Since the advent of the Internet, companies have created their own websites and through these sites came a deluge of clickstream data. For years, marketers have relied on these outside insights, but they didn’t quite know what to do with them.
More recently, there has been a revolution – or coming of age – with companies increasingly looking inward and basing decisions on their own proprietary data. Brands are seeing how powerful their data is, how specific and reliable the numbers are, and how it lets them perform analysis and direct outcomes in real-time, rather than simply observing.
The premium companies place on first-party data is illustrated most outwardly through instances of bankruptcy and deals within the retail space, where dollar figures quantify each asset. In the bankruptcy auction of RadioShack, the most talked about asset was its treasure trove of customer data. With 2016 being an election year, we’ve also seen how precious proprietary data is in today’s politics, as evidenced by the spat between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns over a breach that occurred.
In the past, getting access to data for digital marketing always meant third-party cookies. Cookies help because they offer a strong snapshot of the market as a whole, but they have limitations.
Cookies aren’t specific. The data might represent each company’s customers somewhat, but it’s hard to know exactly what’s being looking at. Cookies also get cleared and people use multiple devices, making sessions difficult to cobble together.
So while cookies are always helpful, when used only exclusively, they leave the picture a bit foggy when it comes to making quick and informed decisions.