The pandemic created a new world for everyone, including marketers. And even as conditions edge toward normalcy, the only constant seems to be change. As such, brands must adapt to shifting customer behaviors and policy changes from major tech companies.

In the first blog in our series, we discussed the phasing out of third-party cookies on browsers and the danger of having disparate marketing channel partners. 

Today, we’ll dig deeper into how tech policy changes disrupt how you collect customer information. Can brands still acquire essential customer data and create engaging interactions without third-party data?

Consumers say ‘no’ to app tracking

While the death of browser cookies is significant, it isn’t the only hurdle for brands in 2022. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency update in iOS (implemented in April of 2021) means app users now have more control over the information they share with apps. Has the new policy had any real impact on data sharing? Overwhelmingly, yes. 96% of iOS users opt-out of tracking when given the choice. 

You can also layer in Apple’s email privacy features introduced in iOS 15 which affect other basic benchmarks such as email opens to further add to the challenges for digital marketers. 

With the removal of browser cookies and app tracking, and other privacy measures, the lesson for marketers is clear —you can no longer rely on third-party data as your primary source for customer information. Moving forward, brands must focus on acquiring zero-party and first-party data if they want to create effective marketing campaigns.

Getting more value from your paid media

One area where collecting data directly from customers (i.e., zero-party and first-party data) can pay off is with paid ads. 

Paid media can be a drain on your marketing, with high costs for impressions and clicks. But those funds are ultimately wasted if you don’t convert the traffic that lands on your site. The goal is to collect sufficient information about their browsing and shopping behavior, so you can eventually retarget them with relevant emails or an enticing post-purchase campaign.

How do you do this when you can’t use cookies? Why, ask your customer directly, of course. Here’s the thing about zero-party data — most customers want you to have it if they feel like they can benefit from it. In fact, 71% of consumers are inclined to share this information if it means getting personalized recommendations from brands.

What are some methods you can use to coax zero-party data from your site visitors?

Popping-up with a solution

One effective solution for collecting zero-party data is a two-step, responsive pop-up that captures both emails and mobile numbers. Listrak has found that retailers who engage shoppers in both channels can drive increased affinity, with:

  • 30% higher customer lifetime value
  • 15% more orders
  • And 10% higher average order value than with email alone

“Since as much as 95% of traffic to a website is anonymous, you have to use strategically aggressive acquisition tactics to compile as much zero-party data as possible,” says Karen DiClemente, senior director of strategy for Listrak.

Show customers value throughout the interaction

Strategic acquisition tactics go beyond pop-ups, which your visitor can click out of any time. As DiClemente points out, “You want to constantly remind them of the value you’re offering, whether it’s with a persistent sticky button or banner or an exit pop-up that allows you to dynamically inject the coupon code into the pop-up and follow the shopper around, displaying that one-time code.” 

Preserve margin with personalized offers

You can also personalize acquisition tactics and on-site communication based on the traffic source, offering a different experience for those sent by influencers than affiliates or for previous customers compared with first-timers. While you don’t want to skimp on discounting, it’s possible to do it selectively by assessing each group’s likelihood to buy.

For example, brands can be more aggressive with offers to those who have never purchased before (or have abandoned their cart) while holding back for a subscriber who’s been constantly opening emails and browsing on the site. 

“The goal is to be smart about preserving margin and showing offers judiciously,” says DiClemente. “Brands realize they have to stop last year’s blanket promotional behavior and wean shoppers off expecting a coupon code for every purchase.”

Shifting focus away from third-party data

In 2022, marketers can’t stop making adjustments, and brands must adapt to the new conditions to acquire customer data. This will require:

  • Shifting your focus from third-party to zero-party and first-party data acquisition
  • Personalizing your acquisition tactics based on the traffic source
  • Differentiating your offers based on customer behavior
  • Expanding your list of engaged email and SMS subscribers

Fortunately, Listrak offers all the tools marketers need to survive and thrive with zero-party and first-party data acquisition. Schedule a demo to find out more about our capabilities to collect customer data. 

What’s next in our Digital Marketing in 2022 series? The next post will describe how you can identify your visitors across channels and devices for more personalized and optimized experiences.

If you’re looking for guidance on not just surviving, but thriving, in a cookie-less world, contact us. Let’s start the conversation about how to grow your revenues and strengthen your customer engagement.