Using first party data to add value and drive impact throughout the buyer’s journey

Using first party data to add value and drive impact throughout the buyer’s journey

Published: May 4, 2023 by David Fabbri
Categories: Data, Marketing automation, Media

With the impending phaseout of third-party cookies and increased attention to data privacy in the US, marketers need to rely more heavily on their first party data.

Good data can be leveraged at every stage of the customer journey. By taking a more thoughtful approach to data management, analysis and activation, marketers can ready themselves for the change and gain valuable insights that will enable them to personalize interactions and optimize campaigns to drive business and foster greater customer loyalty.


Understanding and assessing your first party data

First party data is information collected directly from your customers and prospects. This includes things like email addresses, purchase history and website behavior. Unlike second or third party data, which is bought from other sources, first party data is captured and managed by you—and is under your control.

The first step in elevating your first party data game is to understand what data your company is currently collecting. Typical sources of first party data available to marketers include:

  • Website or mobile app analytics – what people are looking at and doing on your website, and what actions they are taking if you have an app
  • CRM data – customer data, industry, company, job title, phone number, e-commerce, POS or other purchase history
  • Social media analytics – what people are sharing and reacting to on your social channels
  • Online surveys – what people are saying when you ask for their opinion
  • Customer service/feedback tools – insights on customer satisfaction and identifying areas for improvement
  • Email analytics – what topics are capturing attention, getting clicks and driving outcomes

Working with your company’s internal team or with help from an outside partner, audit what’s available and assess the general quality and accuracy of your data. In an upcoming post, we’ll discuss in greater detail the opportunity aggregate, clean and activate data in a CDP (customer data platform) to make it easier to maintain, segment and activate. Establishing a central source of data is a powerful way to combine fragmented data, clean it up, put it to use and track impact over time.


Ideas for activating first party data

Once you have established what data is available to you, there are a number of tactics you should consider for activation, including:

1) Segmentation

Audience segmentation is a powerful way to use first party data in modern marketing programs. Who are your best customers and prospects? How are they similar? By segmenting your audience based on demographic, firmographic (company characteristics) and behavioral data, you can deliver targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with each segment. Messages and content that are tightly aligned with the needs and interests of a specific part of your target audience can increase conversion rates and improve the overall effectiveness of your efforts.

2) Personalization

Taking segmentation one step further, personalization is another fruitful use of first party data. By collecting and applying customer data, you can create personalized experiences for individual customers. This can include personalized emails, product recommendations and even website content unique to each visitor. By delivering greater relevance, you build stronger relationships with your customers, increasing engagement and loyalty over time.

3) Lookalike audiences

Although losing third-party cookies will make it harder to identify target audiences, platforms with logins like Facebook and LinkedIn will continue to have robust demographic, firmographic, interest and behavioral data. Building profiles based on your best customers and prospects to use for targeting on these platforms will become even more important as access to third party targeting data decreases.

4) Retargeting

Retargeting is a powerful way to use first party data to reach customers who have shown interest in your brand. By using data from website visits or abandoned shopping carts, you can create targeted ads that remind customers of solutions or services they were interested in. This can help increase conversions and bring customers back to your site. Additionally, with the right permission, CRM data like phone numbers can be used to reach existing customers in new ways, such as through SMS campaigns.

5) Customer insights

First party data can provide valuable insights into your customers’ behavior and preferences. By analyzing this data, you can identify patterns and trends to help you optimize your marketing strategy. For example, you may discover that certain products are more popular with a specific demographic, or that particular channels are more effective for reaching certain segments of your audience.

6) Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is a type of data analysis that uses statistical algorithms and machine learning to identify patterns and trends in data and make predictions about future outcomes. This approach can be used in many ways, like identifying potential customers for particular product upgrades, flagging existing customers who are likely to churn, or identifying content most likely to drive engagement with particular audiences.


Maximize impact with information

In conclusion, first party data is a valuable asset for modern marketing programs. By using your data to personalize, segment, retarget, predict and gain insights into your customers, you can create more effective marketing campaigns that build trust and add value at every stage of the customer journey.

Whether you are establishing awareness at the top of the funnel, generating interest and driving sales deeper in the funnel, or keeping existing customers engaged and thinking about how you can help them with their next issue, understanding who they are and what they are interested in is essential. And by tracking, analyzing and applying your first party data, you gain a powerful path forward to energize your sales and marketing performance for growth.


Want to learn more about how to leverage your data for stronger marketing impact? Reach out to our team!