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How “Growth Leaders” Execute Digital Advertising Without Cookies


“61% of high-growth companies are shifting to a first-party data strategy”

Source: Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey, April 2021

Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey, April 2021.

How much time does your organization or agency focus on a consumer-first journey? If the answer is little to none, you could experience negative growth down the line.

As consumers are demanding more privacy for their online activity, there will be a change in how brands measure digital advertising campaigns.

Once third-party cookies are phased out of web browsers and tech companies, high-growth brands will take the lead in strategically incorporating a first-party data environment.

“CMOs from high-growth brands are also well ahead of negative growth brands in deploying first-party data in more sophisticated ways, specifically in two key areas: delivering personalized content via dynamic creative optimization (51% vs. 36%), and using data to serve ads to users via programmatic media (49% vs. 29%).”

Source: Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey, April 2021

What is First-Party data?

First-party data is the information a company collects directly from its customers using its own channels (online or in-person activation events, website visits, etc.). Collected with consent, not shared, high accuracy, and reliable.

Examples include Google Analytics, newsletter entry forms, and tradeshow booth visitors.

Some important data to collect and use for future first-party data strategies include email addresses, phone numbers, purchase histories, demographics, support history, and mobile app behaviors.

What is Second-Party data?

Data that is collected (sold or shared) by another company (business partner) or platform. Collected with consent, shared with only trusted partners (i.e. trade media publications and complementary competitors), high accuracy, and reliable.

Examples include email lists, website activity, and social media profiles – all of which will still be available to advertisers.

What is Third-Party data?

Typically shared with many companies, unknown if collected with consent, obtained from data aggregators, and often paid for and compiled into large datasets. Low accuracy and unreliable.

This includes email list purchases, direct mailing lists, and other website-tracked data – that offers an audience’s income, age, and education.

Here’s what your company should do

Focus on Zero-Party data. Analyze your existing customers, identify the length of their sales cycles, develop retention programs and referral opportunities, and consider product creation for upselling.

If your company can invest in obtaining more Zero-Party and First-Party data, you’ll be investing in a positive business impact. “Poor data quality destroys business value. Recent Gartner research has found that organizations believe poor data quality to be responsible for an average of $15 million per year in losses.” Source:

By investing in customer journeys, you’ll be able to test out messaging and fine-tune the unique selling proposition (USP) that produces better marketing qualified leads (MQL). To follow, you’ll also have more data to score and nurture prospects into sales-qualified leads (SQL).

A cookieless world helps established, high-value businesses beat out low-value competitors.