Have you ever wondered if the data you have about your customers is trustworthy? Do you ever doubt how close or relevant the data you have is to your current campaign? In a world where marketers are always at loggerheads to capture a larger share of the audience, using the right data can make a world of difference: data that is accurate, reliable, and consistent can help in precise targeting and retargeting as well as create personalized experiences.
Of course, in the online world, marketers have long relied on third-party data in the form of cookies. But as it happens, Google is in the process of very publicly pulling the rug out from under the feet of strategies built on that foundation.
For these reasons, while first-party data has always been a rich source of audience-related information, but it has suddenly become essential for brands.
First-party data and its significance
As the quality and reliability of data take precedence over everything else, first-party data allows companies to capture useful information directly from their customers – firsthand.
Consisting of data from existing (or prospective) customers, website visitors, social media followers, and more, first-party data enables marketers to access rich and relevant datasets and use them to carry out precise targeting and retargeting. Here are some benefits:
- Collected directly from the source
- More relevant, reliable, and accurate
- Saves time, money, and effort
- Relatively easy to collect and manage
- Enables quicker and better insights into audience needs
- Accelerates certainty-driven time-to-market
The sudden surge in popularity
First-party data from CRM systems, customer surveys, social media profiles, subscription emails, customer feedback, and more can open the doors to various audience-related insights. These insights include demography details, audience interactions, purchase history, current interests, time spent on the website, and more.
Although first-party data has long been helping marketers in boosting sales, it has suddenly become super important for brands due to 3 main reasons:
- The shift to online: The pandemic has altered consumer behavior like never before. As physical stores close shop and as consumers move away from offline modes of purchasing to online modes, the significance of first-party data has grown manifold. Consumers across the world today are increasingly shopping for products online – without being held back by the opportunity to touch, feel, or try products. This has made it extremely critical for companies to unearth as much data about customers as they can to deliver products and services that are top-notch and meet their needs most efficiently.
- The growing privacy concerns: In a data-obsessed world, GDPR and other data-related regulations are constantly evolving. As newer and stricter privacy regulations emerge, marketers are looking to collect data directly at its source and be accountable and responsible for the data they use to drive sales and build relationships. This is also the stated motivation behind Google’s disavowal of cookies. First-party data allows companies to know where the data comes from exactly. So, they are in a better position to comply with privacy and security requirements confidently. First-party data helps brands understand and connect with consumers more efficiently, ensuring accuracy, quality, and relevance of data while meeting the privacy and data protection needs with far greater ease.
- Intensifying competition: The industry is highly competitive, with several established and new companies constantly looking to stand apart from the pack. Using accurate and qualitative first-party data empowers brands with the precise insights they need into their audience, allowing them to leverage it to drive effective targeting. Brands get to collect the right demographic, geographic, cultural data along with other nuggets of knowledge. They get insights into crucial parameters like what device customers use, how much time they spend online, the brands they interact with, etc. This information is available to them quickly and easily. That can help a great deal in delivering personalized and timely services, display relevant ads, and win over the competition.
Earn the trust of customers
When it comes to precise targeting and retargeting, first-party data is a treasure trove of information because it is collected from people who matter most – your target audience. Whether a prospective customer lands on your website, looks at your products, engages with your customer service team, or participates in a survey – you can collect all this data and use it to make predictions and forecast behavioral trends.