As third-party cookies crumble, CPGs look to smarter clean rooms

With third-party identifiers all but gone, CPG marketers are starting to get anxious.

Safari, Edge and Firefox have all gotten rid of third-party cookies, and Chrome is slated to drop the identifiers all together starting in 2024. The problem? For many marketers—especially those with CPG brands—these identifiers are the bread and butter of their digital strategies. In fact, according to an Epsilon survey, 85% of CPG marketers say they’re either very or moderately reliant on third-party cookies.

First-party data is emerging as the strongest solution. In the Epsilon survey, 89% of CPG marketers reported they were focused on developing their first-party data strategy, the highest of all other industries surveyed.

And it’s clear to see why: First-party data strategies offer marketers the chance to activate high-value audiences with personalized marketing that can be more accurately measured for success. But as many CPG marketers know, collecting and organizing actionable first-party data is not always so easy.

Many are turning to solutions that bolster their first-party data. Gathering data is a great first step, but to maximize its value, marketers need a platform to enhance that data and connect it to campaigns, as well as a team technical and strategic experts to bring it to life.

One solution is the use of clean rooms: Privacy-forward technology that allow brands to align their first-party data with their partners’ datasets. But not all clean rooms are created equal. Many are empty shells that brands need to populate with data and require technical expertise for most analysts to use properly.

The quest for data

CPG brands face a unique issue when it comes to data collection. The most glaring is that most CPG products are sold in retail stores, so CPGs can’t identify the individual customer who bought their product. The data they do have is often fragmented—especially for enterprise CPGs with a large portfolio of brands— and supplemented with a collection of second- and third-party data from a variety of sources.

Many CPG brands have captured their own data through a variety of measures, including gamification plays, sweepstakes, loyalty programs and more, and often turn to data partners like Epsilon to augment those profiles for a more complete customer view. But having the data isn’t nearly enough. Collecting data is a good first step—to maximize it, brands need top-tier tech, analytics and activation, plus a way to close the loop at scale.

Building a smarter clean room

At Epsilon, we believe in a smarter clean room. We’ve partnered with IRI to offer CPG marketers a clean room that includes IRI’s transactional data—the world’s largest and most granular CPG transactional data set—enabling CPG marketers to create their own closed-loop data ecosystems for insights, audience development, activation and measurement.

How does it work? Brands align their first-party data to Epsilon’s CORE ID’s, including IRI’s transactional data and Epsilon’s demographic, economic, behavioral and interest-based attributes. That means a complete understanding of their consumers as individuals, allowing brands to infuse insights into media planning and consumer experiences.

Person-level transactions also unlock the ability to identify and reach growth audiences, so brands can focus ad dollars on their highest-value prospect audiences to improve media efficiency and performance.

These strategies help CPG marketers capture what once was considered a white whale: omnichannel personalization at scale. With a complete view of consumers, marketers will know when every person buys each brand and UPC in their portfolio, then analyze contextual signals to gain insights into why they bought. Those insights help marketers recognize intent in the broader universe of both customers and prospects and deliver personalized messages for the right brand at the right moment on the channel where a consumer is most likely to act.

Finally, by using 100% deterministic IDs that are tracked over time, we maintain persistent connections to each CORE ID – closing the loop with transparent and unmodeled cross-channel measurement.

The Epsilon & IRI difference

Choosing a clean room solution is a big decision with long-term strategic value, and brands should feel confident that their partners will help drive business growth for years. Our software with services model means you’ll have our dedicated team of experts -including audience specialists and data scientists- available to ensure success. And Epsilon’s CORE ID is future-proofed, so you’re ready no matter where the industry goes next.

Our software with service model means you’ll have our dedicated team of experts--including audience specialists and data scientists- available to ensure success

Our 250M+ CORE IDs connect each person’s online and offline identity and are not reliant on third-party cookies, so they aren’t prone to the duplication and inaccuracies found in other solutions built on cookies or email addresses. The strength of CORE ID is just one of the many reasons Epsilon was named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Data Strategy & Activation Services, Q2 2022.

IRI’s transactional data set includes more retailers than other data provider in the industry – the world’s largest CPG data set and the most granular data representation in the marketplace. With a 95% match rate between IRI’s transaction data and Epsilon’s CORE ID, marketers can understand and reach more of their best customers efficiently.

The combination of our best-in-class tech, data, and services generates huge returns for CPG brands looking to drive growth and customer lifetime value using first-party data.

Let us prove to you that we can maximize the value of your first party data – better understanding your most valuable customers so you can find more prospects just like them. Contact us to schedule a requirements assessment to discuss where you’re at, where you’re headed, and the possibilities that could be unlocked with a smarter clean room.