Consumer privacy concerns are on the rise.
Businesses are looking for alternatives to third-party cookies that can help them understand their customers while honoring customer privacy.
First-party data is a solid alternative for businesses.
Understanding first-party data can improve customer relationships, increase revenue, and reduce cost.
How has data collection changed?
When third-party cookies took a dramatic shift, consumers and companies alike began to think a little harder about data collection and usage across the web. And as more businesses became digitally enabled thanks to an innovation-inspiring crisis, our concerns about privacy, targeting, and data ethics increased in proportion with the time we spent online.
So, what is the norm now? For consumers, their cyber time is up and so is their guard. How can small business owners get to know our customers and create campaigns that work when we can’t access third-party data?
First-party data seems to be the prevailing answer for everyone involved.
What is First-Party Data?
According to Signal, first-party data is information that comes directly from your customers. This comes in stark contrast to a previous reliance on third-party data, which doesn’t come from your relationship with a customer, but rather from an outside data collector.
As a marketer, you may be shaking your fist and cursing the cultural shift in data collection. After all, best practices in digital ad strategy and campaign targeting used to rely on the use of third-party data to build audiences when you’re first getting started as a business and building your list.
For consumers, however, they are happy to see their privacy concerns being addressed. Who wants to put their email address into a form on one company’s site, only to get messages that are irrelevant to them from six other companies? Nobody.
The good news is, there are benefits to building up a first-party data strategy. Chief among the benefits? Keeping your customers happy. Also topping the list of pros in favor of first-party data: increased cost savings and impressive revenue lift. It pays to give the people what they want!
Ways to Collect and Use First-Party Data
First-party data is easier to collect than you think, and you almost certainly already have quite a bit of it if you know where to look. Here are a few places to start and why they matter:
- Purchase Histories – Taking a look at what people have bought in the past can tell you the products your customers are interested in the most. By segmenting customers based on their purchase histories, you can promote sales and hype new product or service launches to the people most likely to engage, pursue, and purchase those offerings.
- Website Behavior – With every click on your site, visitors are telling you valuable information about their intentions and interests. Use details from heatmaps and analytics to improve the user experience, clear the path to conversion, and incorporate more capture opportunities. Are people spending a lot of time on a certain page? Add products or a newsletter sign-up form!
- Form Submissions – Speaking of forms, we always preach how important they are to website marketing and talk up all the data they can give you, but they are the perfect example of how easy it is to incorporate a first-party data strategy into your marketing. Forms can come in many… well, forms. From newsletter signups, contact forms, quick surveys, coupon code requests, and more, you have plenty of opportunities to ask your customers to share a bit about themselves for use in future marketing.
Whether you already have systems integrated into your business that let you collect and review this data, or you’re looking for ways to develop customer-centric marketing campaigns, first-party data is a must. If you have it, why not use it?!
Up Your Instagram Game & Improve UX While You’re at It!
According to Think with Google, 9 out of 10 marketers agree that first-party data is important, yet less than a third have sorted out how to access and integrate data across channels. Use what you have and find new ways to get more from your data! Try on-demand classes that teach you the basics of setting up stronger data collection points and deriving insights from the data you collect. Or work 1-on-1 with a mentor who can give you hands-on help with your analytics.