Third-party tracking cookies have been a useful and effective method to target your online market and being able to gain insights into your customers and their behaviours. But with the world of online privacy, this has begun to change, and there’s no stopping it. Apple took their first steps in 2021 with the introduction of new privacy rules when using iOS 14.5 and by 2023 most major browsers will have also implemented new privacy features.
So, the answer is fast becoming clear, first-party data will become the most valuable tool in your marketing tool kit. There are some incredible benefits to your business in utilising the first-party data that is available, and by bringing in a customer data platform (CDP) you can collect all this information in one central portal and use it to its full potential.
This data can then be used within your organisation by data driven marketeers, business development functions, sales departments and customer relationship managers, to more effectively attract, close and retain your best customers, whilst also being able to target new and more relevant audiences.
The primary function of CDP’s is to collect and aggregate the first-party data you acquire, and, in this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of ‘first-party’ data and its uses.
What is ‘First-party’ data?
First party data is the data that your business or organisation collects from your engaged customers and this data is derived from, your customers directly (during the process of doing business with you), visitors to your website, and social media interactions.
First-party data indicates that the data you have collected, has been done so by your business, and not data that has been collected by other sources. So, when it comes to retargeting your audience, first-party data is the best form of data to use, and this is because the data is sourced directly from those who interact most with you…your own audience.
The first-party data you hold is the most reliable & valuable data you can hold, which in turn means that it is possible to make more accurate predictions on where you can find new customers and personalise the journey with existing customers, as well as being able to forecast behavioural trends for future marketing activities.
First-party data can be gained from many sources, including:
Websites & apps
Subscription based emails or products
Polls & surveys
Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM)
Whilst the above are a few examples, the list is not exhaustive and there may be other unique data capture methods within your business that can feed your first-party data portal.
How do you collect first-party data?
First-party data is collected by adding a pixel to your website, product, or social media profile, this pixel then collects and sends information such as user behaviours & actions taken whilst interacting with your business – this information is then recorded within your CDP (or CRM – although this will have limited functionality for your overall needs).
So, whenever a user lands on or clicks through to your website, browses your product or service, engages with you on social media, or completes a call to action (CTA), the data is automatically collected by your business.
How can first party data be used for your business?
First-party data can be used in many situations, but a top line view would be to personalise the sales process with relevant information when retargeting customers or nurturing customers.
First-party data can also be used to develop your knowledge on how to target potential new customers. You will be able to learn more about what an ideal customer looks like, how to target them, and what message is most relevant to them – resulting in your business being able to demonstrate how your product or service could suit them, whilst appealing to their buying motives and having a more personal connection with their needs.
If you’ve ever looked at a product online, and then continued to see ads for the product or service follow you around online, that’s an example of first-party data retargeting at work, but don’t be fooled…we’re not just talking about sticking a Facebook pixel or Google remarketing tag on your website!
Start to engage with your marketing departments on the subject of first-party data and get working on your strategy now, and remember, this is just the start of your first-party data journey – so don’t panic, do it right from the start.