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Harnessing the Power of First-Party Data in Digital Marketing

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12th January 2021 in

Global anxiety concerning data collection has presented significant challenges for marketers. The industry is undergoing an evolution to deliver personalised and meaningful experiences without compromising privacy. This shift has been headlined recently by the change in usage of third-party data to first-party data. This blog explores the key points outlined in Google’s recent playbook to guide marketers to successfully harness the power of first-party data.

What is first-party data?

First-party data is data collected by a business with user consent. This can be sourced from various online and offline touchpoints, including website interaction, customer relationship management (CRM) and store purchases. Information collected can include demographics, purchase history, name and contact information. First-party data can be collected in many scenarios including, email responses, e-commerce orders and customer loyalty accounts.

First-party data challenges

First-party data offers valuable insight for marketers to promote future growth and development, however, consumers hold power when it comes to what they share and with who. Marketers need to present clear and concise information regarding data collection when interacting with potential customers.

Benefits of working with first-party data

A study conducted by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2019 analysed the digital marketing maturity of over 180 leading brands in the Asia Pacific region.

Findings from this report identified several ways digitally mature brands successfully used first-party data.

  1. Provide quality online experiences

Harness first-party data to guide users through their journey to purchase with relevant information and assurance. Leveraging insights gathered from consumer behaviour can inform various potential customer journeys and the content and touchpoints that need to be addressed.

  1. Grow brand awareness

Building brand recognition has infinite value for businesses. In the case of first-party data, brands can target its loyal customer base with relevant messaging and generate awareness to ideal target markets.

  1. Funnel high-performing website traffic

First-party data provides a more in-depth understanding of key segments and journeys through their past online interactions. Identifying these different personas can inform the messaging, page styling and timing to encourage a favourable response, such as submitting a form.

  1. Valuable mobile experience

There is an expectation of added value when shopping on a brand’s website or app, such as simplified purchasing or discounts. Sharing first-party data provides users with a relevant, personalised and seamless mobile experience.

  1. Invest in local marketing opportunities

First-party data enables brands to design seamless customer journeys across a variety of offline and online touchpoints. Brands with physical locations can harness the power of first-party data to generate awareness to customers in the area to visit.

Data collection and user privacy

To effectively work with first-party data, it is important to build a network of trust with industry suppliers, advertisers and users. New regulations from governing bodies seek to provoke change in technology platforms, browsers and smart device operating systems. The phasing out of third-party cookies within the next two years will also make way for new innovative and privacy-considered solutions. Our recent article discusses the various privacy-considered strategies marketers can employ when working with consumer data.

A large majority of businesses regularly collect consumer data on a first-party basis. Marketers must ensure information is collected respectfully with explicit consent. By introducing new technologies and processes, marketers can use first-party data to inform change and meaningful user experiences.

To learn more about working with first-party data, read Google’s first-party playbook for marketing.

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