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First Party Data: What Is It, Why Does It Matter, and How Do I Use It to Grow My Business?

This blog was originally published by Jebbit.

First party data is the most valuable data a modern day marketer can get their hands on. And quite honestly, the easiest. Having this form of data puts you one step ahead of the competition. 

This is due to first party data being a type of consumer data that is willingly and explicitly volunteered by consumers. Your users are handing over this information to you, with consent.

Here’s why that matters.

Digital marketing—data-driven marketing—rests on a foundation of (you guessed it) unprecedented amounts of data. When every digital interaction leaves behind a trail of information, businesses have happily sucked up as much consumer data as they can, creating vast data lakes in the hopes of turning that data into granular insights that power highly relevant and differentiated brand experiences.

For marketers struggling to make heads or tails of their data, the answer isn’t more data—it’s uncovering the right data. First party data can be the difference between meaningful consumer insights and messy assumptions.

So, let’s back up and define it. 

What Is First Party Data?

First Party Data, also known as 1P Data, is any information collected straight from your audience. Being as this data is what you collect, it is one of the most reliable and inexpensive options to efficiently gather customers information.

This type of data is generated by a direct interaction between the consumer and the brand rather than purchased from or accessed through a third party. First party data is knowingly and explicitly volunteered by a consumer.

First party data can validate demographic or identifying data (a consumer’s age, gender, location, etc.) that marketers may have access to from other sources, but it can also capture “soft” attributes, like intentions, motivations, interests, preferences, or aspirations—things that, without explicitly asking the consumer about them, marketers can otherwise only make informed guesses about.

Discover The Power of First Party Data

Marketers know that collecting first-party data is the highest return on investment of any data type out there.

However, many marketers lack the right technologies and data strategies to leverage its full potential, therefore turn to third-party resources to fill in the gaps. While data from third-party sources can enhance acquisition strategies, it can’t describe a customer’s relationship with a brand and their path to purchase.

Plus, there’s nothing unique to third-party data. It can easily be sold to a competitor. Then there are the inherent issues to working with third-party data such as quality, accuracy and recency, along with an expense.

The power of first party data is that it’s collected by the brand, for the brand. It’s high quality, accurate and timely data that can be leveraged to create a competitive advantage.

First party data also gives marketers an opportunity to establish a direct relationship with their customers, rather than working through a third party.

In this age of consumer empowerment, understanding and responding to customer wants, needs and intent with 1:1 contextual relevance is key to creating the type of personalized and highly targeted experiences that drive brand loyalty and retention. Using data that details every customer interaction with your brand is the best way to achieve this.

It’s free and it’s yours.

How First-Party Data Is Collected

Now that we know what first party data is and why it’s important, let’s look at how to get our hands on it.

There are numerous ways to collect first party data, but the most common method is through digital interactions, like website visits, app usage, or e-commerce transactions. Other interactions, like customer surveys, focus groups, or even in-person interactions can also generate first party data.

Digital interactions leave behind a wealth of information that can be collected and used to build consumer profiles. This data can be used to segment consumers, understand consumer behavior, and create targeted marketing campaigns.

Collecting first party data can be done through these interactive experiences:

In addition to collecting data from digital interactions, businesses can also collect first party data through loyalty programs, customer service interactions, and even social media interactions

Assumption-Free Marketing Starts with First Party Data

When it comes to consumer data, if you didn’t ask the consumer for it, it’s just a guess.

Inferences about prospects and customers have their usefulness, but they also come with hidden costs that marketers don’t need to accept as the cost of doing business. Bad targeting isn’t only a missed opportunity, but a risk of customer annoyance, unsubscribes, lost business, and loss of trust.

First party data provides the context that behavioral and transactional data are missing. It allows you to only show consumers the messaging, products, and offers that are directly relevant to them—because they’ve told you so.

The Advantages of Collecting First Party Data

When a company collects first party data, they immediately obtain several benefits. The accuracy and data quality skyrockets, considering the information is being collected directly from your audience. It is an inexpensive way to uncover consumers’ preferences. First party data allows you to feel confident in your prediction about your customers’ purchase behavior and customer journey.

For example, if you notice a consumer browsing your site for a new mattress and went ahead to add one to their cart, you can make an educated guess that they are looking to buy a new mattress in the near future. With this knowledge, you can now create personalized advertisements which will most likely lead the consumer to complete their purchase.

Another advantage is that trust and relationships are strengthened. After all, the consumer is supplying you with this information and giving you access to their preferences, this is an exchange of trust from the consumer.

Collecting this data is about strengthening the relationship and the trust level between the company and the consumer to drive business, and to lead the consumer to a better purchase.

Let’s Look at the Stats:

  • 90% of marketers are actively responding to data deprecation by capturing first party data within a year.
  • 85% of marketers believe that first party data is critical to creating effective personalized experiences.
  • 97% of marketers agree the personalized digital experience is a cornerstone of marketing programs
  • Jebbit is the #1 most trusted software to collect first party data at scale

How can marketers access first party data, and what can they do with it? Learn how brands across retail, travel, CPG, finance, entertainment, and more can collect and activate first party data at scale by talking with a Jebbit expert today!