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Data-Driven Marketing: What is First-Party Data and Why Do You Need It?

The world of data continues to impose itself on us. Data is absolutely everywhere and even becomes a bargaining chip. First-party, Second-party or Third-party data become powerful marketing tools today. Still, we must be aware of the interest and uses of each in order to reap the full potential for optimized marketing campaigns. What type of data will benefit you the most and how to use it?

What are the different data?

To see more clearly in the potential of each existing data, nothing better than starting with clear definitions to understand how they relate to each other. In this article, we start with first-party data.

What is first-party data?

First party data is the simplest data to understand and harvest. It is collected directly by means of digital tools following the visits of the Internet users on your websites and/or applications, or directly on your points of sales.

These data are the essence of the behaviors, actions or interests that your target has generated by interacting on your sites. This can include social data, subscription data and CRM data. All this information is stored in a database and can also be supplemented by information collected offline, as is the case for surveys that have been completed in the store, checkout or even customer feedback to teams…

It is said that these data are declarative, either directly informed online or offline by the consumer or they can be behavioral with the use of cookies that identify the modes of navigation or the interests of a user who go from page to page on your site.

  • The first party data is very important for different reasons:
  • It is collected directly by you without intermediary on the sites and/or points of sale;
  • It is easy to harvest and manage in a database;
  • It remains much less expensive than the others, so more profitable for your marketing operations;
  • It is relatively unaffected by ethical and confidentiality issues because you know exactly where this data comes from.

Finally, last but not least, the first party data comes from users who have a real interest in the brand, because they are the ones who came directly to your home. It will, therefore, allow to precisely determining the target audience of future display campaigns.

Today, taking control of this data must be a priority for any company that wants to monetize and leverage this asset to expand valuable audiences and seek similar ones.  It is also important to strengthen its brand image and relationship with consumers and to improve systematically the return on investment (ROI) of all marketing campaigns.

How can marketers use first-party data wisely?

The first-party data is directly collected online and offline without intermediaries. It is a pixel copied directly to the site and/or the application that will allow to know very precisely all the interactions that users have with the digital interface. The pixel receives visitor activity data from your site and can come from a variety of sources, such as an integrated data management platform (DMP).

Indeed, if you have a DMP, you can use it to gather in one place the data you get from different sources. Once you have all the information in the system, you can manage, archive and analyze it for a global understanding of your customers.

Because of this direct harvest, the first-party data has a high added value. It comes directly from the user who has shown an interest in what is proposed to him. Because of the high quality of the first-party data, there are many options for marketers to use the first-party data.

1. Get audience information

Before you even try to decipher your target’s behaviors and somehow influence it, the first job will be to do an accurate analysis of your first data to understand who your natural audience is. It’s up to you, marketers, to research, classify and segment the common traits of each of the Internet users to know your personae perfectly.

Once this work is done, it will be easy to go looking for similar audiences by expanding your audience during marketing campaigns to reach new prospects that may be interested.

2. Predict future trends

Analyzing the behavior of users on the site can predict future behavior of the latter in the same place. Since data is collected directly without intermediary or interference, it is very easy to draw conclusions. Is your audience more sensitive to one type of advertising than another? Does traffic come from a particular traffic source? What are its intentions to purchase?

By analyzing very precisely what is happening on the digital interfaces, it can be relatively easy to anticipate the next actions of each segment of your target and to think about how to act upstream for them.

3. Customizing messages

As we have seen, the data collected makes it possible to better understand who your prospects are, what they do and what their interests are. In addition to knowing them well, you marketers will be able to talk to them better, adapt the content and the message so that they are relevant enough.

Let’s take a simple example to illustrate: You are implementing a marketing campaign that includes multiple videos on different topics that you want to share with potential customers as part of an inbound marketing strategy. By reviewing the content data your audience has viewed in the past, you can determine users’ interests and send them videos about science, sports, music, fashion, nature, health, or any other field they are interested in.

We will continue to talk about the second-party data in our next article.

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