Checklist: Prepare for Third-Party Data Depletion With These Seven Key Steps

February 11, 2021

The “Cookiepocalypse” and Ad ID changes are coming soon. Are you focused on the right initiatives to get ready?

Today, marketing is powered by third-party identifiers (like cookies and mobile ad ids) to target individuals and audiences. But over the coming months, you’ll need to dramatically switch gears—relying on Consented Identifiers (Consented IDs), derived from opt-in email addresses and similar consented PII, as your primary identifiers instead. Is your business ready to make the switch? 

As the window narrows to prepare for the depreciation of third-party IDs, follow these seven steps to be sure your brand has the right elements in place—before it’s too late. These steps are critical to help you manage first-party data effectively and procure the right products and solutions you need, and to get the right help and guidance to move ahead with confidence.

Manage the Data

Marketing centered around first-party data calls for wholly different approaches to data management. Have you covered the bases below?

  1.  Align Your First-Party User Profiles. Without third-party identifiers to help marketers corral a full picture of the customer, marketers will need to tie together the data fragments on their own. This means making connections across first-party data—like spotting when in one database represents the same individual as in another. These connections are critical to ensure that consented IDs represent the whole customer–not just a lone identifier. In practice, this means aligning customer data across a whole host of databases spanning CRMs, POS, and business units—a particular challenge for parent brands that market across multiple distinct product lines. If you’re managing first-party data across more than one system or database, you may have more work cut out ahead for you than you’re aware.
  2. Segment Audiences by Appending New Data Attributes. With third-party cookies and mobile ad ids going away, another area where marketers and publishers will need to fill in the gaps is segmentation. Currently, third-party data services do the “heavy lifting” of understanding how identified customers and prospects match to broader target groups. Absent those third-party options, you’ll need to scour through your own first-party data to append user identifiers with the demographics, psychographics, loyalty information, and other key information that allows you to segment identified customers effectively.
  3. Bridge Your Data With Others’. Ultimately, activating first-party identifiers at scale requires a path to align your first-party data with partners’ first-party data—connecting brands to publishers through activation. You’ll need a way to strike a critical balance of security and precision as you sync your data with others’. This work includes incorporating consented second-party data from tech and data companies too.

Partner Effectively

Managing data in the new ways above poses a monumental task. You’ll need the following help from key partners.

  1. An Identity Resolution Partner. Most marketers will not be able to connect first party, second party, and third party data effectively—spanning devices, identifiers, and other data, often across millions of customers. Instead, they’ll need to turn to an omnichannel identity graph to help them achieve many of the initiatives described in steps 1 – 3. That’s why in the new world, the right identity resolution partner is more critical than ever.
  2. A Clean Room Solution. Many top brands and premium publishers aren’t willing to share their first-party data – even under conditions that meet standard security standards. Instead, enterprises that operate with extra sensitivity, and the brands and publishers that partner with them, need a path to activating first party data without compromising sensitive information. For these marketers and publishers, you need a data clean room solution that lets partners align on the data, without actually sharing the information across parties.
  3. The Perfect CDP…For You. When it comes to readying your first-party data for activation, the question isn’t only which is the right Customer Data Platform (CDP). You’ll need to decide on the CDP that’s right for your company. Key considerations include:
  • Fits Your Use Case. No CDP can do it all—so you’ll likely need to choose a platform that best fits the use cases that matter. Some CDPs are stronger at helping you zero in on the data for analytics; others for segmenting your audiences more strategically; others still for managing holistic customer profiles. Ask: Which use case matters most to you?
  • Transparent. Regardless of the use case, seek “a white-box”—not black-box—solution that gives you insight into how audiences are activated, what activation partners are being leveraged—and what’s working and what isn’t. Crucial to that transparency: be sure to choose a CDP that includes a self-service user interface. After all, a 100% managed solution means 0% visibility into activity.
  • Agnostic. As the CDP market evolves, beware that some data companies are “backing into” services that overlap heavily with CDP offerings. This creates inherent conflicts of interest. When you choose a CDP and similar tools, be sure you’re working with a fully neutral provider.

Seek Partner Expertise 

What are the right questions to ask and issues to look out for?

  1. For most brands and publishers, navigating first-party data activation presents an onslaught of unprecedented challenges. Exactly what data should you share with partners, and what should you never share? What are the most efficient paths to cutting across first-party data silos? How do you ensure maximum security as you activate your most sensitive asset—your first-party data? These and related questions—many of which you may never have considered—take thoughtful expertise to answer them. As you search for identity, CDP, and other data and activation partners, seek out brands with proven experience in first party data management—who can draw on their past to guide you through the new terrain. 

To prepare your marketing for third-party data depletion, contact MediaWallah today.


Sign up for our newsletter

What to Read Next


Take the leap into Data Connectivity.

We want to hear about your data connectivity goals. We’ll show you how MediaWallah solutions can transform them. Set up a meeting to get started.