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How can you attract new customers without third-party data?

October 2021 3 min read

Another day, another virtual coffee call – but as I tucked into my cookie, the conversation literally turned to cookies and privacy.

This was led in part by stories about Facebook’s recent global outages, which would have stopped advertising for some. We then discussed Google’s proposed move away from third-party cookies in Chrome, and pondered the following question ‘what else can our clients do without third-party data to attract new customers?' Suddenly our 15-minute coffee catchup turned into a full hour.

Facebook on a mobile phone


While 3 may well be the magic number if you’re De La Soul, 1 may offer a solution for some. Every organisation is collecting first-party data, so why don’t they consider how this could be used more effectively? 

For this to work well, some common data challenges need to be resolved:

  • Firstly, is there internal trust that the data is accurate, up-to-date, and collected in line with GDPR?
  • Secondly, does the data have an owner who is responsible for its accuracy?
  • Thirdly, does the organisation have the right internal skills to interpret the data and make decisions based upon it?
  • And lastly, does data democratisation exist, or is data hoarded and stored in silos?


Once those areas are addressed, an organisation’s CRM system and other key sources of data can start to help you understand what customers look like, how to effectively promote content and products to them, and what channels to use. This can also help to build out personas to inform your segmentation.

The introduction of a free user account to access some content or part of a service is a great way to start a lead generation funnel. For this to be successful, you'll need to ensure you’re collecting enough data to be useful, but be careful to limit what you collect to ensure the sign-up process is quick!

Before you know it, you’re already developing your own groupings, much like Google’s proposed Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) which is set to replace third-party cookies for advertising. Part of your future strategy could also be to use personalisation and to build a more advanced recommendation engine based on what people like.

People sat around a table talking


Thinking back to the different channels your segments use will also help to inform content planning. The key is to take the theme and produce different campaigns for each of those channels to promote. Performance can then be assessed, and any lessons learned should then translate into other areas.

Harnessing the power of existing customers is also critical to boosting income sources, not just because it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to recruit, but also because they can influence their peers and help to promote your organisation.

Many organisations are either already running or currently developing their own online communities, and these are great places to locate your engaged customers and identify your advocates. With the vast majority of community members ingesting content without ever posting or leading the conversation in a network, you are missing a trick if this data isn’t being utilised in recruitment strategies. The key issues facing your customer base are also being discussed, and if the majority agree with the original poster, then you have a bank of thought leaders within the professional network. Considering how to get these people on board through a testimonial recruitment campaign could help. Some organisations, for example, The London Sock Company and Spoke, offer discounts to existing customer referrals.

Laptop being used


Some of the items we've touched on could also be used to help inform engagement scoring, predict future customer loyalty, and identify where to act in order to re-engage customers who may no longer wish to use your product.

Although my coffee was cold by the end of it, this is certainly a conversation we are continuing internally – we’re passionate about helping our clients to better harness the data they collect in order to power their businesses!

If you'd like more information or to discuss anything mentioned above, please don't hesitate to reach out or email us at [email protected] 

Written by Nick David Principal Consultant

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author unless explicitly stated. Unless of course, the article made you laugh, in which case, all credit should be directed towards our marketing department.