As major web browsers phase out third-party cookies, banks are faced with the challenge of finding alternative methods to gather customer data and provide personalized experiences.
However, unlike other industries heavily reliant on third-party cookies for advertising and targeting, banks possess a wealth of first-party data and have established trust with their customers. This positions banks to continue providing personalized services and experiences while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.
Originally published on BAI, Megan Allison's article "Why banks will thrive in a cookieless world" emphasizes the importance for banks to leverage their existing data and build strong customer relationships in order to succeed in this new landscape.
ARTICLE AT A GLANCE
As BKM Marketing's Integrated Marketing Director, Megan provides key expertise on the impact that the upcoming cookieless world has on banks and efficiently highlights why banks are likely to thrive in this new environment.
Banks have a unique advantage in the cookieless world & can thrive by leveraging their existing data and customer relationships.
As detailed below, investing in customer data platforms (CDPs) and advanced analytics to effectively utilize the available data and deliver personalized experiences will become more significant for banks. A cookieless world will bring about a new level of importance of first-party data for banks, the need to prioritize customer trust and privacy, and the opportunity for banks to differentiate themselves in the cookieless world.
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The industry is better positioned than others because it has more access to alternative sources of high-quality customer data.
Cookies are still technically legal in the United States, but there’s a growing regulatory push against them, with the California Consumer Privacy Act and European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation leading the way. While it’s important for bank marketers to understand that the third-party cookie data they might be using is going away, it’s also important to know the differences between types of data and how to pivot.
What is the difference between First-Party v. Third-Party Cookie Data?
First, let’s look at the difference between first-party and third-party cookie data. First-party cookie data is gathered by observing user behavior on your company’s website or digital platforms. It’s often analyzed to build out segmentation and targeting efforts. First-party data will continue to be an acceptable form of data for use in understanding your current customers and developing leads.
Third-party cookie data, on the other hand, is from outside your organization and typically collected from multiple sources, such as browsing and advertising activities. This type of data collection was common in apps until Apple and Google took proactive steps last year to eliminate them. The age of sneakily tracking people is over, and that’s OK – digital marketing is moving into a new era.
Why do Banks now have a data advantage?
Banks collect a ton of data on their customers —likely more than many other business types. Banks have this much data partly because they often use data brokers to do data appends on existing customers or to rent prospect data for market targeting. Banks will still be able to append data to their existing data through outside sources, such as second- and third-party appends. You can use the data you have on current customers to identify prospective audiences for targeting, putting you in a better position to succeed in a cookieless world than the average company.
Of course, third-party cookies are a nice-to-have bonus in the banking industry; however, they are not a necessary component. Still, you might need to make adjustments before third-party cookies are gone forever.
Adjustments to make before Third-Party Cookies are History
1. Start now: Cookies are going to disappear sooner rather than later, so you might want to stop relying heavily on third-party cookie data today and begin leveraging first-party and other sourced third-party data. This way, you won’t be making a drastic adjustment once third-party cookies are no longer available. Existing customer data is a great source to start with, as you can use it in aggregate to create different customer profiles and personas based on behavior patterns or branch patterns. This data can then be leveraged for various targeting exercises, whether it’s for marketing to your current customer base or new customers.
2. Create a customer journey: A customer relationship doesn’t end at the sale. There are opportunities to cross-sell and upsell throughout a customer’s lifetime. Tracking cross-sell and upsell journeys over time allows you to then model these behaviors and apply targeting to similar “looking” customers in the future. This also allows you to be more efficient with your marketing budget by reaching people at the right time versus using blanket targeting.
3. Educate the C-suite: What’s obvious to a chief marketing officer isn’t necessarily obvious to the rest of the C-suite. Many executives won’t understand the impact of this cookie change. Understanding that dynamic and communicating it now will make things easier when cookies go away permanently. For example, Google is already rolling out Google Analytics 4 to replace Universal Analytics. Start the migration now by leading the charge and getting buy-in from the C-suite.
So, why will banks thrive?
Banks aren’t going to miss third-party cookies as much as other industries because they have so much first-party data and other third-party data. It’s more a matter of understanding the amount of data you have available, how to read it and then how to put it to use. A good data team that understands how data can be used for marketing can help reduce missed opportunities.
The biggest thing to understand about the lack of third-party cookies is that first-party data has always been the most accurate way to target consumers. What banks know about their customers is intelligence that other industries had to rely on third-party cookies and other appends to gain. That means banking will be a front-runner in the cookieless economy — as long as they work with their marketing teams to understand their needs.
This article was originally published on BAI in February 2023.
1. RELATIONSHIPS + DATA
Banks are likely to thrive in a cookieless world due to their strong customer relationships and access to first-party data.
2. TRUSTED CUSTODIANS
The demise of third-party cookies presents an opportunity for banks to strengthen their position as trusted custodians of customer data.
3. LEVERAGE FIRST-PARTY DATA
Banks can leverage their first-party data to provide personalized and relevant experiences to customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and engagement.
4. PRIVACY-FOCUSED SOLUTIONS
With the decline of third-party cookies, banks can offer more privacy-focused solutions and build trust with customers concerned about data security.
5. ANONYMIZE + AGGREGATE DATA
Banks have the potential to become key players in the digital advertising space by offering anonymized and aggregated data to advertisers, while still maintaining customer privacy.
6. EFFECTIVE INVESTMENTS
The shift to a cookieless world requires banks to invest in technology infrastructure and data analytics capabilities to effectively utilize their first-party data.
7. INNOVATIVE COLLABORATIONS
Collaboration with fintech companies and technology partners can help banks enhance their data capabilities and deliver innovative solutions in a cookieless environment.
8. PRIORITIZE TRANSPARENCY
Banks should prioritize transparency and consent management to ensure customers understand and have control over how their data is used.
9. COMPLIANCE IS CRUCIAL
Compliance with privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, becomes even more crucial in a cookieless world to protect customer data and maintain trust.
10. CONTINUOUSLY ADAPT
Banks must continuously adapt and evolve their strategies to stay ahead in a cookieless world and capitalize on the opportunities it presents.