We Were Promised a Gold Rush—but Where’s the Gold?
by Lou DiGiacomo, VP of Product
The Cookiepocalypse buzzwords have been seared deep into your subconscious. The mania has bled through your usual tech trades and made its way into mainstream business periodicals. However, like many in the industry, you are confident you have a path to success despite the prophesized chaos, as you have a First-Party Data strategy in place.
With many in the industry preaching, “First-Party Data is the new gold standard” and “We’re in the gold rush of First-Party Data,” it makes sense to keep investing in solutions that focus on activating, modeling, and measuring First-Party Data.
The industry is doubling down on First-Party Data. However, I believe they are missing one critical component to these hyped-up solutions—the First-Party Data itself.
The industry may be ready for a gold rush—but there is no gold!
The reality is that we’re not in the middle of a gold rush—we’re in the middle of a First-Party Data Famine. A brand just doesn’t have enough First-Party Data to make most investments in First-Party Data worthwhile.
Think about what First-Party Data a brand actually has access to:
- Active Leads – maybe 3-5% of a website’s visitors convert-- a fraction of the total number of in-market First-Party shoppers interested in your brand
- Previous Transactions – you are looking in the rearview mirror here and building strategies based on audiences that have already converted
At this time, we have known about the deprecation of third-party cookies for years and have been given multiple deadline extensions. First-Party Data solutions are exiting the beta phase and becoming a staple of any modern marketing mix. Brands will start to realize, if they haven't already, that they don't have nearly enough First-Party data to power the solutions they have built. As Amol Waishampayan discussed in his article, "Cookies Simplified -- 'Who' and 'How'", the industry has solved for the How; however, it’s forgetting about the Who. There is a growing First-Party Data Famine as a result.
Every sizzling new cookieless solution built around first-party data will either collect dust or be rendered ineffective in a Data Famine.
Let’s take a few common examples:
- Data Modeling – The best models are built with the cleanest data. Adequately crafting any kind of AI model requires ample data points to fuel and refine the logic. Limited data means more guessing and less confidence in the solution.
- In-Market Targeting via Trade Desk, Google, etc. – With the plethora of new identity solutions available, there won’t be a silver bullet of identity. Trade Desk has UID 2.0, Google has their own First-Party Data suite, and it seems like everyone has their own proprietary ID these days. Without ample First-Party Data, integration will be limited and activation potential stifled by low match rates.
- KPI Performance Measurement – Telling a First-Party data story with only a fraction of your available First-Party universe is like ripping three random pages out of a novel and expecting the plot to make sense.
If you’re a brand or a publisher, your First-Party Data is also the lifeblood of your company. Not to oversimplify but the more First-Party Data a brand has, the wider the net cast for new customers and the better a brand can enhance the customer journey to keep their current ones happy.
Sure, the walled gardens are set up well, with their mountains of First-Party Data. However, try pulling data back out of the walled gardens and using it for your model. (Hint—you will have an easier time digging and finding real gold in your backyard.)
The industry has built a rocket ship to the moon but is trying to power it with 2 AA batteries.
Now is the time for brands to get ahead of the Data Famine and start scaling their novel First-Party Data, so they can capitalize on all the new solutions hitting the market. For agencies that already have First-Party data solutions in place, they have an investment that needs to be protected.
This is where FullThrottle can help. Our proprietary patented methodology supports the first-party data efforts of brands, publishers, agencies, and adtech partners. It is also continually refined to be interoperable with CDPs, DSPs, BI tools, and everything in between. Take a look at the time and the money you’ve put into your First-Party Data strategy and don’t let your investment fall victim to the Data Famine.