First-Party Cookies: A Crucial Data Asset

Customer Identity|6 Minute Read

First-Party Cookies: A Crucial Data Asset

The deprecation of third-party cookies and other anonymous data sources along with privacy-centric changes made by the walled gardens (Facebook, Google, and Apple) are meant to provide more choice, control, and transparency to consumers.

One side effect of this era of data privacy we now live in? It’s forced both mid-sized and enterprise companies to find new avenues to understand and interact with their customers:

  • Updates to web browsers (Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari) now essentially prevent businesses from leveraging cross-site user data.
  • Privacy laws like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) add another layer of complexity to customer engagement.
  • Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) changes mean those with apps can no longer track users’ behavior, which affects their acquisition, re-engagement, and attribution.

Reliance on the walled gardens is nothing new. But these measures implemented by them make it clear dependence on the tech giants — and restrictive, impermanent identifiers — to engage consumers is no longer viable or sustainable.

Fortunately, there are legitimate alternatives to third-party cookies that can provide long-term value for your business and your growth-focused teams:

  • First-party data, with consumer consent, which isn’t subject to sweeping technology changes, like the ones above made by walled gardens
  • First-party cookies — one facet of first-party data — which can help your business technology users identify individuals online and, with the right tech and engagement strategy in place, convert anonymous users to known ones or use anonymous profiles for segmentation and targeting

BlueConic’s customer data platform (CDP) has always enabled companies to collect and utilize first-party data. And, with the tech landscape constantly changing, we’ve introduced a new solution that helps you manage the complexity.

Say hello to the Fist-Party Hostname Console.

first-party cookies

First-party cookies: A vital component to your first-party data strategy

The goal of your customer engagement strategy is to build strong, personal relationships with your target audience. Relying on third-party cookies to help you reach and build loyalty with your target audience was never really a great option.

That’s where first-party cookies — ones that can be created by your website and stored in single source of truth (see: a CDP) — have a substantial edge over third-party cookies.

Switching from a digital advertising program built around third-party cookies to one based on first-party cookies certainly requires a thoughtful approach. But it’s an adjustment that will ultimately help you accelerate growth — and transform your business — in the long run.

Having a customer data platform like BlueConic that makes it easy to connect online behavior to all other valuable profile attributes can help with the transition.

Here’s the basic version of how First-Party Hostname Console works for our customers:

  • Customers can set up the hostname on all their web channels (site, app), which helps them capably accumulate identifiers and attributes for their engaged audience.
  • The console ensures all web browsers recognize BlueConic scripts as first party to allow continued data collection. This enables them to gather and store first-party cookies for visitors. (And prevents ad blockers from deterring this data collection.)
  • This then allows our customers to extract value from their continually accrued first-party data via our CDP’s core capabilities: unified, dynamically updated profiles; multi-dimensional segmentation; predictive modeling and analysis; and lifecycle orchestration.

(You can learn more about the technical details of First-Party Hostname Console here.)

How our customers benefit from collecting and utilizing first-party cookies

Consider BlueConic customers who create first-party hostnames for their web channels — and how they benefit from employing first-party cookies generated for engaged individuals:

  • With BlueConic in place, companies can build profiles for unknown visitors and reduce reliance on third-party cookies they only had limited access to due to expiration dates.
  • Similarly, the multiple anonymous profiles created in BlueConic for infrequent anonymous visitors who return to their sites sporadically (e.g., multiples times in a period longer than a week, as Apple’s ITP deletes first-party cookies after that length of time) are consolidated into single customer profiles for those individuals.
  • The use of our First-Party Hostname Console also lessens the risk ad blockers will affect their digital properties, as many of them are not intended to block scripts from first-party sources — but do block third-party ones.

TL;DR: Companies with our CDP can grow their audience, decrease false unique-visitor counts, enhance their identity management efforts, and give data control back to their prospects and customers through the use of the First-Party Hostname Console and the collection and utilization of first-party cookies.

All of which adds up to smarter engagement and mutually beneficial customer relationships.

Take retail and ecommerce companies that use our pure-play customer data platform.

The more first-party cookies they collect from visitors (or mobile IDs from app users), the more easily they can gauge prospective shoppers’ product interests, then tailor promotional messaging to those individuals with pertinent product recommendations through on-site dialogues, targeted ads, and personalized emails over a longer period of time.

Media and publishing companies can also benefit from our First-Party Hostname Console.

For instance, publishers can gather data about their readership (subscribers and non-subscribers) and segment them accordingly. Renewal offers and exclusive digital products and/or experiences (e.g., premium content access) can be shared with the former. And the latter can receive messaging (e.g., limited-time discounts) enticing them to sign up.

Media and publishing organizations can also package and sell this consented first-party data to advertising partners to diversify their revenue streams and accelerate business growth.

first-party data

Why our First-Party Hostname Console is a game-changer for companies

BlueConic enables our customers to realize transformational growth by helping them collect and make the most use of their first-party data. Particularly through cross-channel, real-time personalized experiences to highly engaged individuals and target segments.

And the First-Party Hostname Console is a key component of our CDP that sets organizations’ growth teams — marketing, ecommerce, CX, analytics, etc. — up for success.

Following a one-time setup of the console in their BlueConic tenants, our customers can:

  • Prepare their tech stacks accordingly for the future. Specifically, for lifecycle marketing, they can recognize individuals based on first-party cookies and use data to orchestrates messaging to individuals based on where they are in their respective customer journeys
  • Remove the onus from marketing and IT teams to maintain certificates and ensure growth-focused teams can confidently activate data when and where they need, thanks to our built-in privacy and consent management features
  • Eliminate redundant and/or ineffective tech from their stacks (see: data management platforms) or least lessen reliance on legacy tools (e.g., demand-side platforms)
  • (Finally) make first-party data the foundational resource that drives their transformation efforts and helps them continue to adapt to the privacy-centric marketing landscape
  • Expel third-party cookies from their engagement efforts — once and for all

All in all, our First-Party Hostname Console helps businesses build a robust first-party data set, better recognize individuals, and deliver relevant and timely customer experiences.

Something companies can’t achieve by relying on third-party cookies and legacy databases.

Learn how you can leverage your first-party data — and realize greater revenue growth and operational efficiency — with our CDP. Request your BlueConic demo today.

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