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law firms can own dataLaw firm marketers today are facing an interesting paradox. On the one hand, the advances in analytics mean that data-driven decision-making is easier than ever. On the other hand, consumers are becoming more savvy, prioritizing privacy and expressing concerns about how companies and publishers are collecting data through the use of 3rd party cookies.

Fortunately, the digital marketing ecosystem has made great strides without having to track, target, and remarket audiences using 3rd party cookies. Here are a few strategies for obtaining and measuring marketing performance data as the digital world moves to a cookieless existence.

Prioritize First Party Data Now

As of right now, we still have cookies. That means you can currently use privacy-compliant methods to gather data. Focus on building ID graphs and other in-house data repositories that your firm can maintain on its own. Look at areas such as demographic, behavioral, location-based, interest or response rate data so that you can better segment audiences. 

You might need some technical assistance to follow through on these methods, but we suggest: 

  • Increasing the amount of persistent IDs by encouraging site login leveraging improved authenticated experiences or other client-oriented incentives.
  • Centralizing client data and other owned first-party data (such as site data) into a holistic client view, and then establishing a consistent cross-channel client ID.
  • Collecting data across all organizations and platforms, enabling audience segmentation, targeting and measurement. You can integrate various marketing technologies and advertising channels wherever possible. 

Much of today’s mobile advertising is powered by specific mobile ad IDs. For now these tools are accurate and durable, but are likely the next privacy issue to be looked at as privacy regulations continue to expand. 

Partner With Publishers

Publishers have created unique value propositions by collecting data on their subscribers who go beyond the paywalls. They are now capitalizing on this value proposition as they see the writing on the wall when it comes to privacy.

Seek publishers who can generate rich, authenticated, and proprietary data. Be sure to evaluate the composition of their audience relative to your firm’s target audience. Remember that data is only valuable when it’s current – so be sure to account for changes in client preferences, audience size, etc.

In a post-cookie world, advertisers will make the most of these partnerships through audience-based buying strategies. Data co-op partnerships also present an opportunity for firms to take advantage of these direct relationships with publishers. Firms can work with publishers to develop powerful contextual targeting and tap into site-specific analytics tracking attributes and related campaign performance. 

Understand New Technologies

As firms try to move away from cookie reliance, you can expect improved technologies that will offer privacy-compliant, demographic-based IDs, which provide a persistent and mostly accurate view of a user.

Advertising technology companies such as LiveRamp or The Trade Desk are developing plans to share anonymized IDs through unified frameworks and co-ops. Many companies will end up coming together to share participant IDs, which will increase accuracy and match rates in the future. Still other technology companies provide and continue to evolve server-side data collection and distribution capabilities. You can expect technology to continue to evolve in this space, but it’s important to stay in front of the learning curve so that you can adopt these platforms early and put them to the best use. 

Takeaway

Ultimately, it’s a complex time for the online world when it comes to privacy regulations. In general, we can expect continued regulations and should prepare for less reliance on today’s data gathering methods, including 3rd party cookies. The strategies listed here provide great starts for gathering and owning your law firm’s data, but the most important thing you can do is to be aware of the changes across the digital landscape.

If you need help managing data to ensure your marketing efforts are successful, reach out to us. We help law firms apply data intelligence to their digital marketing plans, to generate their most effective content and outreach.

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