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First party Customer data is the most valuable data businesses own and is the starting point for any form of customer engagement. Now more than ever, the need for businesses to own and manage first-party data could be the difference between staying in business or going under.
Customer behaviour is dynamic and ever-changing as well as the landscape within which they operate (for instance the impact of COVID-19). The first step towards understanding and responding to customer needs is through data – to prevent churn and increase lifetime value.

First-party data refers to information you collect directly from your customers or audience, from various touchpoints – CRM, actions or interests demonstrated across your websites or apps, customer feedback, completed customer surveys, forms etc. First-party data is usually consented and so privacy concerns surrounding it is minimal.

Over the years customer journey has become a multi-platform and multi-device, such that their footprint goes across various touchpoints including desktops, mobile phones, TVs, apps, watches and lots more – thereby creating the need for Advertisers to have a unified view of each customer. With the help of a number of tracking methods – including the use of third-party cookies, advertisers have been able to collect data and follow customer journeys and tailor ads to suit their preference and interests. However, with customers’ increased attention to data privacy, stricter regulations to enforce compliance and phasing out third-party cookies especially by Google Chrome which tracks over 60% of internet users, the ability to track customers and serve personalized Ads this same way is significantly threatened.

While a few solutions are being developed to solve this – the importance of First-Party Data remains a common consensus; giving rise to the importance and need for a software to aggregate and manage data in a privacy-compliant manner – a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

A CDP is designed to pull data from multiple sources and touchpoints and create a 360-degree view of each customer. This allows for personalised and contextual advertising. For instance, to market a specific brand of beer to male customers in the East during a premier league football match, as against a female in the North; or promote travel insurance to a Bank customer who just made a payment for a flight ticket.

This sort of segmentation and personalised marketing capability is made possible on the Terragon CDP. Uniquely equipped with over a 108 million profiles to enable enrichment of First party data using strict data privacy compliance methods, Advertisers are able to create audience buckets based on various criteria including demography, location, behaviour and interest; and target them via available multi-channel options – offline (mobile) and online (web).

The Terragon CDP utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) and well modelled Machine Learning (ML) to allow Advertisers create lookalike audiences that mirror their best customers, thereby expanding their reach (beyond their existing customers) and giving a higher chance of conversion. This enables a more “intelligent reach” and minimises the limitation of solely using first-party data for campaigns such as lead generation.

We had a little chat with our CEO, Elo Umeh, on the importance of first-party data management and changing face of online advertising.

How do you see Brands demonstrating the importance of first-party data?

Our Customer Data Platform (CDP) was used by a top global FMCG Brand in Nigeria to surpass their target of building a verified database of their customers with 1 million first-party data. Owing to the success of the previous target, the brand is currently in discussion with us to grow that database to 4 million this year. A number of Top Tier banks have also been using our CDP to enrich their first-party database for various levels of customer engagement including cross-selling and upselling their products and they have reported an improvement in returns on their Ad spend.”

What is unique about the Terragon CDP?

No one knows Africans like we do. We are the only Africa-founded Customer Data Platform (CDP) Company in the market today and the only Africa-founded CDP partner for the Facebook Conversions API. Our unique Telco integrations give us access to over 108 million consumer profiles, driving our enhanced market relevance and reach by offering seamless offline (mobile) and online (web) channel access and continuous data ingestion. With these very strong Unique Selling Propositions, some of the largest digital platforms from Google, Facebook, Telcos such as MTN, and several others have given a nod to our platform”

How will advertisers leverage First-party data to serve personalized and targeted ads without third-party cookies?

“Some of the seismic shifts happening within the digital world are being influenced by the phasing out of cookies. The software string called cookies has had a significant role to play in the growth of the digital advertising industry to a $300bn market. Cookies enable seamless attribution and measurement, which is at the core of digital. Without cookies, brands will be unable to retarget, segment, track and deliver personalized ads; and will have to rely on software platforms like the Terragon CDP to manage first-party data in facilitating the measurement and attribution process.”

Is there anything Terragon is doing to help brands navigate the cookie-less future?

“Our big, bold bet over the last two years has been focused on solving this problem. We have developed a Proprietary Customer Data Platform that offers any company that seeks to reach its customers online with a tool to improve and sustain their digital advertising investments. The Terragon Customer Data Platform offers a broad spectrum of features that is customized to the needs of businesses in emerging markets. The product and innovation process has kept in mind the unique usage patterns of mobile subscribers in developing and underdeveloped markets. For instance, digital is incomplete in Africa if native Telco channels – SMS and USSD are not considered as a communication channel, with the data points therein forming a key touchpoint of the customers.”

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