As the digital economy evolves and expands into more domains, the Holy Grail of customer experience slowly transitions from “Customer is King” to “Customer Data is King.” Now, it’s all about intimately knowing the customer. Today the more data a business has about its target customers, the better will be the experiences it can deliver on all fronts.
This is why companies are rushing to define comprehensive strategies around creating as many sources as possible to extract as much data from their customer base as possible. That in place, they then look to leverage data-driven platforms to offer meaningful experiences that drive conversion, retention, loyalty, and advocacy.
The data that flows to a brand from their customers through any channel is essential. However, the data that is most capable of creating visible impact with faster ROI is first-party data, i.e., the data that businesses can access directly from their customers.
Why is first-party data different from other sources?
First-party data is collected directly from customers by a business by reaching out to them via surveys (digital and physical) or through forms on websites, mobile apps, or their social media accounts.
When a business acquires data inorganically from 3rd party sources, usually by paying a fee, there are chances that the data supplied may be questionable in part or even in full. In addition to the greater credibility of the information, first-party data provides the following benefits for businesses:
· Accurate Personalization of Services
· Better Campaigns and Targeting
· Higher Data Quality
· Faster ROI
While the benefits of first-party data are hard to ignore, there are boundaries to keep in mind. What you can and can’t do with first-party data is a grey area in the mind of several marketers. In essence, the real challenge is creating a safe and meaningful first-party data management ideology in the business. This is especially relevant for your digital advertising and branding efforts. This is essential to be able to extract the maximum possible value out of the first-party data.
Let us explore some best practices for brands when using their first-party data for advertising and marketing either on their own or via agencies:
Build a Strategy Roadmap
Getting first-party data that can solve your most challenging marketing and advertising problems requires a carefully planned approach from data collection to processing and deploying campaigns based on insights. This whole process requires a comprehensive and well-aligned strategy for the entire data cycle. Deliberations must ensure that all the facets of first-party data are identified, their relevance to customer pain points or interest areas mapped, and touchpoints aligned. This will maximize the potential value of the insights generated from first-party data. An important step in the roadmap preparation stage is splitting tasks that require greater effort into smaller components that take less time and effort to ensure incremental ROI.
Define Measurements and Metrics
It is vital to ensure that the correct behavior of customers is targeted, apt channels are properly utilized, and relevant campaigns are analyzed for performance. These decisions must drive the approach to gather and process first-party data and agreed upon between all stakeholders. To achieve success across all these areas, the right data sources and quality metrics need to be identified to measure progress at all times. Modern marketing and advertising platforms that can provide those measurements Only when proper metrics are defined and tracking mechanisms implemented will it be possible to transparently track success and determine the need for tweaks along the way.
Integrate for a Unified Data View
First-party data can be obtained directly by the brand. But today, nearly every sector has to deal with customers on both physical and online channels. When a brand wants to leverage first-party data for targeted ad campaigns or marketing efforts, they need to integrate various online and offline data sources to get an integrated view. Creating a singular identity for customers that draws on both their online and offline direct interactions becomes necessary. This unification in first-party data can help align marketing efforts based on a complete view of the customer. That will ensure actions driven by the first-party data are more consistent and accurate than when the data is distributed across siloes.
After preparing the roadmap, setting the metrics to be tracked, and consolidating data sources to leverage first-party data for maximum insights eventually, brands need to focus on continuously improving their offerings and promotional initiatives. This is where first-party data can play a critical enabling role by revealing insights for the brand to base evolution strategies on. They can benchmark learnings and ensure a continuous learning path that will refine first-party data over time to enable more accurate predictions and recommendations.When collated and analyzed in the proper manner, First-party data can serve as the richest source of data from which a brand can build customer-centric experiences across activities like sales, marketing, and advertising. This helps brands build engagements, services, products, marketing campaigns, and promotions that resonate well with their primary audience. However, first-party data must be coupled with intelligent solutions to realize their maximum potential during promotional campaigns. Only then would brands be able to pinpoint their advertising efforts for faster ROI. Get in touch with us to know more.