Turning to First-Party Data in the Era of Third-Party Data Bans

Data has always been the cornerstone of success for digital marketers. It’s the fuel that drives personalized experiences, targeted advertising and, ultimately, customer engagement. However, recent shifts in privacy regulations and the changing attitudes of tech giants have triggered a seismic change: the looming ban on third-party data. As marketers brace themselves for this new reality, first-party data emerges as a beacon of hope.


Unlike third-party data sourced from external providers, first-party data is proprietary, reliable and ethically obtained. It has the power to improve ad targeting, enhance personalization for maximum impact and, ultimately, optimize your ROI. Plus, by tracking consumer interactions across touchpoints, this data provides a holistic view of the customer journey, contributing to more accurate attribution modeling for marketers.


It’s impossible to overstate the importance of first-party data when privacy concerns are at an all-time high. Let’s look at the best practices for gathering, building and utilizing this data effectively.


  1. Harness the power of website analytics.
    Did you know that website analytics collection is considered first-party data? Tools like Google Analytics can be a valuable resource for identifying users’ behaviors, preferences and journeys through your owned web properties. This data will help you make informed decisions about enhancing content, functionality and user experience.


  1. Offer value in exchange for data.
    Make a request that is mutually beneficial to you and your consumer. Offer something useful like a white paper or free sample in exchange for information to complete a profile. Make it clear how consumers’ information will be used and assure them of data privacy and security. You can then leverage this data for segmentation to deliver marketing communication relevant to their needs.


  1. Optimize data collection touchpoints.
    Streamline your data collection processes across your website, mobile apps and social media channels with user-friendly forms and interactive elements. Doing so will encourage data submission without sacrificing user experience. Leverage login capabilities within your website or add a data capture form to your chat service to save user preferences like e-commerce payment methods or their preferred type of content. Saving these preferences benefits the consumer while helping your business by collecting profile information and behavioral data for personalization.


  1. Recruit customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
    Integrating first-party data into your CRM system will let you create comprehensive customer profiles. This will typically appear as a subscription/preference center, which allows the user to select things like delivery cadence, content preferences and even email subscription types. You’ll capture demographic, transaction and behavioral data while gaining deeper insights into consumer preferences and engagement patterns. Your email campaign performance will dramatically improve when you deliver the right content to your audience’s inboxes at the right time.


  1. Focus on data quality and accuracy.
    Quality is more important than quantity, so your primary focus should be customer experiences. Investing in data hygiene practices like deduplication, normalization and validation checks will ensure your data remains actionable and accurate.


  1. Use consent management tools.
    Adopt effective consent management platforms to ensure compliance with privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These tools will help you obtain explicit consent from users before you collect and process their personal information and will offer them transparent opt-in/opt-out capabilities.


By leveraging the power of first-party data, you’ll deliver more relevant and personalized experiences to your audience while respecting their privacy and earning their trust. Following these best practices for capturing and utilizing this data will help you stay ahead of the curve and unlock limitless growth possibilities.


Wondering where to start? Marriner can help you shape a successful first-party data strategy. Reach out to David Melnick at [email protected] or 410.336.1000.

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