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Industry Insights

A New Cookie for a New Era: First Party Data and Behavioral Science

By Akhila Sriram on June 9, 2021

This is the final installment in our four-part blog series on the demise of third-party cookies. Check out the previous installments here: Part 1 for what is causing the shift away from third-party cookies, Part 2 for what options exist for companies that relied on them previously, and Part 3 for the power of first-party data as an alternative source of consumer tracking data.

As we’ve covered before, first party data is quickly being established as the preferred alternative to third party data now that many search engines and tech giants are reducing or stopping their use of collected third-party tracking data. In fact, even Forbes has declared “First-Party Data Will Reign Supreme For Marketers In 2021.” Third party data is collected automatically based on internet tracking and is distributed and used for the purposes of marketing and advertising. Advertisers could use this data to better understand the traffic on different sites and how best to market products based on the audience coming to a certain page. First party data is what is collected directly from the Internet user themselves and is used in terms of understanding a specific user’s Internet use and activity.

Third-party data is being phased out of use due to concerns around data privacy and security, because this tracking data is collected and distributed by entities the user has no awareness of. In the case of first party data, the data is collected by the organization who will be using it to understand opportunities for advertising and marketing. Thus, the data collected is stored by that organization and used for their needs, leading to more confidence for the user in how their data is stored and used.

But first party data on its own isn’t helpful for understanding opportunities for engaging potential customers. For that, the data needs to be paired with technology which can parse and organize the data into actionable insights. That’s where solutions using artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) come into the picture. By being able to harness the raw data and turn it into trends, personas, and profiles of a business’s past, current, and future customers, businesses can make better decisions about targeting their marketing spend to the audiences who will be more likely to buy their product. Using advanced technology and behavioral science to sort the data and better understand how customers are behaving and why, businesses can gain even more effective insights than they could when using third party data.

Rather than using third party data to find high traffic areas to target marketing spend to a larger audience, businesses can understand all the various customers out there and instead decide who they want to target with their marketing and understand what messaging will work to best engage them. This way, marketing investments go farther, and businesses know more about their customer base and potential future audiences. By understanding not only what actions customers are taking, in online and offline touchpoints with a business, but also why they are taking those actions, businesses can better understand what their needs are and how best to tackle those with their current and future strategies.

At OSG, our solutions are based on AI/ML technology to collect a respondent group’s data to best analyze how your business can become more customer centric. Our proprietary behavioral and cognitive science analytics serve as a foundation for how we collect and analyze customer data, so that our clients understand what their customers care about and why. Our approach is to focus on the attributes of your business, product, and service to best understand what your customers are looking for, whether your current strategies meet those needs, and how you can look to the future for meeting those needs and growing your customer base. We are equipped with the tools to solve your business challenges.