How marketers can leverage online panel with the demise of the third-party cookie

With the imminent demise of the third-party cookie, learn how you can use panel and first-party data to build, measure and validate audiences.
02 February 2022
first party data, audience data
marc ryan

Chief Data Officer, Profiles Division

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It’s been something of an unwritten agreement on the world wide web. Online users get to consume free website content, but agree to give up data about their behavior in exchange. Advertisers use this data to track consumers and market to them.

It all happens with third-party cookies that allow marketers to track users as they engage online. Now, that’s changing.

Why Google is deprecating third-party cookies

Safari and Firefox browsers already block cookies by default, but when Google announced it would also remove them in Chrome – the world’s most popular browser – it accelerated the demise of third-party cookies. Citing concerns over user privacy and cross-browser tracking, Google originally announced the deprecation of cookies in 2022, but has since delayed the end date until sometime in 2023.

For marketers, this means they can no longer rely on third-party cookies to target consumers with ads based on their online behavior. It also dramatically increases the importance of panels and first-party data.

How panel and first-party data help

Panels and first-party, permission-based sources can be used for brand tracking, campaign effectiveness research, ad tracking, and targeting.

Data freely provided by panelists, such as profiling data, can also create a competitive advantage in the ad space. It can be leveraged by marketers to create custom audiences or cohorts. Furthermore, those audiences or cohorts built through survey results can be validated though panels as well.

Leveraging first-party data

First-party data provides permissioned insights into your users, which you can use to create a more personalized experience. When you identify patterns and behaviors, you can also use this data to improve performance and enhance conversions.

An online research panel is great for gathering first-party data about your consumers. Digital surveys are a quick and cost-effective strategy to look more deeply into consumer insights and go beyond the information you already capture. For example, you can measure buyer intent and consumer attitudes, and track sentiment and motivation along with behavior.

The Kantar Data Strategies for Brand Growth report also demonstrates the need to go beyond first-party data to gain insight into consumers. In a survey of nearly 700 advertising executives globally, 81% of advertisers surveyed believe their brands should also include the use of third-party, trusted data sources to enrich understanding and remove data blind spots.

“We need to be bolder, more aggressive with how we use the right mix of data to fuel brand growth strategies,” said Benjamin Jankowski, Senior Vice President, Media, Mastercard. “We need a complete view of brand performance, leveraging competitive intelligence and other directional data sources better to illuminate insights and inform better marketing strategies.”

Panels provide permissioned, first-party data to help create deeper insight into audiences. At Kantar, profiling information is collected at registration as users actively sign up to take part in the research. We can build representative samples that match your target audience, so you can probe more deeply. With access to more than 150 million global panelists and 2 billion data points, we can access information about habits, characteristics, and behaviors.

How first-party data and third-party panels work together

Marketers say that one of their biggest challenges in their planning and advertising is profiling consumers across multiple touchpoints. Third-party cookies helped track consumers across touchpoints online, but with the demise of the cookie, that’s changing. As many as 60% of marketers in the Kantar survey say they expect to enhance first-party data sets with data from other sources, such as third-party connected data sources.

By connecting first-party (compliant) data sources such as panels and your owned CRM database, you get a more holistic picture of your target consumer’s online behavior. Matching survey-based research with your first-party data allows you to target prospects and customers better. You can better segment consumers and create more personalized experiences and focus your advertising.

You can also leverage this larger data pool to:

  • Find new customers using first-party data profiles
  • Enrich your data to gain new insights
  • Find new consumer segments to target
  • Marry first-party data with purchase intent
  • Optimize your media planning and marketing
  • Validate your audiences

Combining your owned data and research with first-party panel data, you can build a 360-degree view of consumers and target larger groups with specific attributes to improve performance.

The demise of the cookie takes away one weapon from the marketing arsenal at the same time that nearly 60% of global advertising executives in the Kantar survey say data insights will become even more important. Moving forward, however, first-party data, panels, and third-party data sources can provide the data you need to optimize your marketing.

Kantar research surveyed 672 advertising executives from 39 countries, who account for $423 billion in global advertising spend.

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Want to learn more? Speak to our expert team today to learn how you can leverage compliant, first-party data, online panel data, and our proprietary third-party data.

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