Data is the fuel that powers modern marketing, enabling better understanding of customer needs that leads to better engagement, better content, and better marketing tools/approaches. Data by itself is useless, however, without a mature data management infrastructure of people, processes, and technology in place to turn raw data into actionable insight that drives better engagement and improved ROI. Our “Data and Insight Series” focuses on building that mature data infrastructure. In this post, we examine a customer success story involving data and insight.
Getac, a multinational B2B technology company that specializes in rugged computers, mobile video systems, mechanical components, automotive parts, and aerospace fasteners, has adopted a 1st-party cookie strategy in order to improve its ad targeting. This move has resulted in a 55% increase in data targeting efficiency which has led to a greatly improved marketing ROI. Getac's 1st-party cookie strategy allows it to target ads more effectively by leveraging customer data collected from its own Getac website.
The 1st-party data is then used to target ads to users who are more likely to purchase the products or services that Getac offers. The result is a more efficient and effective advertising campaign that generates more leads and sales for the company, allowing Getac to get more bang for its marketing/advertising buck.
A brief refresher: 3 types of customer data
First-party data/cookies originate directly from customers, and are collected within a brand’s domain/company website (usually through enabling tracking) in order to support a website transaction, or as a support or service requirement.
Second-party data/cookies are typically someone else's 1st-party data: it’s data your organization has purchased from another organization or that’s been shared with you through a data partnership arrangement.
Third-party data/cookies are collected outside your brand’s domain/company website from a variety of sources, such as a customer’s (cross-domain) browsing history. This data is typically collected from 3rd-party cookie tracking, a functionality that is now quickly disappearing (more on that later).
Why Getac adopted a 1st-party cookie strategy
Getac had been using 3rd-party cookies, but found that they were not as accurate or effective for their ad targeting needs. Third-party cookies are placed on users' browsers and enable the tracking of users' online activity beyond the visit to a first-domain website (in this case, the Getac website). Emerging security and privacy regulations, along with changes from big operating systems (like Apple and Google), have ensured more data privacy, but have also resulted in 3rd-party cookies increasingly being blocked, making a user’s digital activity anonymous.
Adding to these big challenges, Getac couldn't segment against its website visitors because Eloqua tracking scripts weren't set up correctly or applied to all pages. As a result, there was not enough information on known contacts to understand what website pages they had visited for future Lead Model proposals and Sales conversations. Getac simply couldn't launch multiple, planned nurture campaigns in order to support their buyer journey because they couldn't set up a decision step and use targeted data to push people down the nurturing/learning path. Those challenges resulted in limited visibility into customer intent signals and more wasted ad spend due to poor targeting.
How Getac’s 1st-party cookie strategy works
Getac set up their strategy in the following way:
1. 1st party cookies are placed on a website by the website itself and allow the website to track a user’s online activity. As mentioned before, 1st-party cookies are not impacted by cookie blockers, so they provide more accurate and identifiable data than 3rd party cookies do.
2. Getac set up Eloqua's 1st party cookie integration, which was easy to set up and offers a seamless experience for collecting and leveraging 1st-party cookies. To implement tracking for 1st-party cookies, Eloqua users would simply open an SR (service request) with Oracle cloud support. As part of your SR, you would provide all of the relevant information: your instance name, the tracking domain you want to use, and whether it’s secure or not.
3. Getac thus added new capabilities around 1st-party cookies: it could now segment its website visitors and understand their online behavior.
4. Based on its enhanced understanding of, and visibility into, users' online behavior, it could now launch more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns.
The results of Getac’s 1st-party cookie strategy
- As the old saying goes about data, “garbage in means garbage out.” With increased data accuracy brought about by its 1st-party cookie strategy, Getac achieved more accuracy and quality in its data.
- The 1st-party strategy also enabled Getac to improve its website visitors segmentation with more granular and accurate data collection.
- As a result of its enhanced ability to collect and leverage higher quality user data for targeting purposes, Getac was able to plan and execute better targeted marketing campaigns.
- The ultimate result of all these enhancements to data quality brought about by Getac’s 1st-party cookies strategy was more leads, higher quality leads, and more sales.
- Getac's 1st-party cookie strategy has resulted in a 55% increase in data targeting efficiency. This increase in efficiency has allowed Getac to more effectively target prospects who are more likely to be interested in the products or services that Getac offers. The company is no longer wasting ad spend because they know which target customers are showing more propensity to buy.
How you can benefit from a 1st-party cookie strategy
First-party cookies are more accurate than 3rd-party cookies and they are not impacted by cookie blockers and emerging privacy regulations. Eloqua's 1st-party cookie integration is easy to set up, and Getac’s experience shows, so you can quickly start segmenting your website visitors and better track/understand their online behavior. You, like Getac, can then launch targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to generate leads and sales. You don’t have to waste money by targeting ads to buyers unlikely to engage and purchase.
John Wanamaker (1838-1922), who pioneered both the modern department store and modern advertising, once bemoaned that, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted, but I just don’t know which half.” Getac’s 1st-party cookie strategy has helped them resolve the age-old ad targeting dilemma that Wannamaker and millions of marketers have faced for over a century.
For help in improving your data quality and ad targeting with 1st-Party cookies/data, reach out to us today.