First-party data is a bit like getting regular exercise or eating a balanced diet. We have long accepted its importance, but the pandemic has thrown the need for it into even sharper relief.

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Third-party tracking cookies have until now formed the backbone of digital advertising and dynamic content. But with Google’s forthcoming sunsetting of the technology (albeit after a stay of execution until 2023). However, marketers will have to find new ways to be effective in a world without this method of identification. This, in combination with Apple and its fellow tech giants tightening up privacy protections.

Many companies will have already started taking action

To collect and, importantly, act on their customer data but 2022 will see this ramped up. Those not paying attention to their first-party data strategy are neglecting a critical asset. usa phone number list Data ownership will be front of mind, with many brands moving towards the inhousing of more of their data and digital capabilities; collaborating with, rather than relying so heavily on, their agencies.

Regulators are also baring their teeth and will put further focus on the ethical collection of that owned data. Marketers may already be thinking this way, with 94% of marketers surveyed as part of Econsultancy’s Future of Marketing Report saying that privacy should be a significant factor in the design of any marketing measurement strategy.

Econsultancy’s founder Ashley Friedlein challenged brands and marketers to take a stance on privacy. 2022 will be about putting that into practice, with those embracing good data ethics best placed to succeed in the long term.

Good data ethics is not just about

Compliance but about establishing genuine relationships with consumers and offering them real value in return for their data. Currently, only 56% of marketers believe their organisation offers a clear value exchange in return for customers sharing their data. Something that the other 44% of brands will need to address, quickly.

The pain of these changes will not be equally felt. B2B2C sectors with historically little direct interaction with their customers, such as some FMCG and automotive brands, will have to do some deep thinking about how to create these valuable relationships.

The value of that direct customer relationship and the data it yields

which can be applied more broadly across multiple channels, is driving much of the interest in D2C. This, alongside the pandemic’s effect on the consumer’s openness to these propositions, makes D2C one of the other key trends for 2022.

First-party data is not just about advertising efficiency but providing value to the customer through recognising their preferences. For those that get it right the results are impressive. Showcasing this is Sky, which leveraged its customer viewing data – 1.6 billion rows of it – to target customers who were most likely to cancel their subscription, tailoring messages based on people’s proximity to the end of their current contract and summarising the content these customers had enjoyed over the past 12 months. In a trial, now more broadly rolled out, the hyper-personalised email led to a 64% uplift in click rate and a 3% increase in conversions.


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