Five Trends to Watch in 2012: Part 5

Bryce MarshallIn the past several days, I’ve outlined my personal shortlist of trends I’m watching in 2012. So far they are:

Finally, the fifth trend to watch in 2012 is concept that encapsulates much of what I discussed in parts one through four – privacy.

#5 – First party and third party

The terms “first party” and “third party” denote something technical and legal in nature. At Knotice we are clearly advocates for a first-party approach in how brands create, access and use data, and how they identify and track consumers and customers. This bias permeates everything we do from a software and services standpoint:

  • Profile tracking is performed only on the brand’s domains
  • Profiles are identified and recognized by a first party cookie
  • Third party data sources are treated as circumspect, with a strategic preference for leveraging explicit data and preferences or implicit and behavioral activity in the first party
  • Extending choice and control to consumers across channels including email, mobile, web and online display

The fifth trend to watch in 2012 isn’t the digital marketing universe falling in line with Knotice’s philosophical and strategic position. Rather, the fifth trend to watch in 2012 is the emerging realization that the mechanics and philosophy of how good online business is done may be coalescing within a technical concept: first party vs. third party.

The mechanics and philosophy of doing business in the first party draws important distinctions and has meaningful impact on online business, which I have touched on in previous segments of this series.

Among them:

  • Providing a technical framework allowing for more reliable identification, recognition and tracking of profiles, leading to more effective targeting on the front end and more meaningful cross-channel metrics, analysis and attribution on the back end.
  • Minimizing reliance on third-party tracking mechanisms, behavioral data aggregation, and data sources which improves an organization’s ability to better embrace transparency with consumer data, privacy and preferences.
  • Creating an efficient, effective technical and operational framework for the holistic practice of cross-channel direct digital marketing and communications.
  • Consolidating and owning the responsibility for educating consumers, inspiring them to express preferences, capturing and respecting those preferences, and making this dialogue an easily-accessible across channel engagements, from the user’s mobile device to the call center.

If these are trends to watch in 2012, then clearly the shift to a first-party technical and philosophical approach is the encapsulating mega-trend for 2012.

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