Let's face it, third-party cookies are not as reliant or safe as they use to be. And with the vast majority of consumers accessing channels from sources that don't support cookie tracking, like mobile devices, it's losing its appeal.

Last month Chrome announced that they would start phasing out third-party cookies within two years. Google's decision, inspired by the way digital advertising is bought and sold, was not the first of it's kind, nor was it the first this year. Privacy regulation has been a hot topic and is already in full swing with CCPA and GDPR. Additionally, other browsers, such as Apple's Safari, which has about 52% market share on mobile, have already implemented similar measures that allow their users to block tracking. So what does this mean for advertisers that depend on cookies?

While the writing has been on the wall for quite some time now, advertisers will now look to shift how they target audiences in a post-cookie world.

Enter the era of people-based marketing.

What is people-based marketing?

People-based marketing is a term that simultaneously sounds obvious and confusing. Endless searching on the internet will land you with multiple definitions. Still, one definition that all marketers can agree on is that it means you know who you're targeting wherever they are with relevant messages.

People-based marketing isn't groundbreaking after all marketing is all about people; the people that we want to attract, engage, convert, and delight through relevant messages on the right channels at the correct times. However, reaching real people is where the challenge lies.

The harsh truth is that marketing reaches most intended people some of the time, not all of the time. In fact, according to the White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers, fraudulent impressions can account for about 37% of an advertiser's total impressions.

Additionally, these fraudulent impressions skew performance metrics feeding digital advertisers vital information that can lead to optimization plans that cater to bots, not people.

To ensure that you reach actual people and avoid wasting precious ad dollars on bots, advertisers must shift to people-based targeting.

The shift to people-based targeting.

The web is evolving as consumers everywhere are demanding privacy, transparency, and choice over how their data is used.

With browsers' reactions to increasing privacy demands, the bedrocks that use to be the foundation for advertisers — cookies — will lose their effectiveness rendering the cookie obsolete. But this doesn't mean that your campaigns are doomed to suffer, it just means that you'll have to tap into new resources, resources that in the long run, will be more reliable.

Ecommerce marketers have something valuable at their disposal, something that, if used, will transform campaign performance and make better use of ad budgets — first-party data.

First-party data is information that you have collected directly from your audience. This type of data has historically been challenging to access, let alone use due to marketing silos, lack of know-how, and lack of tools.

Through the use of your first-party data, you can achieve people-based targeting as it allows you to track customers with unique identifiers that you have at your disposal like an email address. And because this is information that you have collected directly from your customers, you can rest assured that it's quality data, and the bonus is that you don't have to pay for it like second- or third-party data.

Moreover, today's consumer doesn't want to be followed around by irrelevant ads; they crave and respond to personalized content delivered at the right time on the right channels. People-based targeting allows eCommerce marketers to do just that.

The plan for people-based targeting.

Leveraging your first-party data, which includes customer data, product data, transaction data, and abandon cart data, is the way of the future.

To make people-based targeting a reality, eCommerce marketers first need to take control of their disparate data. By cleaning, unifying, and organizing various data points, marketers can get a clear view of their customer base. Furthermore, by focusing on the customer — not the channel — marketers can gain a better understanding of their customers' behaviors and interests and implement those findings into their campaigns.

And the best way to do that is with a paid media tool.

Syncing your customer data from your siloed business-critical apps to an intelligence, customer-focused platform will allow you to hone in on your customers' wants so that you can personalize campaigns. And once you unlock who your high-value customers are, you can target like a boss across all channels.

DataQ makes sense of your first-party data for safe, personalized targeting.

DataQ specializes in converting your first-party data — customer data, transaction data, product data, and abandon cart data — into objective-specific dashboards loaded with actionable intelligence. We take the chaos out of your data, make it digestible, and walk you through what you should do next.

We're the middleware that bridges the gaps that lie between your customers and your campaigns, making sense of your disparate data and aligning it with your business objectives — growth, value, and retention — to convert it into bonafide strategies.

With DataQ, eCommerce marketers can confidently deliver personalized ads safely and to the right audiences.

Are you ready to tap into your first-party data to target more confidently? If so, you might want to take advantage of our Free 14-day trial.