If you are not yet aware of the impending changes of the once reliable cookie, the rapid rise of 1st party data, and the sunset of Google’s Universal Analytics, being replaced by GA4 - then 2023 is the year of digital transformation for your data and advertising management. 

To help prepare and manage these changes in data collection, analysis and usage, predictions have also started to include a focus on the importance of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) in an organisation’s tech stack. In this article we thought we’d take a look at the reasons behind the predicted uptake, and why 2023 is the year of the CDP.

From 3rd to 1st Party Data

The loss of cookies in early 2024 means brands and marketing teams have no choice but to focus on prioritising the way they will start to collect and manage 1st party data. And importantly, the most effective and impactful way to utilise that data once it's captured.

There’s no shortage of information around the importance of a CDP for making the most of the shift from 3rd to 1st party data; removing data silos, collecting data including personally identifiable information to deliver a single, unified view of your customer, and the ability to automate the collation and activation of data into multiple channels with simple click-through workflows just to start. Being able to do this via automation (and without technical skills) makes a CDP an appealing investment for organisations who need to maximise ROI and efficiency, whilst having all the information to create the best engagement and customer experience (CX) across touchpoints.

The other big factor to consider with the way (and type) of data being collected going forward is how organisations will handle the cybersecurity challenges they stand to face. Whilst no business is completely immune to the threat of cyber attacks, CDPs like Wondaris provide great data protection by managing and activating data within a privacy-safe environment, with complete control over who can access data, what data they can access, and how and where it can be activated.

The CDP and GA4 relationship

From July 2023, Google will stop adding new data into your UA account. If you don't have a GA4 account you will not have a view of customer data for as long as you don't set up a new GA4 account. With this in mind organisations and marketers are best advised to jump on board with the change. 

A key difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is that GA4 will no longer collect cookies; rather it aligns with the new privacy-first landscape in the way it collects and manages user data.

So how does that work with a CDP? By connecting the two platforms to provide an even more holistic view of a customer and actionable data. 

There is no denying the power of the data that Google Analytics is able to generate, especially with the advanced features expected with GA4. However, a CDP is able to go that one step further, beyond the ‘how many’ to the ‘who’ by collating information from all data stores within an organisation - including offline and identifiable data (so for organisations wanting to know a specific customer’s preferences/history, GA4 simply isn't enough).  Further, the learning curve for the move to GA4 isn’t necessarily a simple switch, so having a CDP already in place gives marketers time to understand the new platform, knowing that their data collection and activation can continue regardless.

2023 poses a big, and potentially challenging, year for organisations and brands who want to remain competitive at a digital level. Customer expectations will only continue to increase, and those who can deliver the best, and most relevant, CX will come out ahead, assuming they are also able to navigate regulatory and data changes. It seems inevitable that demand for technology such as CDPs will only continue to grow in the next 12 months. Investing in a CDP can assist teams in creating more effective, personalised engagement across omnichannel campaigns - whilst also helping manage consent and privacy-first requirements.

The Wondaris CDP allows you to link all of your business and marketing data sources so you can better understand what’s driving people to your brand and how you can ensure they stay loyal to you long-term. Connect with the Wondaris team today to find out more about the benefits working with a CDP partner.

Want to try Wondaris? Get in touch.

Email marketing is the use of email as a channel to promote, educate, drive sales and conversions - whilst also aiming to develop a more personalised relationship with customers you are communicating with. Having access to an individual’s email address is the result of direct engagement (and permission) from a prospect or customer, and it is generally the most easily gathered type of 1st party data. 

As marketers begin to navigate the approaching deprecation of cookies and are no longer able to rely on 3rd party data, it is becoming clear that a focus on email marketing will be key to building their 1st party data strategy, and one of their most valuable assets.

Email Marketing + 1st Party Data = win-win

Whilst email marketing is the most common form of obtaining 1st party data, by leveraging this and subsequent data you can then also drive more effective email marketing campaigns… but how does this loop work?

  1. In the first instance, an email address is obtained from a site user or other data collection/lead generation point (it’s important to remember, that whilst marketers have to switch to a 1st party data strategy to meet the changing landscape, people will only share their data if they believe it is of value for them to do so).
  2. Companies can then use email to collect additional 1st party data from leads and customers 
  3. This information can then be used to segment into audiences based on similar characteristics, preferences, and/or needs
  4. Marketing teams are then able to develop personalised emails to talk to those audience segments about their specific interests, solve a problem, etc.
  5. Rinse and repeat - by testing and measuring the effectiveness of messages, future emails can be further tailored (whilst also collecting more 1st party data along the way), thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion and ROI.

The CRM and CDP Relationship - from email to ads

The collection of 1st party data in the form of email goes well beyond its use in direct marketing. The next step is utilising this unique customer information in advertising campaigns and retargeting. 

In some cases, an organisation will already be using their email marketing platform (HubSpot, Mailchimp, Pardot, etc.) as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool and source of truth about its audience(s). In addition to a CRM, Customer Data Platforms (CDP) such as Wondaris, are increasingly being adopted to help create a single unified view of users in the new 1st party data landscape. CDPs integrate with an organisation’s CRM to better understand customer touchpoints and preferences pre-, during and post-purchase, and can also leverage data for Google Ads campaigns for more targeted and effective advertising.

In a real life application, an organisation might be sending out a monthly email newsletter to its subscribers. They might then also want to roll out and test tailored Google Ads. The marketing team can use the email addresses with Google’s Customer Match (a targeting tool that helps advertisers and marketers to utilise their own 1st party data) - to target and retarget known audiences across search, display, video, shopping and Gmail campaigns. 

Google uses the 1st party data provided with their own user profile information to develop a Customer Match Audience; from there marketers can create campaigns and ads targeting that audience (and future segments). To make things even easier and more efficient, the Wondaris CDP is one of a group of 3rd party integrators approved by Google to upload Customer Match Segments within the Google Ads platform. The Customer Matching Upload partnership allows clients to upload high-value audiences securely through simple and clickable workflows. 

With its ability to collect data directly from consumers, email marketing provides the ideal platform to replace the current reliance on 3rd party data and cookies. Email will most likely become the unique identifier for users, and its application has reach beyond sending out the odd newsletter - instead allowing for tailored and targeted campaigns across multiple channels and touchpoints, and a better view of customers than previously able.

The Wondaris cloud platform allows you to link all of your business and marketing data sources so you can better understand what’s driving people to your brand and how you can ensure they stay loyal to you long-term. Connect with the Wondaris team today.

Want to try Wondaris? Get in touch.

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