The landscape is rapidly changing for B2B marketers, especially for those focused on new customer acquisition. Historically, marketing organizations have relied on external tools and programs that are dependent on third-party data to market to existing customers, find lookalike prospects, and leverage intent and other data to build a marketing audience. 

Tools such as BlueKai, DataFox, and Meta use buying data and third-party cookies to build complex models that allow for hyper-targeted marketing programming.

Changing Landscape of Data Policies

Widespread legal changes began in 2018 when Europe enacted GDPR (a comprehensive set of regulations that allowed customers to choose if a site they were using could sell their data). California, the world’s 5th largest economy, followed with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act CPRA. It became clear that the ability for companies to buy third-party data was going away. However, smartphone apps had already grown in popularity over websites, which experienced the greatest impact. 

Individual platforms have started blocking third-party cookies, with Safari blocking third-party cookies in 2017 and Firefox joining in 2019. Google Chrome, though still the market leader, announced it will block third-party cookies in 2023, though they later extended the deadline for deprecation of third-party cookie support into 2024.

Additionally, in October 2021, Apple (56% of the U.S. smartphone market) gave users the choice of whether apps could track users. Overnight, Facebook estimated losing more than 30% accuracy on their targeting algorithms.

The standard KPI used by marketing organizations to track the effectiveness of their advertising investment is Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), which is estimated to drop more than 30%. To put it simply, companies will have to spend $1.30 in 2022 to get the same effectiveness as $1 of spending in 2021.  

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Digital Maturity Model Graphic
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First-Party Data Strategy

So how do B2B organizations combat this? They build a rich store of first-party data, surround it with the blanket of consent, and leverage that data to send targeted messages to prospects and existing customers. This data is found in:

  • Existing data in CRM systems
  • Opt-in marketing through email and SMS
  • Contact capture at point of sale
  • Data-capture focused advertising (e.g. driving to lead forms) 
First-Party Data Strategy graphic

Extracting, Managing, and Using Your First-Party Data. 

Your Quote to Cash (Q2C) cycle is likely the home for underutilized marketing data. The data your marketers need can typically be found in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ), Content Management System (CMS), or Commerce systems. 

How do you make the next step? You’ll want to create an integrated ecosystem that ensures your systems are working together to capture, build, and analyze first-party data. Data-driven customer analytics can unlock new business insights and provide strategic marketing direction. First-party data-focused marketing activities can ensure strong return on advertising spend (ROAS) and open opportunities for expanding your marketable list.  

Modern marketing tooling has enabled businesses to create more sophisticated brand experiences by allowing personalized, customized content at the places where their prospects and customers want to consume it. While the policy changes around third-party data are a challenge, they unlock new opportunities for businesses to have more future-proof, forward-facing marketing programs. 

About the Author

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Rohit Garewal


Rohit is a forward-thinking eCommerce evangelist, especially focused on re-energizing the B2B sector and merging the old disciplines with new technology opportunities. He is passionate about delivering profitable growth through people-driven digital transformation. Watch his talk on digital transformation.

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