Terragon Group

The Importance of First party Data

JULY 21, 2022

Traditionally, data is broadly divided into first-party and third-party data. Until now, third-party data, which has assumed an essential role in data analytics, is being challenged by the increasing reliability and use of first-party data strategies. First-party data differs from third-party data on the basis of consumer consent.  First-party data is the data a customer intentionally shares whereas third-party data is data collected from external sources and often without the customer’s knowledge or explicit consent. 

First-party data is data which is sourced directly from interactions with customers and audiences on owned media such as its website. First-party data examples include purchase history, website activity, email engagement, customer feedback programs and behaviours. For most businesses, first-party data examples include information gotten from lead forms, user action taken across its website, behaviour on its company’s social media profiles (e.g. comments, shares, etc.), email communications, ad clicks to its website as well as answers to customer surveys.

Why is first-party data becoming increasingly important for most businesses? 

  1. Customer Privacy Issues: The rise of customer privacy concerns in recent years has gradually led to the demise of third-party cookies as an online customer behavior tracking mechanism. The use of third-party cookies are intended to help a computer remember a user’s login details to enable easier and smarter access to websites on the internet. Third-party cookies can also be used to track a user’s digital footprint online, thereby constituting a threat to online privacy. As a result, there has recently been an outcry against the use of third-party cookies, with the implementation of regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act which are used to protect consumer privacy and ensure security. Technology companies such as Google have begun adapting to this change by phasing out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser which will make the acquisition of third-party data near impossible, thereby increasing the importance and relevance of first-party data.
  2. Accurate Business Intelligence: Another reason first-party data is important is that it is a rich source of business intelligence and analytics. It is more accurate, more easily controlled, and offers more personalization and campaign optimization possibilities to businesses. First-party data also reduces the possibility of errors such as data discrepancies occurring during the data gathering process. This is because first party data is gotten directly from a business’ online channels without the interference of third-party servers which gives a business an advantage over its competition as it can get further insight and enhance the overall user experience of its consumers. 
  3. Cost Effectiveness: The collection of first-party data is often cost-effective compared to collecting other types of data. Unlike second or third-party data, first-party data is less expensive to collate and is a more accurate and reliable data option since it is gathered directly from its customers. 
  4. Competitive Advantage: First-party data is also important because it gives more control over other types of data. This is because when you purchase second-party or third-party data, the same type of data is available to its competition, and the data firms determine what information is sent to you. By collating its first-party data, you can control the quality and accuracy of the information that comes its way.
  5. Customer Segmentation: Collecting first-party data is an easy way to segment its audience and divide them into specific groups based on demographics, geography, interests and digital footprint. Customer segmentation makes creating specific traditional and digital advertising campaigns easier for greater impact. Research shows that segmented campaigns are estimated to achieve 14.31% higher average performance than non-segmented campaigns. A well-segmented audience which is a by-product of first-party data strategies can be used to create effective B2B marketing campaigns for upselling and cross-selling. This is because knowing how its customers use its products or services gives you an exceptional advantage so that you can sell them higher-end versions of similar products or complementary products and services.
  6. Predictive Marketing: First-party data is also crucial for predictive marketing because this data type gives you a direct understanding of the customer and their likely buying patterns. In this way, businesses can use analytics and martech platforms to position their brand in front of consumers, having understood their prior buying patterns. Predictive analytics analyzes consumer activity and predicts what they are likely to do next. Based on this, you can surface content, products, and sales or specific deals to induce the desired outcome.

In conclusion, First-party data offers increasing opportunities to strengthen customer relationships on owned media channels. It can also help manage customer identities, build trust, and increase chances of personalization and bespoke connections. Research shows that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. This personalization will define multi-channel experiences driven by extending engagement touch-points for a better brand experience across the customer journey. First-party data also has the ability to ignite a one-to-one relationship with customers using immersive and contextual personalization experiences. Moreover, 72% of consumers during research said they expect the businesses they buy from to recognize them as unique individuals and know what their interests are. What better way to achieve this insight than with first-party data strategies?

Businesses in Africa can leverage first-party data for their marketing and product development strategies through Terragon’s vast array of martech products. One of these products is the Terragon CDP which 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 by the Terragon CDP which is uniquely equipped with over 108 million profiles to enable enrichment of First party data using strict data privacy compliance methods. As a result, 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).