The impending end of the third-party cookie has remained a controversial topic since Google announced it would no longer support its use by late 2023.
But as privacy experts and members of the ad tech industry question the motives behind the change, many marketers are focusing squarely on solutions.
And with Google recently scrapping its initial third-party cookie “replacement” in favor of a new plan, seizing this shift as an opportunity to rethink the ways you’re already targeting customers is likely the best way to play it.
Our best advice? Solve addressability and identification issues in ways that will persist (i.e. remember users) even after cookies expire.
What is a Customer Data Platform?
A customer data platform (CDP) is more than a repository of customer information.
With a CDP in place, organizations collect behavioral data on how customers interact with their product or service across multiple touchpoints—from social media platforms to the company website.
By tracking behavioral data through authentication events like logins and email submissions, CDPs enable organizations to:
- Create a single view of a customer across every channel and/or device
- Segment customers and build audiences based on measurable behavior
Perhaps most importantly, a customer data platform allows organizations to personalize their marketing efforts based on these behaviors. With predictive analytics, a CDP can also guess what customers will do based on what they’ve already done.
What does a Customer Data Platform do?
To make the role of CDPs more concrete, let’s say your organization wanted to drive sales from previous customers.
With a customer data platform, your organization could:
- Collect behavioral data from anywhere customers might interact with the brand
- Consolidate each customer’s touchpoints into a single, unified profile
- Make customer profiles available in other relevant systems (ex: an ad platform)
As behavioral patterns emerge throughout this process, you might start sorting customers based on things like:
- Customers who abandoned their shopping cart
- Customers who always open marketing emails
- Customers who rarely (or never) open marketing emails
- Customers who follow your brand on social
- Customers who engage with your brand on social
- Customers who visited a specific landing page or showed purchase intent
- Customers who communicated with your brand via live chat or email
These are relatively broad segments, but as an organization improves its approach over time, other patterns gradually emerge—some of which will telegraph the conditions needed to earn customer loyalty.
It’s a viable way to learn more about existing customers and refine how you speak to them, but if the company wants to target new customers (as most businesses do), you’ll need more than a CDP to efficiently meet those goals.
How Wunderkind works with CDPs
While a customer data platform is great at making sense of the first-party data an organization feeds it, one thing it can’t do is access identities outside of your network.
To do that—and nurture those identities into customers—turning anonymous traffic into known, identified visitors isn’t an option, it’s an imperative.
That’s where Wunderkind comes in. Through the Wunderkind Identity Network, our platform identifies the anonymous traffic a customer data platform can’t.
And unlike CDPs where audience building and campaign activation require months to see results, Wunderkind’s identity technology works from day one and will immediately help scale your triggered email and text messaging programs.
How Wunderkind supercharges your CDP
By identifying traffic a CDP can’t determine, Wunderkind extends your marketing pool to include new customers and improve targeting and personalization at scale.
|CDPs enable brands to get a single view of the customer and are all about audience creation and segmentation.||Wunderkind’s Identity Network allows brands to identify website traffic at scale, regardless of authentication events.|
|Create audience segments for personalized messaging and/or follow-ups to build loyalty with existing customers.||Wunderkind is an end-to-end, white-glove service focused on driving revenue at scale through triggered email and text messaging to newly identified traffic.|
Both platforms enable brands to deliver more meaningful interactions, but with a customer data platform, you’re limited to customers you’ve already identified.
With a customer data platform plus Wunderkind, you can also deliver meaningful one-to-one experiences to those you haven’t identified.
Real-world example #1: Refinery29
As a digital-first publication, growing its email lists and increasing subscriber engagement rank high on the priority list for Refinery29.
But how do you effectively capture emails when so many visitors come and go—with no guarantee they’ll return any time soon?
For the folks at Refinery29, partnering with Wunderkind enabled them to identify anonymous visitors and collect significantly more emails (among other things).
“Wunderkind helps us target users that might otherwise be transient. Someone coming from search and social by clicking on a trending article might not plan on returning, but since we can target them at the right time with the right messaging, we can get them to become a return visitor through the newsletter.”
— Stacey Harrington, Audience Development Manager at Refinery29
With Wunderkind, Refinery29 segments users to craft more personalized email capture techniques that turn fleeting traffic into loyal readers.
Real-world example #2: rag & bone
As a luxury clothing brand that traditionally focused on wholesale, rag & bone needed a strategic approach to connecting with customers amid the rise of direct-to-consumer brands.
“You’re competing with these DTC, digital-first companies who are inherently born with different ways of working, and frankly, often have cheaper products. In luxury, acquiring customers and dealing with the conversion rates that come at such a high-price-point business is very different.” — Aaron Detrick, VP of Digital at rag & bone
To compete effectively in the DTC market, rag & bone turned to Wunderkind to better identify, understand, and directly remarket to onsite shoppers. With Wunderkind’s Identity Network, rag & bone de-anonymized 35% of its site traffic, growing its identification rate by 400%.
“Wunderkind’s key benefit is identification. With Wunderkind, we can remarket to shoppers in a relevant, personal, and timely way. Our volume of connections with our shoppers has gone way up because of the identification that Wunderkind brings to our online business.” — Aaron Detrick, VP of Digital at rag & bone
Acting on intent
With so many unknowns surrounding the future without cookies, leveraging first-party data has never been more important.
When paired with Wunderkind, a customer data platform can help your organization turn anonymous traffic into known visitors to personalize the customer journey.
Add relevant messaging and thoughtful experiences based on key behaviors that show intent and you’ll be well-positioned to advance customers through the funnel, both old and new.