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The Death of the Third-Party Cookie: Why Now is the Time to Plan Your First-Party Data Strategy

By Kristen Dunleavy

While the end of the third-party cookie era may seem alarming, it’s actually an incredible opportunity for publishers to create stronger customer relationships and boost loyalty using the first-party data they already have: their community data. 

Let’s take a closer look at what the death of the third-party cookie really means – and how to assemble your first-party data strategy. 

What are third-party cookies, and why are they going away?

Third-party cookies are tracking codes that allow publishers and advertisers to see what their users are doing when they’re browsing other websites, providing demographic, psychographic, and geographic information and insights. Brands then use these insights to better address their target audience. 

Because of data privacy laws and increased concerns from consumers about how their data is shared, many web browsers have begun a phased removal of third-party cookies. The biggest player to move in this direction, Google – representing about 66% of global desktop browser market share – announced earlier this year that their complete phase-out of third party cookies would be completed by 2022. With that deadline in mind, the clock is ticking for publishers and advertisers alike.

What are the benefits of first-party data in a cookie-less world?

First-party data insights – the data that you collect directly from your users – has several major benefits over third-party data. For one, publishers already have a powerful source of first-party data: their communities. The more your users interact within your community, the more valuable insights you have to create better experiences for them, increasing key metrics like time on site. 

Understanding your first-party data also makes it easier to align the right advertisers with your users, creating a contextualized ad experience that ensures better targeting. For publishers, first-party data can even help inform your editorial strategy, with insights on trending topics and overall engagement. 

Ultimately, your first-party data strategy is your community. An active, thriving community will give you the insights you need to drive lasting loyalty and retention.

How do I get started with a first-party data strategy?

No two communities are the same, so it’s important to have a custom data management solution that has the ability to take first-party community data – including conversation topics, interests, engagement, and more – and quickly make it actionable in a way that helps drive your business goals.

OpenWeb’s DMP works with the existing systems you already have in place, helping you manage community data and create custom segments that bring more value to your advertising strategies. Learn more about OpenWeb’s first-party data insights and DMP.

Kick off your first-party data strategy today

The impending death of the third-party cookie is a valuable opportunity to create elevated user experiences that drive loyalty and retention. But why wait? Now is the time to begin leveraging your community as your first-party data strategy to drive better business decisions. Find out how you can start gathering unique, actionable insights from your community today.

Let’s have a conversation.

Right now OpenWeb has a limited number of partners we can work with in order to provide the highest quality service to each and every one. Let us know you’re interested and stay informed about how OpenWeb is empowering publishers and advertisers to change online conversations for good.