The marketing world has been abuzz with talk of first-party data as the answer to the death of third-party cookies. But is this just hype, or is there substance to this buzz? Well, according to recent reports, first-party data is already beating cookies in marketing.

Online classifieds site Gumtree is one of the businesses leading the charge when it comes to leveraging first-party data. The company switched to a new data management partner, Permutive, in January 2022, and since then, it has seen a 36% increase in click-through rates for its direct ad campaigns.

But what exactly is first-party data, and why is it so valuable? First-party data is any data that a company collects directly from its customers, whether that’s through its website, social media, or other channels. This data is valuable because it provides a more accurate picture of customers’ behavior, interests, and preferences than third-party data ever could.

As the world moves away from third-party cookies, companies that can harness first-party data will have a distinct advantage in the marketing world. And Gumtree is just one example of a business that is already reaping the benefits of this shift.

But it’s not just Gumtree that is seeing success with first-party data. Pepsico Mexican Foods also recently announced that its campaigns performed better when targeting audiences without third-party cookies, using Lotame’s Panorama ID universal cookieless identifier.

So, why is first-party data beating cookies in marketing? According to Phil Acton, country manager at ad tech vendor Adform, “first-party anything, whether it’s first-party data or first-party IDs, is a much more effective way of running any ad campaign over those that use third-party cookies or IDs.”

This is because first-party data provides a much more accurate and complete picture of customers’ behavior and preferences. It also allows businesses to build more meaningful relationships with their customers by providing them with personalized experiences based on their individual needs and interests.

Of course, there are some challenges that come with leveraging first-party data. For one thing, businesses need to be transparent about how they are collecting and using this data to avoid alienating customers. They also need to ensure that they are using this data in an ethical and responsible way.

But despite these challenges, it’s clear that first-party data is the future of marketing. As the world continues to move away from third-party cookies, businesses that can harness this data will have a distinct advantage over those that can’t.

As Victoria Trevillion, head of ad tech and operations at Gumtree, says, “We have around 400 different audience segments that have been additive…and as a result, more advertisers have wanted to buy them – and in some cases pay more for them.”

So, if you’re a marketer, it’s time to start paying attention to first-party data. As the old saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm.” And in the world of marketing, the early adopters of first-party data are the ones who will come out on top.

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