The Threadgill Agency | Benefits of making first-party data a priority in your marketing
Why first-party data, collected from your current customers and social media followers, should be a top priority for your marketing and retargeting campaigns.
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Benefits Of Making First-Party Data A Priority In Your Marketing

Benefits Of Making First-Party Data A Priority In Your Marketing

Make First-Party Data a Priority in Your Marketing


Collecting “first-party data” is something your business is probably already doing on a daily basis – such as social media interactions, newsletter subscribers, Google Analytics on your website, and customer feedback.

Your current customers and social media followers provide the deepest well of information for your marketing campaigns. Whether online or in store, the data you collect first hand is the most essential to serving your customers and finding new ones. Why? Because they’re already engaged by purchasing from you or displaying a strong intent to do so.

In this article, we will:

  • Define first-party data
  • Highlight the benefits of first-party data
  • Help you maximize first-party data

The good news is, you don’t need a bunch of new, fancy tools to start collecting first-party data; you simply need to utilize the data you’re already tracking in order to turn engaged leads into customers.


What is first-party data?

Hubspot defines first-party data this way: “Data that your company has collected directly from your audience – made up of customers, site visitors, and social media followers.” Stirista goes a step further to include in-person interactions, such as customer data from in-store credit card purchases, subscriptions, and store rewards programs.

This data is collected first-hand by your company, which provides valuable information for retargeting campaigns. This includes data from:

  • Interactions with your website or app
  • Purchasing a product in-store or online
  • Social media followers
  • Email subscribers, surveys, and customer feedback

By contrast, second-party data is collected by a trusted business partner that, in turn, shares data that is mutually beneficial. For example, a health food store and a fitness club could partner to share data and target customers. At times, it could involve purchasing data, but that’s risky because you could be paying for information that isn’t valuable for your customer base. Finally, third-party data is collected by an entity that doesn’t have a direct link to your customers. For example, independent researchers often collect data by wide-cast surveys, then sell it to you.


Benefits of first-party data

Your audience – already engaged and invested in your product or service – provides the most accurate data for forecasting future trends and purchases. The degree of intent is high. For example, if you send out an email newsletter and a subscriber opens it, skims it, clicks on the sale you’re promoting – you can collect data on what resonates with your customer even if they don’t make a purchase on that visit. You can fine-tune your messaging based on trends collected from this type of first-party data.

In addition to intent, another benefit includes creating trust between your brand and the customer. Since your business is collecting the data, you must handle their information with care – and web tools like cookies and steps to protect their privacy builds that relationship. As competition for online business increases, privacy is a high priority for online users. 

It’s helpful to explain to your audience why you’re collecting their data and how you’ll protect it. For example, “Thank you for your email address. We want to make sure you are the first to know about our special offers and never miss out! We will never send you spam or sell your information.”


Collecting and Maximizing First-Party Data

As mentioned above, your current online tools – like insights for your social media pages, Google Analytics, or a pixel on your website – collect data about the actions and behaviors of your audience. This data can feed into your CRM (customer relationship management) platform, where you can manage all customer information for sales, marketing, service, retention, and more.

From your first-party data, for example, you could segment your audience to see which ads work best with current followers. Or you could send out two emails with two different subject lines to segments of your audience and analyze which results in higher open rates or click-throughs. Utilizing first-party data for marketing and retargeting means you’re getting more specific in your messaging, not less.

“When you know your audience deeply, good things happen,” experts shared on The Marketing Remix podcast episode Owning Your Audience: Why First-Party Data Should be First on Your List – namely, building brand trust, turning leads into customers, and boosting your ROI. Making first-party data a priority is a wise investment, as you serve your people and create a loyal customer base who trusts your brand.