6 April 2021

Why First-Party Data Should Be Your Top Priority

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest tech trends then you know that soon marketers will need to rely even more on their first-party customer data to glean insights for targeted advertising efforts. Incoming regulatory and privacy changes means brand need to act fast to get ahead of the cookie apocalypse.

The first-party data challenge

Before we explain the benefits of collecting your first-party data, let’s explore why it’s vital to do so.

In addition to the rapidly dying support of third-party cookies, walled gardens—like Google, Facebook, and Amazon—continue to keep their data private for advertisers yet are leading digital advertising. Privacy laws are going into effect, giving data control to consumers, which impacts a brand’s ability to engage unknown users with behaviour-ad targeting.

The final challenge is the desire for personalised communications and digital experiences. While consumers are concerned about data privacy, they also want product recommendations based on their previous search and purchase behaviour. That’s where the need to gather first-party data comes into play.

First-party data benefits

Information entered into your brand’s point-of-sale system, mobile app, online surveys, or website is known as first-party data. You can then view your data in CRM (customer relationship management), DMP (data management platform), and CDP (customer data platform) systems.

As for the benefits of collecting this valuable information, first-party-data gathering ensures brands follow consent standards, meaning consumers are legally providing their information to you for use in developing personalised experiences.

Collecting first-party data from multiple sources also allows brands to gain a comprehensive view of the customer for more precise targeting of their ideal audience group. You can also create lookalike audiences to attract new customers with similar interests and behaviours.

What data do you want to collect?

88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a 2021 priority (Merkle, 2021 Customer Engagement Report)

First-party data includes subscription and CRM data, audience engagement data from your website or mobile app, and any other data you collect directly from your customers. Much of this data includes names, email addresses, mailing/billing addresses, phone numbers, and purchase history.

You can also gather information on email preferences, customer goals or focuses, and abandoned cart information. The key is to collect the data directly from consumers in polls, feedback forms, quizzes, games or contests, registration forms, events, CRM or POS systems, or social channels.

How to collect first-party data

We’ve mentioned several opportunities to gather consumer data directly within your owned brand channels. You already have your customers’ purchase data, so why not add to it by creating an online survey to share via email and on your website?

Leveraging online forms, surveys, and quizzes, you can learn real-time information about your customers’ current interests and what they’re looking for right now. Using the information gathered, you can then fuel your lifecycle marketing, ensuring your marketing messages speak to your target audience and include content relevant to consumers.

Plugging data into an identity resolution solution

As first-party data becomes more valuable to brands, so do identity resolution solutions that help expand consumer data and provide access to consumer insights and behaviour.

Merkury with Salesforce Customer 360 Audiences is the gold standard for identity solutions as it provides brands with an expansive graph of addressable IDs—from cookie IDs and email IDs to physical addresses and publisher-direct-match IDs. Providing one of those IDs allows you to match it with other IDs tied together within the graph, which amplifies your ability to activate personalised marketing experiences across channels and media.

Identity resolution will continue to be a hot topic in the coming years, which is why first-party data gathering should be a priority for brands everywhere.

So what can you do?

See dentsu’s ‘A Marketer’s Playbook for The Cookie Apocalypse’ to see what changes you can make to get ahead of the changes and the loss of the cookies.