Author: Rachel Serpa

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Three’s a crowd: how first-party data builds customer relationships

Three’s a crowd, and I’m not referring to failed 80s sitcoms. I’m talking about customer relationships.

Yet according to a study by the UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, 85% of the top 1,000 websites have cookies set by a third party.

Propelled by widespread anonymity in the early days of the Internet, third-party cookies have undoubtedly become a staple for many marketers, tracking consumer behaviors across the web with the promise of uncovering invaluable insights.

Not only is this an invasion of consumer privacy (more on that later), but it also prevents businesses from truly knowing and understanding their customers.

First-party data, transparently collected via voluntary user registration, on-site activities and interactions, removes data brokers as middlemen, establishing direct brand and consumer connections and fostering 1:1 relationships.

Let’s take a look at three ways that third-party cookies are hurting your customer relationships, and how first-party data can be collected and used to improve audience understanding and user experiences.

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Privacy and personalization: a marketer's Catch-22

Coined in Joseph Heller’s classic satirical novel of the same name, 'Catch-22' is a term that refers to a situation in which a person is trapped by completely contradictory goals or circumstances.

In Heller’s book, the only way for a pilot to escape his WWII flying mission is to request psychiatric evaluation due to mental instability, and be deemed insane.

However, awareness of his own insanity is considered proof of a rational mind, thus making it impossible to escape his mission, a total and complete Catch-22.

No doubt, many marketers are feeling stuck in this sort of paradoxical situation when it comes to the competing goals of consumer privacy and personalization.

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Repaving the customer journey: preparing for the future of multichannel

Mobile, social and the Internet of Things are transforming the trajectory of the customer journey.

The straight shot from discovery to checkout no longer exists. Instead, it has been replaced by a zigzagging, interwoven path of touchpoints, screens and interactions. 

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Three reasons why customers abandon your site and how to make them stay

In the classic late 80s film “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner is inspired to turn his cornfield into a baseball field after hearing a mysterious voice whisper the famous line, “If you build it, he will come.”

Indeed, the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson soon shows up, followed closely by the Chicago Black Sox and half of the town.

Unfortunately, many marketers believe that if they only build an 'awesome' website, the customers will start pouring in. But what happens when visitors show up and, instead of playing ball and inviting all their friends, turn right around and leave? 

Building a 'site of dreams' requires a whole lot more than a pretty hero image and scrollspy navigation. To truly capture and engage today’s consumers, brands must focus on creating an immersive, interactive user experience that spans channels and devices.

Here are three UX pitfalls causing your customers to abandon your site, and how to make them stay.

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Will you survive the logged-in user revolution?

If you don’t think identity plays a significant role in user experience, think again.

Case in point: I was recently browsing my favorite footwear site on my smartphone for the perfect pair of shoes, but when I returned to purchase my pair of choice via desktop, I had to spend upwards of 10 minutes trying to find it again.

How much better would my experience have been if I had instead been greeted with a personalized product showcase featuring my 'most recently browsed' items?  

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