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Context Matters: Seven Quick Ways to Build Up Your First-Party Data Game

What once was a gift has now become a “curse” as the data powering the smart technologies designed to help improve people’s lives is now caught in a wave of cybersecurity threats, confidentiality scandals, and the questionable practices of Silicon Valley giants. For years, tech companies operated in largely unfamiliar landscapes but the race is on to get a handle on the future of data. Welcome to the privacy era, where addressing the effect of personal information free-for-all is an urgent priority.

Adding to marketers’ cookie-less Google dilemma, Apple announced that they’re implementing App Tracking Transparency (ATT). With the rollout of the next iOS 14 update (14.5, currently in beta), ATT will be requiring app publishers to get their users to openly agree to have their cookies tracked – opt-in is currently the default. Furthermore, users have to actively opt-in to each individual app and ATT prohibits workarounds such as fingerprinting.

Gartner estimates that 56% of mobile phones in the U.S. are Apple devices. Among the majority of iOS users, experts anticipate average opt-in rates of just 20-30%. While your digital ads will still reach the app users who opt-out, the lack of tracking data means they might not reach the targeted audience you want.

Amp up on your First-Party Data Incrementally and Contextually

The loss of third-party cookie data will need to be supplemented by increasing businesses’ efforts to capture first-party data with consent. The time has finally arrived for consumers to be sensitive about privacy. So, getting them to give up pieces of their information will need to happen over a series of value offerings and incentives. First-party data will be commonly used to target (rather than retarget) advertising. Having the best possible historical data to work from can help provide insights in 2022 when it forms your advertising strategy’s new backbone – so it’s not too late to start. As early as now, encourage visitors to sign in and give consent to first-party data collection. This tactic will help your marketing team ensure accurate customer insights to drive more seamless customer experiences and establish that trust with the customer.

Here are 7 examples of value exchanges that work:

1. Saved lists and items

Spotify for example lets you save favorites genres and playlists. You can add saved items to the queue. The Washington Post allows you to save to a reading list that you can find on mobile later.

2. Audio versions (audio features)

An example of this is businesses or individuals who offer podcasts or courses online. As a value exchange offer, they can open exclusive audio versions of their lectures to customers in exchange for email addresses.

3. Ad-free for a time

Having consumers try out your service with uninterrupted, ad-free time in exchange for information relevant to your service (email address, location, etc.) is a good way to build your data.

4. Access to special content/special guest content

Forbes, Time, or any news organization can offer additional articles or exclusive interviews to their customers.

5. Coupons and gift cards

Game developers or eCommerce businesses can offer more coins in-game or discount codes to their users upon checkout.

6. Early access to services, releases, dates

These are classic data-value exchanges in eCommerce and publishing. Newsletters in eCommerce tend to give their users advanced notifications of product updates, sales, as well as insider knowledge. Offering loyal customers the feeling and benefits of exclusivity.

7. Participate in the community

a. See and leave comments

b. Gain access to reviews

c. Private Facebook or LinkedIn groups

As consumers are being made acutely aware of their need for privacy in this age, businesses and marketers need to get a jumpstart on getting relevant first-party data to create more personalized messaging for their target audiences.

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