprecation of cookies is not just a problem for marketing to solve. It’s not just something IT can sort out. It requires a cultural shift from the whole business. When so many businesses have been reliant on third-party data for so long, the transition to first-party data is more than the responsibility of one department.

For many third-party data is embedded into strategies (often it is the strategy), it’s their primary data source and it’s how they understand what audiences and customers are doing. The risk is the audiences being unknown, leading to reduced trust from the customer due to mismatched personalisation.

Changing this is not only about where the data comes from and how it’s used. In fact, that shouldn’t even be the first thing you think of.

You need to begin a cultural shift away from concealed, opaque third-party data collection towards the open, mutually beneficial nature of first party data.

That requires everyone in the organisation getting on board, for two closely connected reasons.

One, because everyone needs to start thinking about what’s in it for the customer. Gathering first party data requires a level of trust between audience and brand, usually effected by offering something in return for data.

If your business has mostly used third-party data, this might be a new way of doing things. Not because you’re not trustworthy, but because collecting first-party data requires a different interaction with the customer.

And two, because if your business relies on third party cookies, what replaces them will affect people across the organisation, from legal to IT and up to board level.

You will need to create customer profiles, with durable identifiers, using data from every part of your organisation and every interaction with your customer. Every team that interacts with your customers and audience can contribute, and no single team should be own any single data set.

Here’s how it could look.

You’ve decided to transition from a third party-data strategy, to a first party data strategy. First thing to do is work out what you hold, so over to the data insights team.

Then work out how to collect more, so over to marketing. And IT. And legal, because someone will need to check what’s allowed and how to do it.

Then you’re going to have to change the way you collect and store customer data, because first party data requires different security and compliance arrangements, and you’ll have to explain it to your customers, i.e. think about how you manage consent, known and unknow customers, how you keep the data safe, how you ensure policy enforcement against categorised data, etc.

So off to see the tech teams to figure that out, and you might as well drop in on the customer experience people as well because someone needs to figure out how to talk to customers about why you’re suddenly asking them for their data.

Then back to marketing to figure out a campaign. This will probably be different to anything they do now, and may require a shift of mindset and retraining.

It could also change their KPIs, so over to the heads of departments to sign this off, then back to legal to check compliance, which will have changed because this might be all new. And at some point it’s all going to have to be passed under the noses of the execs.

Suddenly it’s not just marketing’s job or something for IT to deal with. It goes all the way to the top and the bottom. It involves everybody.

The risk is that it’s treated as a problem for someone else to deal with, rather than an opportunity to improve not only the business’s understanding of its audience and customers, but also its relationship with them.

There’s also the chance to build stronger relationships between all of the teams that make up the workforce – not just marketing and IT.

With the right CDP, you can create picture-perfect customer profiles with a single unified view, click here to learn more.