Data is the cornerstone of marketing initiatives; it drives your marketing campaigns and strategies. Online data is often collected through third-party cookies, allowing marketers to bring in a wide range of data from different sources to be stored and analyzed.
Due to increased concerns about privacy and security online, many web browsers have blocked the ability for third-party cookies to track and provide the required data that marketers need to work effectively. It’s estimated that close to 90% of browser data can’t be tracked as of 2022.
Most marketers now believe that first-party data will be the foundation of all marketing initiatives in 2022 and beyond.
What is first-party data and why is it crucial in 2022?
First-party data is the information that a company collects, stores, and owns on its customers through online interactions, customer purchases, profiles or forms, and even in-store experiences and data collection.
With the loss of online third-party data from most browsers and potentially increasing, the data currently available in marketing databases will quickly become obsolete, and marketing initiatives will become ineffective without new ways of collecting fresh data.
First-party data will be a requirement to continue effective marketing initiatives that target the right products and services at the right people. If you’re bombarding people with everything and anything, they will quickly become tired of your business and move on.
If you can find new ways to gather data through sources that you already own, then it allows you to continue providing targeted advertising to your customer base, which means better sales for your business.
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How to collect first-party data from your audience?
First-party data can be collected from various sources, so with first-party data becoming a crucial component of marketing initiatives, it’s essential to understand where you can start collecting the data.
- A company’s website can provide a massive amount of data, including things like name, email address, location, and transaction history. In addition, how somebody interacts with a website can also be tracked, such as if they hover over or spend a lot of time reviewing certain pages or products.
- Mobile web, which can often be more common for many users, can collect similar information, but there are additional restrictions, so finding ways to get users to log in and then browse can be very beneficial to collect data.
- Mobile apps can track absolutely everything about a user, as long as you have implemented data collection in your app and have thought of what actions require data collection. You may need to implement incentives to use your mobile apps, such as discounts, points, or coupons.
- Email can be tracked for things like open rates, click rates, and bouncebacks and be stored to track interest in different campaigns so that you know which are effective for specific users and target more of the same to them in the future.
- SMS can be helpful in tracking if users engage with promotions or even unsubscribe after campaigns. However, it still allows you to see what is effective and what types of users want what types of products and services.
- In-store experiences can be helpful to track and store in your database; things like purchase history are extremely helpful to see which products or services are doing well with which audiences. They also let you see a broader effect on locations and products – for example, there could be limited sales of a particular product in some areas, but it’s a hot seller in other places. So it’s all good information to be stored for specific users and locations.
- Call centers are another source of valuable information; you can see which customers are having issues or requiring additional help and which products are performing poorly or not being accepted by certain customer bases.
By collecting and analyzing customer information through the different interaction methods, you can build a broader understanding of what works and how consumers use or engage with your marketing campaigns.
Consider that if you email a customer and never see an open or click on the link, but your website tracking sees that the customer has logged in and reviewed the product. It means they’ve seen and are blocking specific initiatives or have used their mobile device to access your site. By correlating these data sources, you can see if the marketing initiative was effective on them, so it takes a combined view of all channels to get the complete picture.
How to build a sustainable first-party data strategy?
First-party data can be used for marketing towards customers, personalizing their experience with you, or even the types of products, coupons, or promotions you target at them. But it’s challenging to move from third-party data collected from various sources to data that you must collect yourself from your customers.
Define your goals
First, figure out what your goals or objectives are when using first-party data and then decide what data is actually required to meet those goals.
Is the goal to provide an overall great omnichannel experience that keeps customers coming back? Or is it to create highly personalized marketing campaigns to better target individuals?
If you don’t understand your ultimate goal, it’s challenging to know what data is required and what is just helpful to have for another day.
Offer value for consent
One of the biggest challenges in first-party data is getting consent from customers to collect it in the first place. You may want customer data, but in general, most customers don’t want to hand over personal data to you so you can market towards them.
Consider offering something of value so that customers will consent and give you their data.
You can offer points or coupons if they sign up for loyalty programs to help track purchases, provide their email address to track purchases and send marketing emails and take advantage of whatever you’re offering in exchange for some personal data.
Keep evaluating the effectiveness of data
It’s essential to review what data you’re collecting to ensure you’re using it effectively or need it at all, and whether there is any data you believe would be beneficial that you’re currently not collecting.
Also, make sure that the methods you’re using to collect the data bring in results. Are there specific marketing initiatives that just fell flat unexpectedly? You should review the data sources and how that data was actioned to improve the process constantly.
Invest in technology
Technology is key in collecting, analyzing, and effectively using the data. You may be doing a fantastic job with collecting the data you think you want, but not be using it as effectively as you could be.
Make sure you understand what data can be collected from which channels, as there could be data you’re leaving on the table by simply not knowing it’s possible. For example, did you know your interaction with a website can be tracked, including where you’re spending time looking and not just which pages you click on?
You should also invest in technology to analyze the data; it should not be left to manual review or basic calculations. A huge range of cost-effective marketing data analysis tools is available online to help you review your data and find effective ways of using it.
We can help you set up a first-party data strategy
Are you looking to update your data collection methods and develop a future proof strategy? Get in touch with our team to get a personalized diagnosis.